Thursday, November 25, 2010

ITF research network meeting 24th november

Yesterday I travelled to Wellington to attend and present to a keen group of ITO managers. The meeting convened by the Industry Training Federation (ITF) around 3 to 4 times a year as a fora  for ITF / ITO members to network and catch up on various issues. 2 ITF staff plus 12 or so ITO staff (some attended for part of the day). Good to touch base with familiar faces and meet new people.

A round of participants for them to introduce themselves and the projects each ITO is involved in or working towards. First session , Eric Krassoi Peach from the ITF opens the meeting with a discussion and direction for next week's meetings. All good background for me and to get into the ITO mindset.

Next up, I provide an overview of the vocational research projects at CPIT, concentrating on the Ako Aotearoa National funded project on 'first year apprentices' but also providing short summaries of the 'new trades tutors' projects from the perspective of identity transformation / boundary crossing and the 'welding project' plus details of projects begun by Barry Dowrick (interactive whiteboards and learning objects), future work with the engineering team (integrated learning and assessments) and with automotive with android OS tablets (interactive textbooks).

Schools update provided by Josh Williams, quantifications and quality manager at the ITF spoke to the group on sector pathways - making sense of secondary / tertiary transitions. Compared to other OECD countries , NZ retention of 15- 20 year olds in training is low. NZ curriculum refers to 'focus on transitions'. One pathway to university but other pathways not as clear as per On the edge of adulthood: young people's and out of school experiences at 16' - NZCER 2008 report. ITF presents sector pathways to service, manufacturing / technology, constructions /infrastructure, primary industries, social / community services and other industries as one possible way forward to provide 'structure' for career teachers. Perhaps to use the term 'majors' for each so that NCEA becomes more aligned towards one of the pathways rather than a 'pick n mix' which does not add up to any 'concrete' way forward. Went through preliminary analysis of NZQA data of u/s completed between 2005 - 2009 by provider by students to show what sector students were completing u/s in. Many students just completing 1 or 2 (credit harvesting??), and 'rural' schools tended to have students who completed more u/s (agriculture? Outdoor rec??) with many students also completing generic safety u/s 497 and food safety u/s 167. Breakdowns may now be needed to be done by ITO, student characteristics, longitudinal etc.

Then Paul Mahoney from Ministry of Education (Tertiary analysis) provides summary of Industry training stocks and flows - effects of the economic downturn pertient to ITOs. Stock is the number of people in industry training in one year and flow is the movement of these people in or out. 9-10% of population in industry training /apprenticeship as compared to 3% in Australia. Data is from 2001 - 20019. Economic downturn = drop in workplace based training participants as the is GDP contraction in 2009 across all industries, 2008 decline in agriculture, 2006 food & beverage with construction in 2007. Employment contraction also occurred especially for young people. Increase in Limited credits programme (LCP) which could be useful as they do not require a long term commitment but often lead to further training to lead to full qualification. Withdrawals increased. Some industries trained existing workers instead of employing new workers to train. Modern apprentice sign up decreased across many industries and terminations / withdrawals increased.

Last presentation from Erica Cumming from the Hairdressing ITO on work completed on Return on Investment (ROI). Using small case studies to understand and measure the ROI from apprenticeship training to selected and their apprentices. Studied 'phases' in apprentices' fit to business strategy - providing support, colouring, starting to cut and running own column - how much apprentice contributes to revenue at each stage. Intangible benefits to salon with apprentices has to be weight up with costs to salon. Key results - payback period is relatively short (y1/y2), how salon manages its revenue makes the biggest difference, what apprentices is compared against is important. Benefits for apprentices include earning while learning, hand-on training and off-job training. Strategies for salons to make the most financially of apprenticeships are to maximise benefits (ensure apprentice is productive quickly, optimal mix of staff), minimise cost (train efficiently, push cost to apprentice - not encouraged by ITO!!, minimise opportunity costs of training) and encourage apprentice to stay (recruit right apprentice & encourage apprentice, align salon objectives of salon and apprentice, undertake dedicated in-salon training, offer a wage structre for stylist which shows it's worthwhile staying, offer financial incentives to stay). Results used to produce a summary - well presented and aligned to industry needs. All useful for the 'first year apprentices' project :)