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Direction Key to successful Workplace Training

4 MARCH 2008

Vocational Education and Training Research Forum Expectation and Direction Key to successful Workplace Training

Having a clear idea on what you want to achieve with workplace training programmes and articulating it to workers are key factors to ensuring training is successful, says Canadian researcher Douglas Watt.

Mr Watt was the keynote speaker at the annual Vocational Education and Training Research Forum organised by the Industry Training Federation at Te Papa in Wellington today.

His recent research project, Effective Workplace Learning Practices in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises included case studies of 65 small and medium enterprises from Australia, Canada, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland and the United States.

He said the research showed several common factors to successful workplace training regardless of the industry.

"In small and medium sized enterprises, you have to focus on expected outcomes and not just on the training and it is important that the employees, as well as the employers, are aware of what those expected outcomes are. If employees can see the benefit of the training, to both themselves and to the company, they are more likely to engage well in the process," he said.

Mr Watt also said that workplaces also need to celebrate and recognise good workplace learning.

More than 170 delegates attended the conference, nearly twice the number than in previous years.

Industry Training Federation Executive Director Jeremy Baker said it was an indication that professionals involved in the industry training sector, were recognising the importance of good research to underpin their decisions.

"In this tight labour market, good workplace training is becoming more essential and the kind of research presented to the forum can help make that training more effective," Mr Baker said.

This year's forum focused on a wide range of areas, including

* literacy and foundation education;

* labour market and skill needs analysis;

* student experiences of vocational education; and

* vocational education outcomes and outputs.

Douglas Watt's presentation is available on the ITF website:

Abstracts from other presentations will be published shortly.


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