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Occupational Competence: A Curriculum Model

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Presentation on theme: "Occupational Competence: A Curriculum Model"— Presentation transcript:

1 Occupational Competence: A Curriculum Model
Santa De Jager and Christoph Vorwerk German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) – SDSI Southern African Society for Co-operative Education, Vereeniging, South Africa, April 2006

2 Introduction South African economy characterised by
acute skills shortages on the one hand and high unemployment rates on the other considerable uncertainty amongst institutions old and new (eg, Sector Education and Training Authorities or SETAs), employers and learners. Older models and practices appear to be out of step with the new requirements, the new institutions the new delivery options such as learnerships.

3 Purpose of Paper Present a curriculum model
Clarify the nature and requirements of learning required for occupational competence part of systemic approach based on three modes of learning for achieving occupational competence. Benefits of model

4 What is Skills Development?
Skills development is the learning process leading to occupational competence Occupational competence requires application in context, ie work experience in a real-life, real-time working environment. Definition: In this paper the term ‘occupations’ also includes trades and professions See Chapter 2, paragraph 22 of Bill of Rights

5 Between labour market and education system
Systemic Disconnect Between labour market and education system education institutions and training programmes employer expectations or labour market needs on the other At different levels of the system Macro – policy & strategy Meso – partnerships and roles Micro – provider, workplace Definition labour market and workplace we mean this in the broadest sense, wherever people engage in economic and social development activities

6 No systemic link between the labour market and NQF
Labour Market Actors Occupations SETA’s Prof Bodies Economy Society ? The ‘Disconnect’ Labour Market Qualifications NQF SGBs Provider system ETQAs SAQA Needs Flow of Skills

7 The Re-connect To reconnect the labour market and the education and training system, propose the following Organising Framework of Occupations capture skills development needs roles, tasks, changes in occupational patterns National Career Path Framework Organise occupational groups, show progression, articulation, National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Curriculum Model structure education training interventions Proposals: at a strategic level would be about prioritising scarce and critical skills at sectoral level SETAs would structure their incentives in order to encourage and focus stakeholder and provider efforts at a local level providers would engage with sites to provide the requisite work experience

8 Flow of information, trends, scarce & critical skills priorities
Economy Organising Framework Occupations National Career Path Framework Labour Market SGBs Needs Society NQF Flow of Skills Occupations Provider system Curriculum Model for Occupational Competence Quality assurance, impact assessment, management

9 Misconceptions about learnerships
Learnership is a new type of qualification Learning only takes place in the workplace Occupational competence achieved through learnerships means an inevitable sacrificing of academic standards

10 Learnerships A learnership is a learning programme which:
consists of a structured learning component; includes practical work experience of a specified nature and duration; and results in a qualification registered by the South African Qualifications Authority, and relates to an occupation.

11 A learnership is one route to an occupational qualification
National Certificate NQF Level X National Certificate NQF Level X Learnership 1 Learnership 2 Experiential learning Skills Programmes Certificate Course Internship Courses RPL Experience Courses RPL RPL RPL Internship Internship Experience Experience Certificate Certificate Course Course Courses Skills Skills Learnership Learnership Learnership Learnership BTech 2 2 Programmes Programmes Courses 1 1

12 Key features of a learnership
Learner is employed and has workplace exposure during the formal education and training processes The work experience component must be specified, planned for and assessed

13 Key problem in implementing learnerships
At heart of disconnect at the operational level lies an implicit theory of provision: if I teach people enough of the right things, they will be able to do these things in context Providers view workplace learning as informal, difficult to codify, therefore impossible to direct or evaluate. as a result experiential learning processes typically provide only vague guidelines to employers and learners to acquiring occupational competence

14 Curriculum model developed to
Integrate education, training and workplace practice Bridge between formal education, formal training, practical training and workplace experience which lead to integration Bridge & basis of partnership between public education institutions private education and training providers workplaces Provide a common language for the development of learning programmes with an occupational intent improves coherence Learners achieve occupational competence

15 Occupational Competence
The ability to perform activities in the jobs within an occupation, to the standards expected in employment Three learning modes required 1. Knowledge acquisition (general and contextual) 3. Workplace experience 2. Development of practical skills Integration of Education and Training Curriculum Model

16 Curriculum Model: Outline
Collaboration is the key to coherence and integration The modes of learning need to be linked, woven together and reflected in the curriculum Knowledge Practical skills Practical learning activities General and occupationally relevant knowledge and theory Application (structured learning) Subjects Workplace experience (practice) Products/ services Specialised and contextual knowledge & theory Topics

17 Knowledge learning component
Knowledge - a series of topics that can be clustered into subjects must support and underpin, and enable the learner to successfully engage in, the practical activities leading to the development of skills. Much is applicable to the group of occupations, and specialised knowledge applicable to the more specific occupations and contexts

