On and off the job: learning experiences, connections and implications for Literacy Language and Numeracy
This research project was commissioned by the Joinery Industry Training Organisation (JITO) to understand learning on and off the job, the connections between them, and where learning support (specifically with literacy, language and numeracy) can be provided.
Lead organisation: Joinery Industry Training Organisation (JITO)
This research project was commissioned by the Joinery Industry Training Organisation (JITO) to understand learning on and off the job, the connections between them, and where learning support (specifically with literacy, language and numeracy) can be provided. Specifically it asks: How do glass apprentices manage formal and informal learning?; how does learning on the first block course support learning on-the-job?; how do apprentices learn on the job and in self-directed study?; how does learning on the job and self directed study support learning on the second block course?; how could learning, and literacy and numeracy development in particular, be strengthened? It should be kept in mind that the small sample size of the study means that the findings can only be indicative. A larger follow-up study is recommended to verify these results.
- The system of block course learning is effective. Most learners make new connections, apply learning, reflect, refine, and transform their practice.
- Strong learning links were apparent from courses to the apprentices’ work.
- The links and support from job to course were weaker, largely due to poor mentoring
- Some apprentices struggle with the expectations of the trade, coursework and study.
- Most apprentices struggle with distance learning
On the job
- Variety and a balance of autonomy and supervision produces the best outcomes.
- Opportunities to engage in tasks involving literacy and numeracy need to be provided and supported on the job where possible.
- Apprentices’ preparation for block courses will be enhanced by supervisors working through the trainer handbook with them.
- Apprentices who had had on-job mentoring tended to complete their workbooks more quickly than those who hadn’t.
- Support for distance learning seemed to be a relatively low priority in the workplace.
- Important skills needed to help apprentices complete distance learning workbooks and assessments are held by administrators.
On the courses
- The course environment was experienced by apprentices as positive and unthreatening and they were comfortable with well established and varied routines.
- Apprentices need some skills (time management, literacy and numeracy competencies) to be explicitly taught.
- Trainers would like to see better connections between themselves and mentors and to have more connection to and understanding of the JITO pre-assessment tool.
- Trainers were interested in improving their own assessment and teaching strategies, with particular reference to literacy and numeracy.
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