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Learning to promote retention in apprenticeships and traineeships A/P Ros Brennan Kemmis AM Head, School of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning to promote retention in apprenticeships and traineeships A/P Ros Brennan Kemmis AM Head, School of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning to promote retention in apprenticeships and traineeships A/P Ros Brennan Kemmis AM Head, School of Education

2 2 This presentation looks at the nature of the psychological contract between apprentices and employers, and focuses on the learning that helps to scaffold apprentices as they adjust to the culture and learning demands of new workplaces

3 Our Project Smith, E., Brennan Kemmis, R., & Walker, A.(2011) Understanding the psychological contract in apprenticeships/traineeships to improve retention. National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). Adelaide. Funded by NCVER, running from late 09 late 10. From our original proposal, we were asked to strengthen the employer viewpoint and to add expectations about literacy and numeracy. Team members are Erica Smith (University of Ballarat) Ros Brennan Kemmis (Charles Sturt University) and Arlene Walker (Deakin University) 3

4 Research Method 4 Interviews with 13 stakeholders covering 10 organisations. Survey sent to 1000 apprentices and 1000 trainees. Survey sent to 2000 employers of apprentices/trainees. Additional survey to GTOs Case studies in 9-12 companies employing apprentices and trainees.

5 Whats the psychological contract? [An implicit contract between employer and employee] –It concerns mutual expectations and obligations –What happens when they differ? What happens when the contract is breached? –Common in the Human Resource Management literature, especially in the recent tight labour market. –In apprenticeships and traineeships there are extra parties eg GTOs, AACs. 5

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7 Whats special about apprenticeships and traineeships? The psychological contract has extra partners: The RTO and (often) intermediaries such as AACs. GTOs in particular are an important third party. There is an expectation of learning, which is arguably greater than in normal employment 7

8 Some Findings 8 In all cases there were a number of core promises that remained consistent across apprenticeships/ traineeships, Industry areas and common to the GTOs. The provision of appropriate, relevant and good quality training formed a large part of the psychological contract, and was regarded as central to the effective operation of the psychological contract.

9 Important in both the on the job and off the job contexts. Training provided by the workplace was supervised, well planned and monitored either by the workplace supervisor or, in the case of the GTO s, by the Training Manager and the Field Officers and assessors. Both the apprentices and the trainees needed to have a variety of experiences and be exposed to a range of work opportunities. 9 Training

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11 Case Study Findings Three dimensions to the psychological contract : 1.Teaching and learning 2.Employment conditions and 3.The emotional and interpersonal aspects of work. 11

12 Explicit acknowledgement of the mutual expectations, and constant re-iteration during advertising, recruitment, induction and performance management; Structured early intervention programs; Rewards and recognition to improve motivation; A fall-back position where someone can keep a job but abandon the apprenticeship; 12 Good Practice

13 Good Practice cont; Setting aside identifiable specific times and locations for training, rather than relying heavily on on-the-job training; Behind the scenes work between employers and intermediary bodies where appropriate. ie expectations among these groups (sometimes written down). These could be made explicit to apprentices and trainees; Field officers, either in GTOs or in larger companies. 13

14 Practice Architectures 14

15 An Example – The Hairdresser Hairdressers and teachers of hairdressing enter domains or practice-arrangement bundles within the overall project of hairdressing. IE: A hairdresser who is using foils to tip and tint hair has a specific set of discourses related to this activity, including discourses of the chemistry of dying, about clients sensitivities and preferences, and technical discourses describing the activities that compose tipping and tinting hair. 15

16 Hairdressing Continued; Her activities are enabled and constrained by the set-up of the salon, its tools and equipment, and its location in the neighbourhood. Her relationships are also enabled and constrained by social-political arrangements – with the owner, clients, clients friends and families, her own family, and the community and society within which they exist. 16

17 The hairdresser engages in the practices of hairdressing through sayings, doings and relatings that are shaped – enabled and constrained – by the arrangements or practice architectures that surround them. These practices have their basis in the sophisticated interplay between the practices themselves and their histories and their arrangements. 17

18 18 Learning in VET SocialPracticalEmotionalIntellectualDevelopmental Work place based Visceral

19 References Kemmis, S., & Grootenboer, P. (2008). Situating praxis in practice: Practice architectures and the cultural, social and material conditions for practice. In S. Kemmis & T. J. Smith (Eds.), Enabling praxis: Challenges for education. Rotterdam: SensePublishers. A/P Ros Brennan Kemmis Charles Sturt University 19

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