Employability enhancement through formal and informal learning: An empirical study among Dutch non-academic university staff members

Beatrice van der Heijden, Jo Boon, Marcel van der Klink, Ely Meijs

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    107 Citations (Scopus)


    Although learning is generally perceived as a way to improve employees' current job performance, so far, no research has been conducted to explore the possible relationships between formal and informal learning, on the one hand, and employability, on the other. Though contemporary views stress the importance of the job as a powerful learning site, considerable research evidence underpinning these views is lacking. This paper goes into the impact of formal and informal learning upon employability. The influence of employee characteristics and organizational factors is also taken into account. An e-questionnaire was used to collect data among 215 Dutch non-academic university staff members. Our findings emphasize the necessity of Human Resource Development strategies that encompass a mix of formal and informal learning opportunities. In particular, participation in networks appears to be an important predictor for employability. With the outcomes of this study, we aim to contribute to the further development of theoretical insights regarding employability enhancement through learning possibilities embedded in the workplace. It seems that strategies that focus exclusively on enhancing informal on-the-job learning should not be encouraged. Our study is limited to one context and further research is required to investigate the generalizability of the findings to other occupations and/or countries.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)19-37
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational journal of training and development
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • IR-61663
    • METIS-256655

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