18 Practical skills learning component
Practical activities structured as modules class room exercises laboratory work hands on work in workshops field trips assignments Role play, simulation, discussion groups

19 Work experience Develops relevant skills applicable to the occupational competence within a specific context Real-time, real life Experience the uncertainties, the challenges and the ambiguities Reasonable period of time is essential Results in the development or delivery of products or services structured as assignments or projects under guidance of practitioner not just dumped in workplace to sink or swim

20 Structure of the Curriculum Model
Two parts Part 1 the development of a curriculum framework for a group of related occupations that share similar general theory, knowledge and basic skills Part 2 the development of curricula for each occupation within that group the identification of specialised and contextual knowledge components

21 Applicability of the Model
Programmes for occupational competence not new, no radical changes required What’s new is: to define, describe and quality assure learning in the workplace in relation to the formal learning processes combine institution-based and workplace-based learning flexibility to create programmes which accommodate learners with varying needs based on prior knowledge or experience Adjust to sites and distances from institution

22 Application of the model
Origin: Further Education and Training sector (FET) in order to implement learnerships. Successfully used to restructure a can-making apprenticeship into a series of learnerships unit standards broken down into the smallest possible components grouped to eliminate duplications

23 Developed curriculum Clustered horizontally into meaningful units of learning General theory and knowledge topics Practical skills modules Specialised and contextual knowledge topics Work experience modules– ie workplace practice Topics and modules were grouped vertically into ‘subjects Example

24 Benefits of the Model Same curriculum framework and core content used
for a number of related occupations Don’t need to develop one for each qualification for various different learning programmes Learnerships. skills programmes, internships. clarifies issues of articulation, portability and progression Provides a structure for all role players to decide on issues related to delivery, funding, quality assurance, assessment

25 Work experience Structure of work experience modules, assignment or projects Title: Purpose/Relevance Duration Outcomes (tasks) Methodology Evidence Required Method of assessment and details of the assessment process List of resources

26 Reflections on the process
Notable gap was that the trade theory subjects Other gaps non-technical in nature eg basic principles of business, HIV/AIDs, team work. But illustrate the danger of a field of study focused approach – people skills not in domain of engineering Topics under general knowledge and theory & many practical modules applicable for virtually any process that manufactures packaging, including glass, plastics and paper products. No difficulty in integrating all the product variations into the overall curriculum Easy to construct a management system to sequence learning, allocate responsibilities and review or develop materials.

27 Lessons for the Higher Education Sector
Structures collaborative processes between all components of the delivery system: the curriculum developers, the education and training practitioners, other specialist training providers the employers, professional bodies and even the students. Sufficiently flexible to allow the development of various kinds of programme arrangement Facilitates the transition from a teacher-led paradigm to a learner-centred, outcomes- and occupational competence- based paradigm. Quality assurance of the learning process overall still lies with the primary institution no loss of control when universities of technology engage in skills development processes Will improve the credibility of the programme thus the student’s ability to enter the occupational context or employment.

28 Impact assessment National Skills Development Strategy
Department of Labour, 2005 much greater emphasis on achieving targets (outcomes) & making an impact ie, real changes in the labour market particularly for vulnerable groups SETAs, employers & partnering providers will have to: collect & report more information so that the government can evaluate and reconfigure policies and incentives where necessary

29 Quality assurance – change of focus
Mouton proposes five reasons for interventions failing: The intervention is inappropriate not addressing the real problem Implementation is poor poor quality delivery Not all members of the target group receive the intervention as planned or do not receive the same intervention inadequate coverage lack of standardisation The intervention is appropriate, implementation is good but implementation is insufficient diluted intervention insufficient dosage The intervention is good, implementation is good and sufficient, but the target group is not receptive lack of minimum necessary conditions for change (Mouton, 2003)

30 Not just the content of the teaching programme:
Curriculum model links to an overall quality assurance system, including the programme purpose & design the implementation strategy the programme processes and resources the delivery and the learning activities the specific needs of each target population. Not just the content of the teaching programme: also the purpose, the relevance, and the impact in the labour market of the programmes Key requirements responsiveness & relevance effectiveness, efficiency impact

31 The curriculum model tool for higher education institutions to:
Conceptualise or re-conceptualise work-integrated learning programmes for the development of practical skills Manage of workplace experience and practice Engage pro-actively & productively with the world of work employers, industry and professional associations, SETAs and communities) Re-establish a connection to the labour market Ensure the quality of education and training in and for the workplace Link directly to the national programmes (JIPSA, NSDS) & contribute to the reduction of skills shortages & alleviation of un- and under-employment


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