The value of on-the-job training should not be underestimated, according to a University of Auckland study. Using Australian data, the study found that over-educated and over-skilled employees are less likely to quit if training is available.

The study, detailed in the paper ‘Educational job mismatch, job satisfaction, on-the-job training, and employee quit behaviour: A dynamic analytical approach’, is the first to test the impact of on-the-job training and job satisfaction among job-mismatched employees.

Using unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, the researchers found that over-education alone, or accompanied by skill under-utilisation, in combination with lower job satisfaction, increases incidences of people resigning from roles. However, on-the-job training decreases the likelihood of over-educated, over-skilled workers quitting, says study co-author and professor of economics, Sholeh Maani.

Another key finding is that over-educated and over-skilled employees may stay with their present employers if they otherwise have high overall job satisfaction.

“Australia has a system in which the prevalence of government financial support for training, industry standards requirements and established training providers, facilitate on-the-job training,” says Dr Maani.

“As such, this study provides other countries with evidence for policy considerations from the Australian case in which on-the-job training receives widespread support and uptake.”

Over-education is prevalent across economies, and statistics from OECD countries classify 35.7 percent of the workforce in qualification-mismatched jobs, says Dr Maani, who has been working on a series of papers in the areas of lifetime economic returns to education, and educational mismatch.

“There’s a relatively high percentage of people in both Australia and New Zealand who are in jobs where their credentials and years of education are above what is required, and this is why we’re undertaking research in this area.”

Andrew Lewis, CEO of Allara Global, an online hospitality training platform, said that the findings resonate with staffing experiences within the hospitality industry.

“From a hospitality industry perspective, the study’s findings hold significant relevance and accuracy. Empowering our employees with knowledge enriches their journey within our industry. Training and upskilling not only equips them to excel in their roles but also cultivates a strong sense of belonging and enhances job satisfaction. Furthermore, on-the-job training broadens employees’ appreciation and deepens their understanding of the dynamic and rewarding aspects of the hospitality industry.”

And in a fast-paced environment with a diverse workforce across multiple facets, technology is helping to facilitate and regulate on-the-job training within venues.

“In today’s digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing the effectiveness of training in the hospitality industry. It not only ensures consistent and standardised training modules but also accommodates the unique learning preferences of our diverse workforce, including deskless employees who benefit from mobile-accessible training resources,” explains Lewis. The results from Dr Maani’s study show that on-the-job training among employees who are in mismatched positions (over-education and skill underutilisation) leads to greater retention, and this helps to explain why job mismatches may no longer be predominantly temporary for some workers, says Professor Maani.

“You may not expect that when someone’s over-educated and over-skilled that getting on-the-job training would put them on a path to more job satisfaction and reduce their likelihood of quitting, but we found that for those who had on-the-job training, it changed their trajectory, and in connection with job satisfaction, they were less likely to resign, and stayed longer at their jobs.”

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *