Education, training, productivity and income: a Kenyan case-study
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This paper the author looks at the effect of education and training on productivity, as indicated by performance on government trade tests of craft skills in engineering, building, woodwork, electrical and tailoring trades. In January and February 1973, 446 candidates for government trade tests in Nairobi and Kisumu were interviewed, 70 per cent of the candidates during this period, and full job histories were obtained for 185. Although the sample was small and perhaps not strictly representative, a number of interesting results were obtained. It was found that those who had undergone full-time training courses did worse at all grades of test than those who had not. Similarly, the small significance of schooling in explaining test performance calls into question the tendency to upgrade academic qualifications required for entry into employment or training courses. It was also found that employers tend to reward higher productivity at least in the sense that, especially at grade I level, they anticipate the test results, paying more to those who are going to pass than to those who are going to fail. Further, there does not seem to be an excess supply of skilled and semi-skilled workers: on the contrary, the high returns to movement between jobs suggest that this is still very much a seller's market. Finally, a firm conclusion can be drawn from this survey that this is a relatively inexpensive way of collecting useful information which would be worthwhile repeating on a regular basis with a large coverage.