(This Blog relates to TAEDEL402 Plan, organise and facilitate learning in the workplace)
Apprenticeships and traineeships are designed with a mix of formal (external) training and work based learning.
It is important that, wherever possible, the work-based learning moves in step with the formal learning.
Formal learning is often classroom based. The learner is released from work to attend workshops where they are trained in groups. The formal learning provides the underpinning knowledge needed in order to perform work tasks effectively.
The packaging rules for a qualification may require a learner to undertake as many as 25 or more units of competency. They should be structured in the formal training to flow in a logical progression from “what the learner knows” to “what they don’t know”.
In effect, there are 3 key stakeholders responsible for implementing and monitoring a work-based learning pathway leading to a qualification. They are:
- The trainee
- The RTO
- The employer
If you are a trainer in an RTO, delivering the formal training segment of a learning program, it is essential that you liaise with the learner’s employer (usually the trainee’s supervisor or manager) and monitor the tasks the trainee is performing at work – relating these tasks to the schedule of the learning program.
The RTO trainer must also act in an advisory capacity to the employer, advising on job roles and tasks that will enable the trainee to consolidate the knowledge and skills that they have attained in formal training.
If you are the trainee’s manager or enterprise trainer, it is important to liaise with the RTO trainer. You need to plan the work tasks so that they focus on the required learning outcome. You also need to monitor the day to day progress of the learner, identifying any learning problems and liaising with the RTO trainer to address them.
We would like to hear about your experience with “Learning in the Workplace”.
If you have undertaken formal learning (external to the workplace) did this learning provide you with the skills and knowledge to perform your work tasks effectively? If you have been provided with learning in the workplace, describe what worked well or what could have been improved.
I completed my Bachelor’s degree to become a Registered Nurse and while the foundational learning came from the university environment the most beneficial skills I got came from working as an undergraduate Assistant in Nursing firstly in a nursing home and then at a hospital.
Working as a bookkeeper started with formal training and then continuous on the job training throughout my career, necessitated by changes in legislation and software packages. Both are essential to continuous improvement during my career.
Working in the aviation industry I’ve completed a degree as well as several other formal qualifications necessary to be employed in operational areas with safety management systems. Being such a diverse and constantly evolving industry I’ve seen examples of training organisations and/or staff keeping up to date with the latest industry practices and the benefits this adds to a course. It improves engagement and motivation as students know they are learning the most relevant procedures.
In contrast to this ive also seen the opposite, where courses are left to go stale and out of date over time, and where the only motivation for completing them becomes “oh i need that piece of paper”
Its essential that courses that are based on tasks that need to be performed in a workplace remain up to date.
This alignment with the workplace needs to be conducted in detail during course development, and then regularly revisited to ensure it remains so.
If not, the courses value to industry is certain to degrade over time.
From 2012 – 2014 I completed a Masters in Leadership, whilst working in an expanding leadership role with the YMCA. I found it incredibly valuable to implement the concepts I was learning through my program, directly into my daily practice. It was an immediate and consistent feedback loop, that helped cement key ideas and grow in my ability to work with a team.
I studied childcare through TAFE digital while working on the job, and it was beyond useful to have real world experience that I could then use as the basis for my learning and assignments. The most useful learning I’ve completed during my career has always been practical, on the job training.
As a previous apprentice, I can say that on-the-job training is extremely relevant, in some cases more-so, than classroom or theory-based formal learning. The benefits are not just the hands-on practical approach, but the environment, culture and mindset that it encompasses.
My workplace is ideal for the development of learners. When I attended the theory aspect of my learning in class, the concept of care was imparted. Only when I went into practice that is when most aspects developed a meaning. The mentors helped me to develop confidence by creating a psychologically safe environment for my learning to progress well. I was given the assurance that I shouldn’t worry about mistakes, and that it was a part of learning, instead reflect on all incidents to develop my approaches. I now also want to assist more people to develop in a safe environment like I did.
My workplace is slightly unusual in that it is both the employer and the RTO. Most of our training is developed and delivered in-house, and I find this works better than external training because it is more targeted and contextualised for the learner group, an the trainers understand the learners’ needs very well.
The work we do is fairly niche, so the content delivered by external training providers is frequently not relevant to our workplace or does not translate well to our specific applications, so it often falls flat.
Recently we have partnered with some external organisations to create highly contextualised training content for our compliance courses, so I hope that this will be better received.
I appreciate that you have recognized ways to improve training, hence realizing better outcomes.
As part of maintaining my registration I have to take part in professional development annually. This can be a mixture of internal and external training.
A lot of the internal training has not been overly helpful – its come about as an area of need for the organisation but not necessarily essential for me. So its a good refresher …..
The external training has allowed me to be more targeted towards my needs – therefore more beneficial for where I am at with my professional learning.
Having said that – I have noticed that recently II have been taking part in learning opportunities that will provide me with opportunities for future employment as well as those opportunities to develop my skill and knowledge for the ‘here and now’
As part of my professional development I undertook formal learning external to the workplace. My job at the time was quite specific in the industry and the course I undertook covered learnings which would be applicable not only to my specific job but also in areas of the industry which may be of interest to me in the future. This was a positive experience for me as I was able to consolidate my current skills with support of the training and it broaden my options in the future for other roles.
Having experienced external learning to the workplace, I believe that is does support the work skills that you learn in the workplace. External learning is a simulated environment giving you the academic skills but not the ‘hands on’ skills that is needed in the actual workplace in many cases. I believe that you need both aspects of training to be successful. Workplace training, if delivered effectively, is the most effective form of training as it directly involves the tasks that you will be required to do in that workplace. Many learning styles are adopted by all learners but, for me, I find that the practical approach is best, built on the academic external learning. Improvement in the delivery of the training has changed immensely over the years and the constant monitoring and reviewing of the training packages has made the training more efficient and suited to the learning outcomes.
I have undertaken formal learning external to the workplace, in the form of this Certificate IV TAE. I started with the Assessor units, in order to expand my employability while I finished the trainer component. I definitely feel that the knowledge and skills that I learned have given me the ability to perform my work effectively. I understand the structure and design of assessments and have been able to use or create assessment tools and instruments to perform an Assessor role. I have also been much more equipped to perform my Education Support Officer role as I can guide students about what is expected of them, and can see and compensate for problems in the current assessment documents.
That’s great to hear Claire. In your workplace at the TAFE you have been putting your new knowledge and skills into action and I am sure you are making a big difference. I’ve seen how well you are providing advice and support to improve the design of assessment tools already.
I have engaged in professional development many times over the course of my career. The courses were mostly IT related, and used to be extremely frustrating because some people were able to move through the material quickly, while others were still trying to log in. The instructor seemed unable to manage this in the classroom, and I would do a workshop three or four times and learn the same thing over and over again.
As training techniques began to improve, there was a huge difference in PD workshops.
Outcomes would be presented as the beginning, the learning was scaffolded and the trainees were filtered into the appropriate level.
Suddenly the workshops became worth doing, because you really learned new skills.
Sikiki, it’s also the fact that you have shown great commitment and a positive approach to your work.
I have had a great environment to work and complete study in. Everyone in my office have been supportive and encouraging.
If I hadn’t had the extra pressure of completing the course, I doubt that I would now be nursing “Tennis Elbow” or Lateral Epicondylytis in both my elbows. Luckily, my work place has been great and I had a formal assessment done on my work area, it’s been documented and my work station now supports my study commitment 🙂
I have been fortunate enough to receive formal learning external to the workplace and learning in the workplace
What worked well, was when the learning and time needed to complete learning tasks, assessments and so on was included as part of work time, or study days were allocated to attend to learning needs. This enabled a healthy work life balance.
Other factors that led to learning both within and external to the workplace was financial support provided by the employer. By providing some or whole financial support gave myself, as the trainee, additional the motivation to complete the course.
Areas that could have been improved was formal learning relating to workplace practices and culture. Sometimes I felt there was a disconnect between theory and practice, in other words, much of the learning was solidified and re-learned in the actual work setting when applied in a more real context.