ORIGINS OF WORKBASED LEARNING
As a Work Based Learning (WBL) provider it was an interesting question that the group raised. “How, When and Why did WBL come about”. As this is an important part of the Chamber business and more importantly something that affects me on a daily basis, it will be interesting to carryout a study into the origins of WBL.
‘Work based learning’ may be defined in many ways. During the mid 80’s, Levy et al (1989) defined work based learning as ‘linking learning to the work role’ and identified three inter-related components each of which provided an essential contribution to learning. These were;
i) structured learning within the work place;
ii) ...view middle of the document...
Employers were responsible for the day release of their employees and were effectively gap filling. This changed during the 1970’s where training took place without jobs. There was widespread criticism of slave labour and the cheap labour schemes that were emerging at that time and during the 1980’s reports outlined an ‘unstable employment market, a ‘skills gap’ and a lack of economic competition within Europe. It was at this stage that it became apparent that the UK vocational education and training (VET) system was unable to meet the demand for the skilled workforce that employers needed.
The 80’s saw the emergence of a new range of training initiatives resulting in the Youth Training Scheme being made available to all unemployed young people.
Education without jobs emerged again in the 90’s with a large increase in the number of people staying in full time education post school. The education system as a whole has become more vocationalised over recent years and the connection between the world of work and education became accepted as being seen as necessary.
In 1981 the Manpower Services Commission made its first statement about competence-based standards and qualifications, published as ‘A New Training Initiative’. The key theme of this document was the clearly identified need for Britain to develop a flexible, adaptable workforce. It stressed that there needed to be further development within skills training, that all young people needed to be equipped for work and there needed to be more opportunities for adults.
Two of the main themes from that document were about occupational standards and young people. From that point, the UK started to develop occupational standards within each industry, with each industry taking responsibility for itself’.
In the early 1980’s there was high unemployment in young people and it was becoming a serious issue and so in 1985 the white paper ‘Education and Training for Young People’ announced a working group to review vocational qualifications in young people to ensure that vocational qualifications were consistent, certified, accessible, progressive and relevant to industry.
In 1986, following the publication of the White Paper Working together: education and training, the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) was set up. The NCVQ developed a framework of NVQs that consisted of five levels and 11 occupational areas. The government funded the Industry Training Organisations to develop the occupational standards on which NVQs are based, with awarding bodies developing the assessment and quality assurance arrangements to criteria set by NCVQ.
Key personnel within work based learning programmes today are the learners themselves, the employer and the institution/body that is providing the academic recognition/certification.
‘The individual may be seeking personal development, career enhancement or a qualification that is transferable to other employment settings whilst...