Several studies have shown that employees with temporary contracts have a lower training participation than those who have a contract of indefinite duration. There is however no empirical literature on the difference in informal learning on-the-job between permanent and temporary workers. In this paper, we analyse this difference across twenty OECD countries using unique data from the recent PIAAC survey. Using an instrumented control function model with endogenous switching, we find that workers in temporary jobs engage in informal learning more intensively than their counterparts in permanent employment, although the former are, indeed, less likely to participate in formal training activities. In addition, we find evidence for complementarity between training and informal learning for both temporary and permanent employees. Our findings then suggest that temporary employment need not be dead-end jobs. Instead, temporary jobs with high learning content could be a stepping stone towards permanent employment. However, our results also suggest that labour market segmentation in OECD countries actually occurs within temporary employment due to the distinction between jobs with low and high learning opportunities.
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