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Work Based Learning and Development

Work based learning programs for Organization

Work Based Learning and Development in Organization


A literature review gives data on a particular type of survey and focuses on assessing the available published literature on specific topic. It is usually a primary step, which is performed for an original research or a scientific. This section of research presents the outline of study, analysis, various sources assessment, whole body literature and group of sources. In this report, researcher is making attempt to analyze the importance of web based learning and development in an organization. Moreover, in this context, the researcher is evaluating benefits attained in Tesco by implementing such type of learning and development tool for its employee’s improvements. According to Brennan and Little, (2006), Work-based learning has more and more become an interest area for the sector of higher education. It is seen as a mean to support the professional and personal development of students who are already working somewhere.

In UK work-based learning is used as terminology for courses for student to attain experience from work and for adults to be prepared for transition from colleges to work as well as to learn the actual realities of job and be ready to make correct choice of work (Nixon and, 2006). The approach of work-based learning focuses on practical utility of learning and is thus directly relevant to learners as well as their working environment. A WBL approach to learning accepts that learning could take place is a range of settings and situations, plus is not limited to that developed through the lecture theatre or classroom. Every program of WBL utilizes series of tools to enhance and aid learning – together with workshops, lecture sessions, learning sets, tutorials and online guided activities of learning. This “blended” learning approach makes able WBL to be tailored preferences and needs of students. WBL is a successful and practical way of developing University-level learning, which is directly linked to the workplace (Mackenzie, 2008).

It is argued by Raelin (2000) that work based learning is very dissimilar to classroom learning is varied ways that firstly, this type of learning is centered around manifestation on work practices and is not just a question of obtaining set of technical proficiencies and knowledge, but a case of learning plus reviewing from experience (Martin and Hughes, 2009). Secondly, work based learning views education as occurring from problem solving and action within a working atmosphere and is centered on challenges to organizations and individuals along with live projects. Further, it also sees the development of knowledge as a collective and shared activity, in which people discuss about their ideas and share solutions plus problems. Finally, work based learning needs not only the acquisition of latest knowledge but also the meta-competence learning to be trained.
The main objective of work-based learning is to build a synergy among knowledge, learning and work plus the appliance of that knowledge in the practical situation of work. WBL refers particularly to the attainment of “planned learning results” derived from the experience of conducting a work function or role.

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On the basis of David Boud, the programs of work-based learning will typically share the below given six characteristics:

  • A partnership among an educational institution and external organization is established (contractual agreements)
  • The students concerned are employees (negotiate learning plans)
  • The learning program pursued derives from the workplace and learners needs and not from a pre-defined academic curriculum (Mumford and Roodhouse, 2010).
  • The program of learning will be independently adapted to every learner on the basis of their previous work experience, educational experience and training.
  • Learning is taking place as incorporated part of workplace tasks/projects.
  • The outcomes of learning are accessed by educational institution (Fink, Rokkjær and Schrey, 2007).

The association between objectives of learners and the learning outputs could be bridge by making use of learning contracts. The development of work based learning program provides higher education a better chance of partnership with organizations. Moreover, the composite nature of accreditation and assessment present new challenges, both in terms of quality assurance and assessment. Often, a learning plan of an individual or education contract will be drawn up that specifies the outcomes of erudition and in against which the learner should collect evidence of attainment over a period of time. Such accomplishments are then demonstrated by the workplace mentor or supervisor against the decided standards (GROENEWALD, 2009).
Big enterprises seem to be most open with the process of work based learning. In this regards Tesco also adopts new and flexible tasks, such as work based learning for its employee’s development at workplaces. Tesco gives opportunity to its employees to get higher education from Manchester Metropolitan University that provides foundation degree in retailing. In this course workforce obtains knowledge regarding new technology along with work based learning that helps in overcoming their traditional service delivery issues. The company undertakes such program, as the management believes that academic and vocational qualifications will make their workforce professionally developed and at the same time attaining a portable qualification will enable them to grow along a path of constant learning (Work-based Certified Learning in the Retail Sector, n.d).

