Reflections on the Study
The strategy of changing the instructors schedule from two weeks in and two weeks out to an irregular schedule was an important program improvement. By changing the hours of operation at the Learning Centre the instructor was more visible to a greater number of employees. As well as the learners seeing the benefit of the action strategy, this additional visibility also became evident to management. They recognized the potential to address their concerns about the apprenticeship training for which they are committed. The program partners as well as the supporting literature and the national experience with the lack of journeyman graduates is an universal concern. As a result of the change in the operation of the Centre this is now being addressed by including ability and aptitude testing on site. These services give the candidates the opportunity to upgrade and refresh their skills especially in mathematics and reading comprehension. Then they can come to the Learning Centre to improve their skills and re-write the appropriate tests at a later date. This way they are better equipped to be successful at the academic portion of their training. This type of process puts them into a better position to compete for the more advanced jobs. Historically, the academic portion of the apprenticeship program has been the downfall. Therefore, the company wants to ensure that the applicants have every possible advantage of succeeding. The on site Learning Centre is one way the company is assisting the employees to gain journeyman status. Furthermore, there will be a bank of employees prepared to enter apprenticeship programs as the need arises in he future. This is, undoubtedly, a unique learning situation. The lesson learned from this action research is that learners, no matter how independent they are, need to feel that their endeavors are being monitored and supported. It is also evident that instructors of workplace education programs should be aware and prepared to look at the larger picture of their programs in order to see how the apparently small changes can help pave the way for other changes in creating a learning culture inside a company.
About the Author
Vivian H. Phelps instructs at a provincial and federal award winning workplace education program at a CAMECO mine site in northern Saskatchewan. She has worked in the field of adult education for 17 years.
|Previous Page||Contents||Next Page|