Work-related learning and skill development in Europe: Does initial skill mismatch matter?

Maria Ferreira Sequeda, Annemarie Künn-Nelen, Andries de Grip

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This paper provides more insight into the assumption of human capital
theory that the productivity of job-related training is driven by the
improvement of workers’ skills. We analyze the extent to which training and informal learning on the job are related to employee skill development
and consider the heterogeneity of this relationship with respect to
workers’ skill mismatch at job entry. Using data from the 2014
European Skills and Jobs Survey, we find as assumed by human capital
theory that employees who participated in training or informal
learning show greater improvement of their skills than those who did not.
The contribution of informal learning to employee skill development
appears to be larger than that of training participation. Nevertheless,
both forms of learning are shown to be complementary. This complementarity
between training and informal learning is related to a significant
additional improvement of workers’ skills. The skill development of workers
who were initially underskilled for their job seems to benefit the most
from both training and informal learning, whereas the skill development of
those who were initially overskilled benefits the least. Work-related learning
investments in the latter group seem to be more functional in offsetting
skill depreciation than in fostering skill accumulation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSkill Mismatch in Labor Markets
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78714-377-7
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesResearch in Labor Economics

JEL classifications

  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"
  • m53 - Personnel Economics: Training


  • training
  • informal learning
  • skill development
  • skill mismatch
  • human capital

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