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Rethinking the assessment of competence: UK employers asked to blaze a trail

Big changes are underway in the assessment of apprenticeships in England with employers asked to reconsider what is meant by competence-based assessment by looking at how and when competence should be assessed. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of grading to what has been a binary (competent or not competent) approach to apprenticeship assessment. A small number of employers and professional associations have been invited to take the lead in the reform of apprenticeships by becoming Trailblazers. As Trailblazers, employers have been tasked with developing the new assessment approaches, placing new emphasis on synoptic assessment rather than unit-based approaches. This paper explores how the energy and utilities sector, as an apprenticeship Trailblazer, has responded to these assessment challenges. The Trailblazer has seized this latest UK government apprenticeship reform as an opportunity to build on existing industry assessment processes and to redefine good practice in vocational assessment. This paper explores the sector's response to the reforms and to grading competence-based qualifications, looking at how and where valid and meaningful grounds for grading can be found in definitions of occupational competence.

Big changes are underway in the assessment of apprenticeships in England with employers asked to reconsider what is meant by ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Smith, Barry
Conference name: International Association for Educational Assessment Conference
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: England; Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Assessment; Skills and knowledge; Apprenticeship;

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How should our schools respond to the demands of the twenty first century labour market?

Young Britons are entering the labour market with more years of schooling and higher levels of qualification than ever before, but are struggling to find employment. Youth unemployment has steadily increased and it raises questions about whether young people are being adequately prepared for employment. This paper examines the views of eight key people with respect to the nature of employer demands and the implications this has for contemporary schooling.

Young Britons are entering the labour market with more years of schooling and higher levels of qualification than ever ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Carberry, Kay; Cheese, Peter; Husbands, Chris;
Date: 2015
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Paper
Series name: Education and Employers Taskforce paper
Subjects: Labour market; Youth; Employment;

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Determinants of the composition of the workforce in low skilled sectors of the UK economy: social care and retail sectors

The purpose of this study is to develop further understanding of the supply and demand side factors that affect the composition of the low-skilled labour market, with particular reference to the social care and retail sectors. Following an initial literature review, the study adopted a case study approach, focusing on low-skilled roles in the social care and retail sectors in the West Midlands. It involved interviews with employers, recruitment agencies, migrant workers (non UK nationals who had come to the UK for work after 2003), UK-born workers in low-skilled roles, UK-born job seekers on out-of-work benefits with no/low qualifications and stakeholders. The findings presented in this report draw on these case studies. The findings address the following questions: What are the key features of work organisation, conditions and pay in low-skilled roles in the social care and retail sectors? Do employers have a preference to employ migrant workers? What are the advantages and disadvantages of employing migrant workers? (How) are young people disadvantaged in the labour market? What methods are used by employers to recruit low-skilled labour? What job search methods do migrants and UK resident workers in low-skilled jobs typically use? What attributes are employers seeking in candidates for jobs? How do their selection practices and procedures operate and do they disadvantage certain job seekers? What are the constraints faced by migrant workers and UK-born unemployed people in securing employment in low-skilled roles in the social care and retail sectors? What factors disadvantage UK-born job seekers in the labour market? What does the availability of training look like? How has it changed? And does availability of training and opportunities for progression account for differences in willingness to work in low-skilled jobs? A comparison of the composition of the workforce in the social care and retail sectors is also presented.

The purpose of this study is to develop further understanding of the supply and demand side factors that affect the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Green, Anne E.; Atfield, Gaby; Staniewicz, Teresa;
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: England; Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Skills and knowledge; Labour market; Research;

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Language, literacy and numeracy: the foundations of Australia's future

While focusing on the Australian and overseas context (Scotland and Ireland), the author planned to investigate, as a practitioner, to what extent current pedagogy and teaching practices in the vocational education and training (VET) and adult community education (ACE) sectors influence the outcomes of language, literacy and numeracy programs, either as stand-alone or shared delivery. The author focuses on adult native speakers with limited literacy and numeracy, and adult migrants from non-English speaking background (NESB). The key aims were to: (1) establish best pedagogy practices pertinent to two specific student cohorts: (a) current adult migrants who arrived in Australia as refugees or humanitarian migrants, mainly from Sudan and Afghanistan and who participate in education at Chisholm Institute; and (b) adults and native speakers from a variety of disadvantaged groups who have the potential to participate in literacy and numeracy programs and in VET training at Chisholm Institute; (2) further extend the research into the key drivers of Australian adult [language, literacy, numeracy] LLN policy in response to the National Foundation Skills Strategy (2012) and the call by Australian Industry Group and Industry Skills Council, which are looking at finding strategies for up skilling of the workforce of the future and focusing on increasing literacy and numeracy levels; and (3) investigate the benefits of using human and social capital in ACE and VET training, thus meeting Australian Government Skills Reform objectives of upskilling for the 21st century workforce

While focusing on the Australian and overseas context (Scotland and Ireland), the author planned to investigate, as a ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Stapar, Suzana
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania; Scotland;
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Literacy; Language; Numeracy;

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Attitudes of the over 50s to fuller working lives

The UK has an ageing population, which offers both challenges and opportunities for individuals, businesses and the economy. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) publication ‘Fuller working lives: a framework for action’ outlined the background evidence around later life working and retirement and set out a number of actions to help people have fuller working lives. To build on the framework and fill some key evidence gaps, this research was commissioned to explore older people’s attitudes to later life working and retirement. The research [undertaken by YouGov PLC] explores the attitudes of those who are currently employed, self-employed, and unemployed to later life working and retirement. It also explores the attitudes and reflections of those who are currently retired to the circumstances surrounding retirement and later life working.

