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ERIC Number: EJ836474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3736
Rethinking UK Small Employers' Skills Policies and the Role of Workplace Learning
Kitching, John
International Journal of Training and Development, v12 n2 p100-120 Jun 2008
Small business employers in the UK are widely perceived as adopting a reactive, ad hoc approach to employee skill formation. Employer reliance on workplace learning is often treated, explicitly or implicitly, as evidence of such an approach. Small employers' approaches to skill creation are investigated using data from two employer samples. Three main conclusions challenging these arguments are presented. First, small employers' skills policies are highly diverse: strategic, tactical and restrictive policies are distinguished. Second, employers perceive particular benefits in enabling workplace learning; simplistic views that a reliance on workplace learning necessarily constitutes an inferior last resort for those employers unable to provide access to external training are rejected. Third, enabling workplace learning is important to strategic employers, as well as to those attaching a lower value to skills. For some employers, the workplace is the primary source of new knowledge and skills because they are unavailable elsewhere. The prevalence, diversity and significance of workplace learning in small businesses require a reappraisal of UK small employers' skills policies. The implications for research, practice and policy are discussed.
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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