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ERIC Number: EJ1141583
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1359 6748
Affordance, Agency and Apprenticeship Learning: A Comparative Study of Small and Large Engineering Firms
Bishop, Dan
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v22 n1 p68-86 2017
Amidst concerns over skills shortages, both the current British government and its coalition predecessors have, against the grain of wider austerity measures, invested heavily in the apprenticeship system. The majority of apprentices are, and have historically been, employed within small businesses. However, research suggests that, in the main, small firms tend to approach management issues--including workplace employee development--in a less formal way than their larger counterparts. What implications this has for apprentices and their workplace learning remains unclear. The article aims to address this gap, and it does so through a qualitative study of apprentices in three English engineering firms of different sizes. The findings broadly support the established picture of informal working and learning processes in the small firm. However, it is argued that this does not inevitably restrict apprentices' on-the-job learning. Rather, the ways in which apprentices learn, and what they learn, are conditioned by the interaction--or "co-participation"--between the opportunities afforded by the workplace, and the apprentice's subjective agency.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A