Friday, April 16, 2010

ITF NZ vocational research forum - day two afternoon

After lunch attended a comprehensive session by Anna Boyd, Healthrose research & Doug Pouwhare from the electricity supply ITO on how to increase participation rates of Maori, Pacific peoples, migrants and women in their industry. Electricity generation, transmission, distribution and retails industry has very low participation rates amongst women, Maori & Pacifica peoples. Successive strategic plans in 2002 & 2009 did not provide direction towards improving participation rates. Enablers were employer and provider related and also depended on trainee ambitions, experiences and personal qualities. Barriers include disconnect between theory and practice, lack of practical application, poor quality training, lack of employer support and negative spillover of other work and home obligations. Issues for Maori include importance of family/whanau, proximityof workplace/training to family/whanau, Maori in leadership/supervisory roles and the importance of ‘getting a trade’. Issues for Pacific trainees include meeting the aspirations of family for a better life and screening of applicants on personal presentation and communication skills. Issues for women were entrenched view on woman’s capability to work in the industry, women can do anything and attraction of outside work.. Issues for migrants were language barriers, recognition of qualifications and different ways of working and settlement issues for new migrants. Implications include recruitment/selection practices of industry was limiting the pool of potential employees/trainees and industry appears to have a low state of readiness to respond to diversity issues. Key interventions include ones that promote employer support for trainees and a commitment to training and need to address barriers to recruitment into industry.Future work proposed to raise awareness in industry, iwi discussions and supporting a cohort of women into the industry (which will be part of an action research project).

Then session by Dr. Chris Holland from Work & Education Research & Development Services, on building leadership through the development of mentoring. Overview of literature on mentoring reveals two streams – the restricted/functionalist (tends to be hierarchical) & the relational model (holistic approach with mentor / mentee learning together). The ITO good practice guide to workplace mentoring available through ITF. Mentoring workshops supported by ITF and funded by Ako Aotearoa with workshops in Auckland/Wellington and through 3 ITOs. Project completed with the fire service with volunteer firemen to evaluate mentoring improvements. Various examples of mentoring occurred including buddying, mentoring by senior, one-up mentoring, group mentoring, rotational mentoring, volunteer-selected mentor and mentoring based on external expertise. Call for some form of professional development support to be provided to mentors.

After afternoon tea, attended the session by Profession Frank Sligo, Dr, Niki Murray, Elspeth Tilley and Margie Comrie, Massey University and Carol Atkin from Literacy Aotearoa on modern apprentices’ (MA) literacy learning. MA may request for LLN support and by 31/12/08, 191 MAs had been seen for LLN tuition to a maximum of 30 hours a year. This project carried out a formative evaluation of the literacy tuition including review MA’sMAC’s and adult literacy tutors’ and employers’perspectives of literacy programmes, assess impact of tuition on MA’s progress in apprenticeship (theory & practical) and assess the merit of the MA literacy programme and make recommendations for improvement. Types of assistance varied from high needs (more than 30 hours) to moderate (11 + hours) to low needs (under10 hours). Apart from LNN support, supportive employer, genuine mentor, a partnership between MAC,employer and literacy tutor needed plus workplace culture needs to be positive about LLN. Full report expected to be out by May.

Conference closed with a plenary session on linking VET research with government policy and priorities with panel members – Monique Dawson from Dept. of Labour, Roger Smyth from Ministry of Education and Peter Palmer from the Tertiary Education Commission. Roger Smyth reported on late but ongoing progress on industry training including ALLs survey & completion rates of apprentices. Need for research on what contributes to learning and what are the connections between tertiary education and the labour market. Also a need to better understand the sub-degree system plus encouragement to use qualitative approaches to gain better depth of understanding. Projects need to come up with clear messages and usable by the people who are connected to the research. Researchers need to be familiar with what the policy analysts are working towards as well and recommends being savvy about obtaining correct support to champion the findings.

Peter Palmer reported on TEC’s focus on maximising pool of $$ available for tertiary ed. Performance issues now a focus of TEC which are detailed in the Tertiary Strategy released late last year. Gaps in research include trying to understand what drives performance issues in the tertiary sector. Fundamental research needs to be undertaken to understand what works and what does not. Relevance of learning to work needs to be investigated as well.

Monique Dawson provided background on now the Dept. of Labour tries to advise on skills forecasting. Liaises withTEC/MOE and Dept.of Immigration to try to ensure required skill needs are made. Evidence of market led training not meeting need of improving productivity in the NZ workforce, so more research in this area recommended. Jeremy Baker encourages practitioner research as being one important way to address the issues proposed by the three speakers. All good direction for planning of future research projects :)


joancasilo said...

I have gone through this blog. I found it very interesting and helpful. Nowadays I am working from my home and studying in a reputed college.
So this blog really doing great for me.

work and study

Selena said...

Hi Joan,

thanks :)I would encourage you to continue blogging as well.

This blog is really a ready archive for me to store things I come across, summarise conference information and reflect on research activities. Its a small bonus when others find the information on my blog useful as well :)

all the best, Selena

Jerry Gene said...

Very nice post! Waiting for next one. I like it very much.

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