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					Continuing education and training: Learning preferences of worker-
learners to remain competent in their current jobs




    Sarojni Choy, Stephen Billett and Ann Kelly, Griffith University
    2012 AVETRA Conference, 12-14 April 2012, Canberra, ACT
Premises of CET study
      • Entry-level training:
        - not sufficient for a lifetime of work
        - mode of delivery not always appropriate/ desirable for
            workers
        A focus on teaching, rather than learning, not always appropriate
            or desirable.

      • All workers need to engage in continuing education and training
        (CET):
        - to respond to workplace requirements; improved
            productivity, efficiencies and constant change; and
        - to participate in work for longer.

      •   Workers’ knowledge, skills and needs vary
Overview of CET study
      • Funded by NCVER for 3 years
      • Focus is to appraise current tertiary education and training (TET)
        provisions
      • If these are shown to be inadequate, then



      • to identify additional models for, and approaches to, supporting a
        national provision of CET to better meet the needs of worker-
        learners
        - so that their employability across lengthening working lives
        can be sustained and
        - their contributions to the settings in which they work and,
        collectively, to the nation’s productivity, can be maximised.

      Phase 1 – Two industry sectors focus of Phase 1 investigations (Aged
         care and Transport and Logistics)
Diverse needs of workers’ employability


      Three focuses on employability:-

      • Unemployed adults who need to learn for work in
        response to changes – to secure employment

      • Employed workers who need to learn at work in
        response to a range of changes (e.g. technological,
        legislative) in their workplace - to maintain
        employment

      • Employed workers who wish to progress their careers –
        to advance their employment
Aged care component of Phase 1
       Focus is on aged care worker’s preferences for CET
         provisions
       • to highlight factors that determine their
         preferences
       • so that current arrangements could be modified to
         enhance success in their learning.

       Twenty nine aged care workers interviewed in face-to-
       face mode and responded to written questions with
       items relating to how they:
       • learnt their current job
       • were currently learning to remain competent
       • would prefer to be assisted in their learning.
Demographic data: Table 1
                                 N (%)
 Region           Brisbane       19 (66)
                  Qld regional   10 (35)
 Gender           Male            4 (14)
                  Female         25 (86)
 Age              20-29           6 (21)
                  30-39           5 (17)
                  40-49           6 (21)
                  50-59           5 (17)
                  60-69           3 (10)
 Employment
 Full time
                                 13 (45)
 Part time
 Casual                          12 (41)
                                  2 (7)
Aged care component of Phase 1 (cont)
      Over half had worked in their current jobs for between 1-5 years; the
        others had worked for between 6-40 years.

      The size of the workplaces varied between 6 to over 200 employees.

      The most common qualifications held were a vocational Certificate,
         Diploma or Advanced Diploma.

      70% indicated that courses and formal qualifications were essential
        or very important for being able to do their job, obtain
        advancement or gain other jobs.

      72% said that their decision to obtain a qualifications was personal,
        and 34% stated this was requested and supported by employers.

      All workers engaged in mandatory learning to meet compliance and
          licensing requirements; this did not necessarily lead to a
          qualification.
Means of learning: Aged care workers
      6 most frequently reported means of learning
          1.   Everyday learning through work – individually (83%);
          2.   Everyday learning through work individually - assisted by
               other workers (79%);
          3.   Everyday learning + group training courses at work from
               employer (69%);
          4.   Small group training at work – external provider (52%);
          5.    Everyday learning + training courses away from work (off-
               site) (38%);
          6.   On-site learning with individual mentoring: one-to-one
               (38%).

      Key features of these means:
      Based at work
      Integrated as part of everyday work
      Minimum time away from work site
Pedagogical practices
       5 most frequently reported pedagogical practices:
       1. Working and sharing with another person on the job (79%);

       2. Direct teaching in a group (e.g. a trainer in a classroom)
          (72%);

       3. Direct teaching by a workplace expert (65%);

       4. Self-directed learning individually – online, books, etc. (58%);

       5. Group activities in a classroom, guided by a trainer or
          facilitator (48%).
       Key features of those practices
       • Based at work
       • Learning with others at work – individually and in groups
       • Minimum time away from work site
Foundations of likely CET models


       Practice-based experiences with direct guidance
       Opportunity based experiences
       Practice-based experiences with educational
          interventions
Significant CET practices

• Individuals working alone: e.g. engaging with resources;
  individual projects; tertiary/higher education studies
• Dyads: e.g. expert-novice; peer-sharing; joint project;
  mentoring; coaching etc; guided learning in the workplace
• Facilitated/expert guided group processes, and as in teaching:
  (e.g. action learning; group facilitated discussion; learning
  circles, dialogue forums)
• Integration of experiences in practice and education settings
  (i.e. before, during, after).
Implications for CET provisions


       These aged care workers reported engaging in CET to
         advance their existing knowledge and competencies;
         therefore CET provisions need to meet current and
         emerging legislative requirements and, where possible,
         offer opportunities for accreditation within the AQF.

       There is a need for an extension and affordance of learning
         opportunities in workplaces;
         this may require new partnerships between employers
         and RTOs and utilisation of expertise of co-workers.

       There is a need to consider preferences of workers in the
         organisation and pedagogical support that is provided
         through CET.

				
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posted:5/22/2013
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