Job Training:

Small Business Participation in Selected Training Programs

HEHS-96-106: Published: Apr 29, 1996. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed small business employers' participation in federal training programs, focusing on: (1) the extent of their participation; (2) barriers that limit their participation; and (3) options for overcoming those barriers.

GAO found that: (1) small businesses are less likely to use training programs than larger employers because of the prohibitive costs associated with training programs, the time needed to comply with administrative requirements, the reduced productivity of workers during training, and high attrition rates associated with newly trained employees; (2) training programs' institutional requirements may discourage or disqualify small employers from participation; (3) small employers' limited knowledge of the training programs and their needs may further prevent their participation; (4) while a reduction of institutional barriers may require fundamental changes to training programs, alliances among small employers have helped to reduce economic and informational barriers to their participation; and (5) technical assistance from training programs helped reduce economic barriers to participation for small employers that did not want to become involved with alliances or had no access to alliances.

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