Perception and Participation in Lifelong Learning: An Analysis of Craft Enterprises in the Province of Trento

Corporate training is considered an important tool to increase a company’s productivity, enhance its capacity for innovation, and improve the satisfaction and motivation of its employees. However, many companies, especially small ones, do not prioritize training as much as they should (Kotey & Folker, 2007; Storey, 2004). Data from the Excelsior survey by Unioncamere indicate that in 2022, the share of Italian companies that provided training activities to their employees through courses (performed internally or externally) rose to 26%, thus aligning with trends observed in the pre-pandemic period. However, micro and small enterprises (1-9 and 10-49 employees) still remain at lower levels compared to medium and large enterprises (Excelsior, 2023). The main reasons are essentially an underestimation of the benefits and an overestimation of the training costs (Barrett & Mayson, 2007; Storey, 2004; Storey & Westhead, 1997).

The project, conducted in collaboration with the Employment Agency (Agenzia del Lavoro) of the province of Trento, aims to understand how crafter entrepreneurs’ perception of training influences their propensity to participate in or conduct training interventions. This understanding is crucial as it can potentially shape the future of training in craft enterprises. Through the administration of a questionnaire, the perception of small and micro artisan entrepreneurs will be collected and then cross-referenced with administrative data on the type of recipients, companies, and training provided. This comprehensive approach will provide a general descriptive overview, from which the project plans to develop a targeted informational intervention. The aim of this intervention is to see if greater awareness of the role of continuous training has effects on the perception and uptake of training activities, potentially leading to a more balanced training provision among different sizes of enterprises.




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