Wednesday, October 21, 2015

NZVET research forum day 2 afternoon

After lunch, 2 concurrent sessions before closing keynote. Firstly, Anne Alkema and Heather McDonald with 'progress with embedded literacy and numeracy in industry training' providing practices, progress and challenges from 2009 through to 2014. Summary of work for TEC and evaluation of work of embedding literacy and numeracy learning in the workplace. Find out if emphasis on building off a model of explicit acts of literacy and numeracy in learning has worked. Substantial shifts in policy and activities from mid 2000s onwards have made it sometimes difficult for people implementing strategies. Embedding in ITOs is multifaceted, integrated and evolving with focus on accessible learning resources, capable field staff and employer and on job training practices. Assessment tool used by all L 2 but at L 3 some do not with results used in a variety of ways. High use dependent on ITO control over process, high expectations of trainee engagement and tradition of investing in training. Learning resources improved with most enabling self directed study. On-job embedding had mixed up take and scope for impact varied. Employers keen to have Literacy and numeracy included and appreciated better access to support. In general, ITo strategies now include literacy and numeracy, a greater depth of understanding and more resources made available with increased capability with field staff. So overall, greater confidence and competence, skill development improved and capability and capacity better. Lots of improvement but hard to pinpoint if literacy and numeracy has improved in learners. An elements of embedded LN developed as guideline for ITOs along with recommendations for moving forward. 

Second up, Mike Styles from Primary ITO on 'implementation of learning interventions which support dyslexic trainees in classroom and workplace environments'. Reported that trainees in primary sector have found greater incidence of dyslexia than in general population. Many dyslexics have strategies to hide or work around their challenge. Historically, NZ have offered poor support in comparison to other countries like UK. Primary ITo drafted support package based in international understanding of how to support adult dyslexia. But literature not in workplace support. Ako Aotearoa supported project to develop screen tool to identify dyslexic trainees, provide up to date info to trainees, encourage trainee to accept their condition, shares info with trainees' supporters and work with workbridge to access technological aids to assist. Evaluation of effectiveness undertaken. In general, raised profile of dyslexia for all involved, reinforced value of mentors and led to larger national project for learners across a wider range of sectors.

Closing plenary is with Dr. Ganesh Nana who is executive director and chief economist at BERL with 'vocational education and the changing workforce'. Always provides a good overview and provided findings using census data to the  'future of work' initiative. Discussed change in labour market, is industry training still able to meet the needs? which workforce is requiring training? when and for what?  Census data although it is dated by the time released does provide good coverage and allows analysis of employed workforce. For instance able to divide up into employees within scope of ITO (1.2 million) and those outside (0.7 million). Tends to be younger, no quality, school qual or VET qual and more males with sectors within ITO scope. 34,000, 5,000 and 26,000 managers, professionals and technicians / trade workers do not have qualifications! Over last six years, about 10,000 jobs less in sectors with ITOs Affecting younger workers. Those with no quals and VeT quals lower in number. Managers, professionals and service workers increase but all others seemed to have decreased. If we continue as we have been operating, managers and professionals constant with small increases in trades and service sector. Options match training to job demand, have older people stay in work, focus on school leavers or people with no school quals to upgrade, identify necessary skills, push higher quals or use return on investment model. Need to link with stakeholders.

Overall, a good conference to catch up with NZ Vocational Education researchers, supporters and practitioners. There seems to have been a refresh of personnel following 'mergers' of ITOs, so the work of getting to know each ITO re-begins.

1 comment:

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