Sunday, May 6, 2012


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Job casualisation and outsourcing is commonly associated with poor training. Currently in Australia there are mixed signals relating to training. The government is pushing towards a well trained workforce while the privet sector don’t seemed fazed with eliminating their training programs. The new concept of the flexible organisation has its part to play in untrained staff because of the high staff turn over. Unfortunately many organisations that offer still training only do so only for permanent staff. However, it should also be noted that job casualisation and outsourcing have a different level of impact depending on what type of job one is in. Serious questions need also to be asked that if the traditional places of training are removed where then will people be able to access training. In a recent case study of an Australian hospital it was discovered that the lack of training to staff had a direct, negative impact on the patients.

Connell (001) describes the mixed signals Australian stakeholders are receiving with respect to training. He believes that there is now a highlighted importance with the new restructuring of the economy towards a highly skilled workforce. However, these views do not seem to be matching those of the privet sector. Through they’re increasing outsourcing, contracting and casual workforce they are rationalizing and fragmenting the workforce. This raises a serious question of where training will be located for workers, as facilities for on-the-job training is quickly disappearing. Management need to pay close attention that their short term goals of reducing the cost of training compromises with there long term growth and productivity. It is obvious here that in the privet sector job casualisation and outsourcing is having a negative impact on training as they are removing training out of the equation (Connell 001, ).

The link between occupations, training, unions and agreements is not uniform. This often means that casual employees will not get access to these facilities (11). How then are part-timers and casuals meant to obtain access to skills if they are excluded from employment rights, career paths and employment continuity. (Connell 001, 10)

For the enterprise, fragmented employment arrangements can act as a barrier to long-term investment in skill acquisition (COPPIED from book p. 10)

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In recent times there has been a shit toward a flexible organisation. However, the social consequence is the loss of training and skill development. In a recent American survey it was found that the large turnover was of serious concern, and that incentives need to be introduced. It was discovered that employee’s number one incentive was employee development (ranking higher than financial rewards). This survey illustrates the importance of training for not only new workers but on existing workers.

One interesting point is that even if an organisation offers training, casual employees are often out side these internal training programs. What good is having these training programs if they are not freely available to all employees (15).

The training deficit is whereby casual employees are less likely than permanent employees to receive training are (Campbell 61). One large cost this training deficit has on the employees is that many of they are trapped with a degrading job who do not have the resources to pursue their own training. So what seems rational for that person in the short term to avoid training cost can turn out to be a disaster in the medium or long term (16).

Connell argues that the hidden cost for organisations in the decline of training expenses is the rise in contract and labour hire (16).

The rapid growth in casual employment, demonstrates the reduced access of workplace training for casuals compared to permanent employees

Campbell (001) illustrates through statistics the difference between internal and external training for casual and permanent employees. In 17, 40.5% of permanent employees received in-house training while only 16.7% of casuals received it. While in employer-supported external training courses 15.% of permanent employees received training while only .4 of casuals received it.

Campbell (001) suggest a number of reasons why employers use casual employment, some advantages are cheaper labour cost, greater ease of dismissal, ability to match labour time to fluctuations in workload, administrative convenience and enhanced control (81).

The different forms of casual employment is of vital importance. Some types of casual employment will be more problematic than others in regard to training. The implications of a full time student working a few hours a week in a short term, irregular casual job at a bar or nightclub is not likely to cause any real serious problem relating to training. However, large amounts of research suggest that the existing and growing number of ‘long term casuals’ is a distinct and problematic feature of the modern labour force in Australia. Although in many ways they resemble permanent employees, they differ dramatically in there the lack of rights and benefits that are associated with permanent employment. One major benefit which casuals are not entitled to is the access to training ().

Curtains (001) article presents interesting statistics that shows what forms of employment casual employees are most likely to working in. Work which requires a lower level of skills are most popular for casual workers. A 18 study showed that elementary clerical, sales and service occupation groups employed more casual employees that any other form of work. It was also noted that labours and related workers made up a large component of the casual employment. The statistics also show that the proportion of casuals decreased as the level of skill required increased. What this means is that casuals were more likely to work in lower skilled occupations. The level of casuals working was lowest in occupations such as administrators, professionals and associate professionals (108).

