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ERIC Number: ED447313
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-85338-584-0
Developing Skills: Realistic Work Environments in Further Education. FEDA Reports.
Armstrong, Paul; Hughes, Maria
To establish the prevalence and perceived value of realistic work environments (RWEs) in colleges and their use as learning resources, all further education (FE) sector colleges in Great Britain were surveyed in the summer of 1998. Of 175 colleges that responded to 2 questionnaires for senior college managers and RWE managers, 127 had at least 1 RWE and, on average, each responding institution had three RWEs. Long-established RWEs in catering, hair-dressing, and beauty therapy were still the most common; secretarial and reception services were strong; and newer RWEs in tourism and theater reflected an increase in jobs. Almost two-thirds of RWEs had existed for five years or longer; fewer than 5 percent were less than one year old. RWE customers were almost evenly divided between local residents and college staff or students. Nearly half of RWEs provided training and assessment opportunities for more than 50 students per week, others for fewer than 20. The mean number of staff in an RWE was seven. Student benefits were assessment opportunities, motivation, skills development, and experiencing the transition between education and working life. Major concerns were resourcing issues and striking a balance between offering the service as an enterprise and using it as a training resource. Senior managers valued service provision over income generation. Other concerns were continuity of service and working to capacity. (YLB)
Further Education Development Agency, Citadel Place, Tinworth Street, London SE11 5EH, United Kingdom, Tel: 020 7840 5302/4, Fax: 020 7840 5401, E-mail:, Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Further Education Development Agency, London (England).
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)