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Report Highlights Worker Training Gap

Posted July. 04, 2006 03:38,   


According to an analysis of corporate investment and support for human resource development (HRD), there is a serious gap between large companies and SMEs that leads to a gap in work comprehension and skills.

The findings will be presented at the 1st Human Resources Corporate Panel Symposium hosted by the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) on Tuesday.

KRIVET, with the Ministry of Labor, conducted the first human resource management survey of 450 companies and 14,000 workers for six months last year.

Education leads to work skill level –

According to the findings, SMEs (with 100 to 299 employees) spent 530,000 won per employee on training newly hired office workers in 2004, while large companies (with 2000 employees or more) spent about seven times as much, or 3.59 million won.

For new workers at production and skill departments, SMEs used 230,000 won in training a worker, while large companies used 930,000 won, or four times more.

The work capability training gap had an impact on the workers’ work comprehension and skills. The share of workers who said they understood their work and the general situation of their company well was 7.0 to 9.0 percent higher in large companies than in SMEs.

In the manufacturing department, for instance, SME employees’ work skills grew by 2.14 points on a scale of 1 to 7. For large company employees, the growth was 2.65 points.

This shows that SME employees do not receive adequate training and therefore have difficulties in self-development, which ultimately leads to a low level of work skill improvement.

Lack of workers block training-

Nine out of 10 large companies conduct internet training while only four out of 10 SMEs did. Sixty percent of large companies support their workers to study abroad for degrees, while only 2.0 percent of SMEs do.

Only one out of six SMEs had plans to develop core talents through huge incentives, bonuses, or favorable treatment in promotion.

Experts say SMEs do not engage in an adequate level of human resource development because of a shortage of workers and a lack of experts.

Lee Gab-soo of Samsung Economic Research Institute said, “SMEs tend to be lukewarm about employee training because they are concerned of turnover. SMEs should run joint training programs between similar industrial sectors or refer to the training programs of their large company partners.”

Poor training organization-

Nine out of 10 large companies have an HRD taskforce. Only two out of 10 SMEs have such a department.

In addition, three out of 10 HRD workers in SMEs graduated from a two-year college, while a similar share of their counterparts in large companies have a master’s or a doctor’s degree.

Experts point out that training program from the Small and Medium Business Administration is not enough to upgrade the HRD level of SMEs.

Dr. Kim Mi-sook of KRIVET said, “SMEs should foster human resources together by regions and industrial sectors and also conduct working cycles to run a training program with which both employees and the company benefit.”