Curtain (001) states that ‘casual employees are much less likely than permanent employees to participate in formal training actives’. It should be noted however, that different casual employees have different attitudes towards training. As many as 80% of casuals believe that they have fewer opportunities for training than as permanent employees. Curtain (001) lists five distinctions in attitudes towards training for casuals. First is the full time student who has little interest pursuing training in their casual employment. Secondly, casuals who ate pessimistic about training and who have few career aspirations. Thirdly, woman with dependant children who now feel they have reasonable formal and informal training opportunities. Fourthly is mature aged men who feel insecure with their job and isolated from training opportunities. Finally the career-orientated casuals who training (or more of it) to help them develop skills so they can get permanent work and a career path. Employers must decide whether it is worth there while providing training. What is the point if the casuals are not interested (11)? Pickersgrill (001) article provides statistics which indicates that privet employers nowadays are generally withdrawing from training investments. This means that the training costs are being pushed towards the government and/or the individual. It also means that they are further utilizing skills through outsourcing and labour hire (Hall et al, 000 cited in Curtain 001, 1).

Lewer’s (001) article raises an important question that given the recent rise in casual and outsourced labour, what effects will it have on structured training. Research is now trying to understand if this dramatic shit toward outsourcing services is having a negative influence on the formation and maintenance of skills.

Lewer (001) looks for alternatives for employee training if organisations are not going to supply in house training. Lewer (001) believes that there needs to be a shift of where employees will find training from the organisations to the contractors. There is already an established, steady growth toward outsourcing so it makes sense that these business should supply some training. ‘plainly the onus to ensure a skilled laour force falls on contractors as firms rely on them to provides workers with the skills they require to be competitive’ (Lewer & Gallimore 001 151).

In the case study of Broken Hill Proprietary Limited (BHP) they have come up with an interesting way on how they decide whether they should eliminate, retain, outsource or create a partnership in completing some task’s. The modal uses how often a task is repeated and the amount of knowledge needed to complete the task. This model helps distinguish how much time and effort (if any at all) they should put in to training employees to do specific task’s.

Whittard’s (001) article states that workers who are settled in their job, are the ones who are most likely to receive training, the probability of training rises sharply with the amount of hours worked. It also makes reference that ‘training was significantly lower amongst casual workers’ (Whittard 001, 166)

An interesting point relating to casual employment and training is the effect of gender. Studies have show (Alexander and Frank, 10 cited in Whittard) that woman were most likely not to receive training and other entitlements. It was also discovered that many female casual jobs were considered non-career, and that even when training was offered it was often not related to career progression (166).

Whittard’s (001) article uses a case study to explore various functions of two hospitals. Statistics show that in one of the hospitals in August of 1 nearly half of the nurses were either part-time or casual. This flexible type of environment had its effects on the way the organisations ran. It was found that the low level of training received by part-time nursing staff might have compromised the quality of care offered to the clients (174).

One opposing view is that permanent part-time workers can have a positive impact on training. Managers in the hospital expressed their view that permanent part time workers had the ability to be flexible and attend training on their days off. This meant it was easier for managers to approve their applications for training, especially if it did not mean that the unit manager had to replace a shift (176).

From the case study it seem that training was available to all (as long as the budget allowed for it) workers who have been there for a good period of time and have proved themselves to be worthwhile to train. However, casual employees would have to attend training in their own time. It should be noted that the overriding factor for not permitting training was due to cost restraints (178, 180).

Some problems part-time workers had with training were having to attend training in their own time, day time attendance when having other personal commitments, especially family (17).

Persons most affected by this poor training is the employees, however, it has much greater

Job casualisation and outsourcing has contributed to the poor training of Australian workers. The governments push for a well-trained workforce is simply no match for the continuing decline in employer related training programs for casuals. Employers nowadays do not believe it to be worth while to train in-house, outsourcing, they will say makes more business sense. Employee demands such as a flexible business has done nothing for training. Employers are much more reluctant to invest their time and money into employers who they are not sure will continue to work for them. This was obvious in the Hospital case study where there was an unwritten rule that if you had proven to be a loyal casual employee and worked up a fair amount of hours then the casuals would be given the same opportunities as the permanent workers.

statistics show that full time employees received more training than did those who worked part-time. It has also be shown that casuals are more likely to work in lower skilled occupation while permanent employees worked in more highly skilled occupations. With out a doubt, the statement that job casualisation and outsourcing has a negative impact on training is a very accurate one.

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