GoogleTranslate Service

Designing learning opportunities in the workplace

July 28th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Ludger Deitmer has drawn my attention to an interesting article in yesterdays edition of the Weser Kurier newspaper (sadly the article does not appear to be in the online edition). The article was based on interviews with young people undertaking apprenticeship in Bremen in north Germany.

I have previously written in Wales Wide Web about the advantages of the apprenticeship system in Germany as providing high skills and socially prestigious training for young people. Indeed over 50 per cent of school leavers in Germany progress through the apprenticeship system, spending part of their time in companies and part in vocational schools.

In recent years the system has been under pressure due to a shortage of training places, but recent figures suggest this is changing. In Hamburg and Munich there are now surplus apprenticeship training places, in Bremen there is about a balance between places being offered by companies and young people seeking apprenticeship places.

However, attention is now turning to the quality of the training on offer. And Marius Fischer, an apprentice in the logistics industry, was fairly scathing. Apprentices, he said were just given menial work to do, referring to one period of three weeks spent scanning documents into a computer. The so called company training was boring with few learning opportunities. He rarely saw a trainer. Apprentices, he said, were just being treated as cheap labour. “This work is so stupid, a chimpanzee could learn to do it”, he said. A further complaint was that apprentices were not given sufficient experience in different areas of the company to understand the entire social and economic process.

Although there has been some attention paid to quality of training, in Germany and in the European Union, little attention has been paid to the quality of the teaching and learning process. Work based learning can be a powerful form of learning. However, for this to happen it requires the work place to be designed for learning with challenging work and learning tasks. And although managers may play an important role in that workplace and word process design, possibly more important is the role of trainers. A series of research studies have indicated that more and more people are taking some responsibility for training as part of their job. But despite this, and despite a number of well sounding policy initiatives,  little attention has been paid to the training of trainers. Whilst the subject of teacher training is a high priority, there almost seems an assumption that skilled workers can automatically provide training.

Of course Marius Fischer’s experience does not reflect apprenticeship training as a whole in Germany. But is is a reminder of the importance of teaching and learning processes for young people and that the development of rich learning processes cannot be left to chance be it in the school or in the workplace.

Please follow and like us:

Comments are closed.

  • Search

    Social Media

    News Bites

    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

    Please follow and like us:

    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

    Please follow and like us:

    News from 1994

    This is from a Tweet. In 1994 Stephen Heppell wrote in something called SCET” “Teachers are fundamental to this. They are professionals of considerable calibre. They are skilled at observing their students’ capability and progressing it. They are creative and imaginative but the curriculum must give them space and opportunity to explore the new potential for learning that technology offers.” Nothing changes!

    Please follow and like us:

    Graduate Jobs

    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers

    Please follow and like us:

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

      Please follow and like us:
  • Twitter

    The latest The Graham Attwell Daily!… Thanks to @simfin

    About 16 hours ago from Graham Attwell's Twitter via

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories