Continuing education and training: Learning preferences of worker-learners to remain competent in their current jobs (AVETRA 2012)
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Workers, world-wide, increasingly need to engage in continuing education and training to respond to changing workplace requirements, maintain and increase productivity, remain workplace competent (employable), and participate in longer work lives. Australian workers are no exception here. Yet, given that most of the current Australian tertiary education and training provisions largely focus on initial occupational preparation (i.e. entry-level training), these provisions may not adequately meet the kinds of learning needs of existing workers who need to build upon their initial occupational education and training, or transfer what they know to a new occupation. Therefore, the current focus may need broadening or transformation to better meet the learning needs of Australian workers who face continual change in the requirements for performance in their lengthening working lives. A team of researchers from Griffith University is conducting a three year project, funded by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, to review and appraise current provisions of tertiary education and training and to identify models of tertiary education and training provisions and related pedagogic practices that will be effective in responding to the growing educational project that comprises continuing education and training. This paper reports how some worker-learners from the aged care industry prefer these provisions to be organised for their work and workplaces. As an example of a much larger corpus of data, it specifically draws on recently gathered data from semi-structured interviews and written responses from twenty-nine such workers in South East Queensland. The tentative findings advanced here indicate a high preference for everyday learning through work individually, and assisted by other experienced workers and mentors or supervisors in the workplace. These early findings point to demands for a larger component of courses offered by tertiary education and training providers to be delivered at the work site, and for increased levels of on-site support for learning. The findings have implications for changes to policies and provisions for models of continuing education and training.
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Copyright 2012 AVETRA. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Use hypertext link for access to the publisher's website.
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