The UK has an ageing population, which offers both challenges and opportunities for individuals, businesses and the economy. ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Powell, Tom; Bonito, Olivia
Date: 2015
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Report
Series name: Department for Work and Pensions ad hoc research report
Subjects: Employment; Participation; Research

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The impact of doctoral careers: final report

The doctoral impact and career tracking study was commissioned by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the higher education funding bodies for England and Wales (HEFCE and HEFCW). These organisations provide public funding in postgraduate research and share an interest in demonstrating the impact of these investments. The aim was to explore the career paths and impact generated by doctoral graduates in the medium term, with a particular focus on those working outside of academia. The study surveyed 1,839 people who had graduated with a doctorate from a UK institution between 2003-04 and 2005-06 (four per cent of the total population of doctoral graduates for these years). The researchers also interviewed 268 of those who completed the survey and 96 employers of doctoral graduates. It is hoped the study will help to inform: investments in doctoral training; policies regarding research training and how it contributes to both excellence and impact; policies regarding the career pathways of researchers and how these might be influenced; and researchers and those advising researchers about career options.

The doctoral impact and career tracking study was commissioned by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the higher education ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Diamond, Abigail; Ball, Charlie; Vorley, Tim;
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Higher education; Outcomes; Research;

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The impact of a disability on labour market status: a comparison of the public and private sectors

This study analyses the causal effect of a disability on subsequent labour market status by distinguishing between public employment and private employment in France. This study provides two original contributions. First, previous studies have not distinguished between the public and private sectors although the characteristics of these sectors are likely to affect the relationship between the occurrence of a disability and labour market status. Second, [the authors] implement a difference-in-differences approach combined with an exact and dynamic matching method, which has never been used to estimate the effect of a disability on labour market status. [The authors] utilise data from the Health and Labour Market Histories (HLMH) survey conducted in France during the period 2006-2007. The results indicate that the occurrence of a disability exerts a strong detrimental effect on private employment but has no significant effect on public employment during the five years after its occurrence. Moreover, this public/private difference is neither explained by differences in the type of disability nor by differences in the composition of the workforce employed in each sector.

This study analyses the causal effect of a disability on subsequent labour market status by distinguishing between public ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Barnay, Thomas; Duguet, Emmanuel; Le Clainche, Christine;
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: France; Europe
Resource type: Working paper
Series name: TEPP working paper
Subjects: Disability; Employment; Industry;

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Small firms and the failure of national skills policies: adopting an institutional perspective

Both skills and small firms have been increasingly prominent in policy agendas across the world in recent years. Skills are now seen as being crucial to economic prosperity, yet evidence consistently shows much lower levels of training, on average, in small firms than in larger businesses. Policy makers in various countries have sought to address this perceived problem and to stimulate skills development in small firms, but have attempted to do so in different ways and with varying degrees of success. It is this divergence in national skills policies, as well as its causes and implications for skill formation in small firms, that this paper seeks to illuminate. In doing so, it adopts an 'institutional' perspective that advances current understanding of how and why skills policies adopted in different countries appear to have varying effects on small firms. Through employing this institutional analysis, the paper promotes an awareness of how historical, social and economic forces in the 'corporatist' systems, found for example in Germany and Scandinavia, tend to provide a more supportive context for skills development in small firms than the liberal free market systems found elsewhere in the world, such as in the USA, Canada and the UK - which is highlighted as an illustrative case in this paper.

Both skills and small firms have been increasingly prominent in policy agendas across the world in recent years. Skills are ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Bishop, Dan
Date: 2015
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Journal title: International journal of training and development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Skills and knowledge; Policy; Industry;

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Measuring self-regulated learning in the workplace

In knowledge-intensive industries, the workplace has become a key locus of learning. To perform effectively, knowledge workers must be able to take responsibility for their own developmental needs, and in particular, to regulate their own learning. This paper describes the construction and validation of an instrument (the Self-Regulated Learning at Work Questionnaire) designed to provide a measure of self-regulated learning (SRL) behaviour in the workplace. The instrument has been validated through a pilot study with a cohort of 170 knowledge workers from the finance industry. Results indicate that the five scales of the instrument are reliable and valid, testing a broad range of sub-processes of SRL. The instrument can be used to identify knowledge workers who demonstrate different levels of SRL in workplace contexts for further exploration through qualitative studies and could also provide the basis of professional development tools designed to explore opportunities for self-regulation of learning in the workplace.

In knowledge-intensive industries, the workplace has become a key locus of learning. To perform effectively, knowledge ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Fontana, Rosa Pia; Milligan, Colin; Littlejohn, Allison;
Date: 2015
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Journal title: International journal of training and development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Workforce development; Teaching and learning; Research

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Framework for co-investment in skills: taking collective responsibility for skills investment in Wales

The framework for co-investment in skills will support the implementation of the Welsh Government's policy for rebalancing the responsibility for skills investment between government, employers and individuals. The framework takes forward the action within the skills implementation plan for a policy of co-investment in skills to commence from April 2015 onwards. It also reflects on the consultation which took place in February 2014 which looked at proposals for post-19 adult skills delivery. The framework describes the investment principles which will guide government intervention for post-19 employed status learning.

The framework for co-investment in skills will support the implementation of the Welsh Government's policy for rebalancing ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: Wales. Department for Education and Skills
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Europe; Great Britain; Wales
Resource type: Paper
Subjects: Skills and knowledge; Policy; Providers of education and training;

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