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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Employer-sponsored training : an analysis of the British Columbia electronics industry Jothen, Kerry Arthur


Training and human resource development sponsored by the private sector has become increasingly important and topical in North America. Yet, the attention devoted to it by policymakers, academe and industry itself has not risen accordingly. Government and industry are faced with the challenge of formulating effective public and private policy to facilitate the qualitative and quantitative development of employer-sponsored training. There is a paucity of information on employer-sponsored training. Therefore, the intent of this study was to determine the nature and extent and qualitative issues of the phenomenon in one industry: the British Columbia electronics industry. The literature on employer-sponsored training was reviewed from three perspectives. First, the theoretical, historical and conceptual roots of the topic were presented. Second, the quantitative data on employer-sponsored training in North America was summarized. Third, an overview of the most pressing qualitative issues related to the subject was presented. As a result of this process, five main research questions were derived relating to the following aspects of the B. C. electronics industry: human resource requirements; sources of human resources; nature and extent of training; training decision-making; and public policy. A 15-page open-ended and closed questionnaire was developed and sent to 80 electronics companies in British Columbia. Forty-eight or 60% of the companies responded to the survey. The responses to individual questions yielded several interesting patterns in the data. The small sample size and the nominal nature of the data collected prevented any extensive statistical analysis of the results to test for relationships between variables. The chi-square test for independence was utilized and identified a few plausible relationships between key variables. A list of specific conclusions derived from the results painted an overall picture of the training and human resource activity in the British Columbia electronics industry. The limitations of the study and its implications for future research and public policy were outlined.

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