Development cheque, results Advice Group Learn and Work

2011 – In its Advise  “Time for development" the Think group Learn and Work propose an impulse to lifelong learning in theNetherlands by introducing a training voucher. This allows individuals to finance their own learning process (which otherwise wouldn’t be utilized), creates awareness of the learning culture and makes people aware of the profit of additional learning on their professional development. In this study, a concrete proposal for such an training voucher is developed and consists of the next three steps: theoretical principles with reference points, lessons from the development check and an implementation model. The lessons learned from the previous training voucher projects, interviews with experts and theoretical insights include a training voucher works best when:  

1 The individual considers the check as valuable;
2 The check is finely tuned on the disbursement target;
3 The check is of considerable size to pay a significant part of the learning cost;
4 The check is only for a limited time so the incentive to use increases;
5 Ideally, the check is included as an integral part of a Personal Development Plan or similar personal development process;
6 For successful results, low skilled employees need additional and personalized support.

An estimate of the resources required by the government, R & D (training and development) funds or employers leads to the conclusion that the introduction of a development check for all workers is not financially feasible; therefore a further withdrawal of the target seems necessary. A possible urgent starting point to encourage participation in lifelong learning is for low-skilled workers in sectors where employment is shrinking and will continue to decline. In particular people without basic labor market qualifications have a low participation in lifelong learning. For this reason, and to be successful, the model for the development check needs to be adjusted on a few points like focused on the job-learning activities.

The proposed model for the design of the development check is based on two stackable checks (each €500.-) which is provided annually to employees, one funded by the government and the other by the R & D fund or employer. With this approach, the receiver checks for stacking expensive learning activities in three years, but prevents this period by adjusting delay. The shared funding creates as well a joint involvement of both government and social partners. The vouchers are issued by an existing public authority so the implementation costs will be limited. The development check may be spend to non job-learning and other activities focused on career development.

Reference:  Breugel, G. Van, Dohmen, D.,  Grip,  A. de (2011)  Ontwikkelingscheque, uitwerking Advies Denktank Leren en Werken (Development cheque, Thinkgroup Learn and Work). Maastricht: Researchcentrum voor Onderwijs en Arbeidsmarkt School of Business and Economics.The full article is adjusted in the PDF.

Source Type: Research report; Article
Sector Classification: Not specific
Theme: Sustainable employment; Smart working; Social innovation; Talent development;