The Workplace Context
Bristol Aerospace Limited, a member of the Magellan Aerospace group of companies, is a strategically diversified Canadian aerospace company with 70 years of experience in the aerospace industry. Bristol operates from three facilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and employs close to 1200 workers. The company is a pioneer in the aviation and aerospace industry with a reputation for manufacturing quality products. Whether in civil aerospace or defense, their commitment to innovation in design and manufacture and their dedication to quality allow Bristol to meet the challenges of todays global marketplace. The Learning Centre at Bristol Aerospace Limited was established to support all Bristol employees in education and training. At times, the Centre partners with other companies such as Standard Aero and Aerorecip to deliver evening courses, when there is a common need. The Learning Centres mandate is to support the company in achieving its strategic goals by ensuring that employees have the knowledge and skills to do the tasks they are assigned. This translates into course-work and training directly related to their jobs, but does not stop there. The Learning Centre anticipates and provides programming to support employees and help ensure their success. A good example of this is found in the Green Belt Statistics Support Training, and in the Essential Skills in Mathematics course, where this particular research project is situated.
Finding a Starting Point
My involvement began when I was asked to develop the mathematics component of a Workplace Essential Skills program for employees at Bristol Aerospace Ltd. The program needed to be flexible enough to address the needs of all employees in the company from line workers to engineers. The program was to be delivered in seven modules each in a three hour session. The company would match the employee for time spent in class. In order to meet the various needs of participants, I set up an individualized program using a student-led, teacher-assisted model.
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