Unemployment and the impact of vocational training: The Greek labour market during the period 1988-2000

  • Stavros Rodokanakis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The basic aim of this thesis is to study the impact that educational level and vocational training programmes (mainly funded by the European Community Support Frameworks) had on the labour market of peripheral EU countries, using Greece as a case study. In particular, the thesis focuses on the Greek regions of Attica and Central Macedonia, as well as Greece as a whole, during the period 1988-2000. It investigates econometrically whether the training courses in these two regions were compatible with the skill needs and thus, helped the trainees to increase their chances of finding a job, as well as to what extent there were skill mismatches between education-training programmes and the labour market. Attica and Central Macedonia were chosen because they are the largest regions in Greece in terms of population, and the two biggest urban centres in the country (Athens and Thessaloniki) are situated in the regions under study. So, in effect, the thesis investigates half of the Greek population and compares it econometrically with the rest of Greece. This investigation was undertaken using Labour Force Survey (LFS) micro-level data that became available in Greece in 2005. As all training actions in the country are co-financed by EU funds, the thesis also probes the outcomes of these funds during the period of the Community Support Framework - CSF-1 (1989-93) and CSF-2 (1994-99) in the domain of training. My analysis at the micro-level indicates that this training “revolution” was not accompanied by any real improvement in matching supply with demand or increasing people’s chances of finding a job. The study moves beyond the micro-level and embeds the empirical findings within the institutional/organizational environment of Greek vocational training (meso-level) and the broader political economy of Greece and its position in the EU political economy (macro-level). This is so as to provide a comprehensive explanation of what empirically is identified as the minimal impact of these policies. That is, the thesis goes further than the often narrow micro-economic explanations of the impact of training upon labour markets in that it explores the wider politico-economic context of these policies and assesses its impact on their effectiveness. Consequently, the findings are of relevance beyond the Greek case as they are also useful for comparative research pertaining to European regions or countries. The results of the thesis challenge the usefulness of the active labour market policies (ALMPs) alone. Training mechanisms, concrete political economy and inadequate public administration were the main obstacles to the matching process. This does not mean that training and ALMPs are not needed in Greece, but they can only function effectively in the presence of a suitable institutional framework, which has yet to become a reality.
Date of Award20 Apr 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorTheodoros Papadopoulos (Supervisor)

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