Monday, November 30, 2009

Research projects for 2010: Ako Aoteoroa National Project funding & CPIT Foundation funded research projects for 2010

Looks like a busy 2010 will be coming up.

I have had the good fortune to be one of  the projects to be awarded funding for the 2010 round by the Ako Aoteoroa National project fund. The collaborative project involves Nicholas Huntingdon from the Industry Training Federation as research mentor (overall reviewer of data analysis), seven industry training organisations (ITOs), Dr. Robyn Chandler from CPIT as research mentor (data analysis & report collation) and myself as project leader and researcher.

The ITOs involved cover a range of industries in NZ including primary industries (Agriculture ITO), manufacturing (Boating ITO, Building and construction ITO, Competenz – engineering & Joinery ITO) and service industries (Hairdressing ITO & Hospitality Standards Institute). The topic builds on some of the findings from my PhD and revolves around investigating the ‘experiences of first year apprentices of workplace learning’. The main research questions are to find out what are the main influences on young peoples’ decisions to enter into an apprenticeship, the support factors which support their initial experiences in the workplace and mechanisms and personal agency factors which help young people engage with belonging to a workplace and becoming trades people.

I am really looking forward to getting this project underway as there is so little research in the area of apprenticeships in New Zealand. Having the opportunity to be able to access apprentices employed in a diverse range of industries will help provide depth and no doubt bring forth important learning about the challenges facing young people as they embark into an apprenticeship.

This project complements my other research project for 2010 which is part of a larger research programme ‘studying the learning of trades students using multimodal discourse analysis’. The first project will be on ‘learning a trade @ CPIT: learning welding’ which will work through the logistical issues of gathering data using videos, voice recorders and mobile phones of students learning ‘How to adjust their welding equipment (to suit different mediums)? So besides learning the technicalities of multimodal data collection and analysis, I should pick up some learning on welding as well!!