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Career Progression- An investigation into Apprenticeship Opportunities Carla George (Education Researcher) April 2018

Carla George Warwick University April 2007


Career Progression- An Investigation Into Apprenticeship Opportunities (Carla George Department Of Education Studies) Abstract The study represents an investigation into current apprenticeships and to establish areas that are in development and to understand how apprentices are progressing within their current apprenticeships. Keywords Apprenticeship, development, progression, workplace 1.1 Introduction Novice to apprentice and finally experts. The government are promoting apprenticeships for young people to provide opportunities to close the skills gap and to increase workforce skills. Apprenticeships are an approach to learning scheme where the workplace is used as a site for learning. The learners are mentored by their supervisors and work peers receiving knowledge and skills throughout their training in their chosen career field. I would like to know how learning is affected within the apprenticeships and the wider issues raised by work place learning. ICT apprenticeships has had a four year decline due shortages of skills and strong competitive market. This has now been overturned as employers are willing to employ apprentices as a means for saving of costs as well as reducing recruitment difficulty. There is a huge demand for ICT skills to reflect the technological changes in the industry. In according to Ben Rowland’s quotes “Apprentices are fresh, young and enthusiastic to get their hands dirty� Career Progression The apprentices are faced with a variety of opportunities in accordance with S Billet 2002 and Eraut 2004 the workplace learning allows for setting goals, skills development and achieving the required qualifications that are relevant for jobs. The requirements for workplace learning are based on engagement, utilising resources and mentorship. There are elements of informal learning, organisational learning and experience based learning. The good side to this the workplace can be utilised for all types of learning as a tool that is individual to others and that organisations should adapt to change instead of using mundane procedures. Karin, Smith and Wangensteen explains in their article that students experience differentiate depending on the assignments or tasks given to the learners. The requirements for the apprenticeships that learners will attend one day a week to the training provider to support 20% of their learning since then apprenticeships has now changed where there is flexibility. Due to the changes employers have the option of in-house apprenticeships where they will take on 100% of the responsibility. Learners are requires to participate in their everyday activities at work it is the employers responsibilities towards providing the provisions to support their learning requirements.

Carla George Warwick University April 2007


Graeme Hall, Hugh Joslin and Jill Ward 2010 explained about the change of higher apprenticeships. They recommend that employers need to understand time, knowledge support and the financial resources required to deliver these apprenticeships. This area still needs further development currently the government has proposed new changes but employers are still unaware of their involvement according to BBC reports the numbers in apprenticeships has decreased. Wenger explains further that learning involves identity as a newcomer into a new situation it’s not just developing new skills but becoming a different person with new perspectives. Wenger argues that organisations should allow for opened learning transitioning themselves into socio organisations which combines a level of personal experience and processes. Participation refers to recognition and developing a mutual connection. She explains further that there are further learning specifics that are not defined within situated learning that is still under investigation. There are other limitations that can pose a problem to novice learners especially if they enter an environment that requires this method of learning. K Lander suggests this can lead to issues such as self-identity and communication problems. Full participation is required to determine how individuals interact and adapt within their work environment. Methodology In my practice I go into a firm, the student is prepped, introductions, student set up equipment, I reiterate what is needed, and ask the apprentice to do this e.g. write an email or document, if they get stuck they should seek help in the normal way. This is observation but participant observation. This involved observing and assessing their competency specific to their tasks at hand. They are provided feedback and throughout are asked questions to develop their knowledge. Both research methods used Grounded Theory as a tool this is known as a flexible approach that can be use with qualitative and quantitative methods to establish procedures towards data analysis. This tool will allow you to explore your interests and to develop theories behind your choice of research. Constructive Design was created by Kathy Charmaz and Hallberg 2006 they explained that constructivists view all possibilities as a whole rather than a single entity. They focus on individual’s opinions, beliefs as well as providing an overview between the researcher and participant. I prefer this approach as it has given me flexibility towards reforming my questions and adding additional research that reflects on personal experiences of my participants as well as reflecting my thoughts on the whole process. My findings are represented as cases to give an insight on what took place and to hear their stories behind developing their skills and confidence in the workplace. Case 1 Apprentice carried out a procedure resolving a faulty hard drive the events recorded involved a structured approach as he knew his approach to the tasks. He had to incorporate Health and Safety procedures to ensure that he was wearing the appropriate clothing and correct use of tools. He discussed the customer requirements in terms of ensuring that the personal data was kept secured and backed up using the appropriate backup facilities. He carried out a good range of troubleshooting techniques involving running a disk check to check for anomalies, any errors found this will be repaired. He decided to test the hard drive by running this in the normal state it still errored and a blue screen appeared. He decided to replace the hard drive due to the state and condition. He carried out another test and this worked successfully the new hard drive had no errors and is able to boot to the system.

Carla George Warwick University April 2007


The learner used an informal approach in his work practice he has the opportunity towards asking his colleagues for support at work as well as documenting some of his duties using a reference guide and use of mobile phone application One Note. He also writes his own diary of events that he uses as part of his reflective practice. Case 2 I observed an apprentice resolving a printer issue for a customer. This opportunity allowed me to capture his mannerism over the telephone with a customer and examine his communication technique as well as his technical guidance towards troubleshooting the printer as this customer was off site. He was fully engaged with the process as he captured information online using the company’s helpdesk tool and agreed with the customer the timeframe of completing the task. He also carried out troubleshooting methods via the server and ensured all jobs were cleared also spoke with the customer to keep her informed of any situations that occurred. He also tested with the customer to print a test page and this printed successfully. Case 3 Arrived at employer and the apprentice at the last moment was given a task by his manger to complete for a customer. He was unsure about the task so he liaised with his supervisor and his colleagues on how to address the situation. This related to resolving a computer monitor issues where the contents were not displaying on the screen. He tried to switch the cable and also checked the ports at the back of the screen. He decided to attempt to investigate the PCU itself. He decided to test the ram by replacing it with a new one problem still persist then attempted to replace the video card and the contents displayed. Throughout the whole process he kept the customer informed about the situation. He also used the opportunity to reflect on the situation on how he can improve the situation he will try and improve his knowledge on hardware by reading further on IT Tech websites he will also try and shadow his colleagues further to learn further troubleshooting techniques. Summary Overall this investigation as provided a good insight on how apprenticeships has evolved today and to understand how apprentices are adapting to changes within their work environment. There are potential opportunities arising towards higher apprenticeships. This area is still needs further development and overall it is essential that all parties need to be realistic in their approaches whilst delivering apprenticeship programmes.

References 2010 Graeme Hall, Hugh Joslin and Jill Ward- Developing Higher Apprenticeships in England Lifelong Learning Networks National Forum Policy Paper 2007 Tangaard Learning at trade vocational school and learning at work: boundary crossing in apprentices’ everyday life 2002 Billet S Emerging Perspectives On Work Place Learning

Carla George Warwick University April 2007

Progress1`  

Investigation into opportunities into how apprentices can progress within their careers.

Progress1`  

Investigation into opportunities into how apprentices can progress within their careers.

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