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 WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Workers receive more benefits from training in small businesses than they do in large businesses. A new study released by the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy offers this observation, noting that this is consistent with its finding that smaller firms tend to provide the general training needed for long-term, productive careers, while large firms seem to provide training that is specific to particular pieces of equipment or to company procedures.
 The most extensive examination of the nation's training needs and practices by business size in the past decade, "Job Training Approaches and Costs in Small and Large Firms," uses a nationwide survey to examine differences in training activities and outcomes in small and large businesses.
 The study suggests the payoffs that workers receive are greater in small firms. Wages grow faster in the first two years of employment in small firms than in large firms. The growth in wages per hour of training in the first two years of employment is more than 2.5 times faster in firms with fewer than 100 employees than in firms with 100 or more employees. Firms benefit by increased productivity after the training is received and in lower turnover in the instance of firm- specific training.
 Small firms are the first employers of a majority of workers and employ a disproportionately large share of workers who are younger, older, part-time and minority -- especially Hispanic. According to the study, smaller businesses hire less educated and more inexperienced workers than larger firms and provide those workers with general skills and training. General skills training includes arriving to work on time, having an ability to work with others, learning to follow directions and communicating orally and in writing with supervisors and colleagues.
 Doris S. Freedman, SBA's acting chief counsel for advocacy, in commenting on the study, said: "The research shows that the training that takes place in small firms is effective and beneficial to workers and, without a doubt, offering employee training is one of the most important predictors of small business success. With the escalation of global economic competition, demographic changes in the U.S. work force and the increase in technological innovations, the federal government must consider means of ensuring that training systems in small businesses are sustained and improved."
 Researchers Drs. Dan A. Black, Mark C. Berger and John Barron of the Department of Economics at the University of Kentucky, conducted the study. Objectives of the study included determining the types of skills businesses believe are important, investigating firm size differences in the type and extent of on-the-job training, examining differences in on- the-job training offered by small and large firms to different workers (categorized by such factors as age, gender, race and education) and identifying training successes in terms of their cost-effectiveness in improving productivity.
 Other significant findings of the study include:
 -- Fifty-nine percent of firms with fewer than 25 employees and
 73 percent of firms with 500 or more employees report that basic
 computer skills are likely to grow in importance in the next five
 years. However, small firms are less likely to state that basic
 computer skills are applicable to their company.
 -- Small businesses tend to provide informal rather than formal
 training to their employees.
 -- Small firms may benefit from more information about government
 financed training programs. Only 16 percent of firms with fewer
 than 25 employees hire workers through such programs, compared
 with 44 percent of firms with 500 or more workers. Even though
 small firms are more likely to hire inexperienced, less-educated
 workers -- the group for which government training programs are
 usually intended -- they are less likely to use these programs.
 -- Bigger firms provide more firm-specific training for men and
 women; whites, blacks and other minority groups; union and non-
 union workers; part-time and full-time workers; and all
 occupational categories. Total hours of training increase with
 firm size for all industries; single and multi-establishment
 firms; and all forms of legal organization, regardless of the age
 of the business, number of new hires and the intensity of upward
 mobility within the firm.
 The complete report is available for a fee by writing to the National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161, or calling 800-553-6847. Ask for report number PB93-192870. For more information about the study, contact Valerie Johnson in SBA's Office of Advocacy at 202-205-6531.
 -0- 11/23/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: The Small Business Research Summary, "Job Training Approaches and Costs in Small and Large Firms," is available by calling the contact below./
 /CONTACT: Valerie J. Johnson of the Small Business Administration, 202-205-6531/

CO: U.S. Small Business Administration ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: EXE

DT-IH -- DC034 -- 7397 11/23/93 16:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1993

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