Why Work Based Learning

Increasing apprehension about the dropout rate of high school and academic achievement of student along with rapidly changing economic and demographic conditions have sparked renewed interest in how best to involve students as well as prepare them for the intricate future they face. For many individuals completing high school is not enough. In order to succeed in continued educational careers and endeavors, every student should have chances to develop socio-emotionally and cognitively as well as to attain workplace competence together with career management skills. This growth could be facilitated by variety of work based learning experiences (Swallow and Chalmers, 2004).

Work based learning is an educational tactic, which links school based instruction with activity that has value plus consequences beyond school. Work based learning is learned by professional standards of workplace. It utilizes the workplace or in-depth experience, which comprises community or employer input, to involve high school students and purposely promote learning plus access to future career and educational opportunities. WBL could consist of apprenticeships, internships, student-led enterprise, workplace simulations and other opportunities in the business (Callan and Reed, 2011).
While not a solution to all educational confronts, work-based learning provides benefits and opportunities, which typically do not rendered by school-based academic courses. By developing students to “communities of practice” in their interested areas or providing occasions for demonstrating skills and solving problems in authentic settings, work-based learning could reinforce, motivate and augments student learning in ways not presented to traditional classroom instruction (Darche, Nayar and Bracco, 2009).

Win-win situation for the company

Work based learning program leads to numerous benefits to both employer and employees, which gives results in effective situation or position of Tesco in the marketplace. By getting WBL, the employees of company attain confidence inside and outside the work (Evans, Hodkinson and Unwin, 2004). The personal benefits that are obtained by workforce through WBL are:

  • Raised personal status
  • Higher motivation and aspiration
  • More self aware as an individual
  • A higher understanding and awareness of specific issues
  • Learning to think as well as challenge assumptions
  • More likely to take stock and reflect on their performance
  • Developed latest and increased available skills (e.g. organizational and communication skills)

In addition to above there are some professional benefits that are attained by employees too, with the help of WBL:

  • Taking on more responsibility
  • Improved performance at work
  • Secured a salary increase
  • Secured promotion or changed jobs
  • Positive change in ways of thinking at work
  • Better capable to see other view points
  • Being able to coach others at workplace through change
  • Increased contentment and relived stress
  • Professional membership and recognition

Besides the benefits attained by employees of Tesco, there are some advantages which management of the firm also obtained with the adequate support of incorporating WBL program at workplace (Harrison, 2005). These advantages are:

  • Development of innovative or improved existing standards, polices and contracts
  • Established a clearer direction of travel for the business
  • Enhanced level of innovation
  • Improved quality of work and increased service position to the end users
  • Raised performance of employees who require less direct support and are self-sufficient
  • Secured a positive behavioral and attitudinal change in staff in line with organizational values
  • Attained external prestige and recognition

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2.4 Value for money

It is considered by most of the employees that WBL program had been value for money and an effective use of their time because through this they achieved professional and personal benefits. In few cases the WBL study had resulted in monetary gains for workforce through role or job changes. Moreover, employees also thought that their educations had been value for money to their boss. Further, employers usually agreed that employee who attained the program of WBL meet their company’s objectives perfectly. In this regards, it is said by one employer Teesside that “It would have offered money value if we would have compensated double that” (Nixon, 2008).
For individuals, work based program evaluation suggest that they could give an efficient vehicle for professional and personal growth as well as provide learning, which addresses particular issues at workplace. Benefits such as gaining specific and expertise skills, often just about a practical theme rather than an academic discipline are often mentioned by learners, but the results that they mostly valued comprises a propensity to reflect, increased confidence, want to understand and hunger for further development plus learning. Moreover, Tesco employees have attained greater ability to take responsibility and promotion with the help of WBL. Also it offers several immediate benefits to them, such as greater assuredness, competence, better recognition and reduced level of stress (Jeschke, 2011).
The impact of work based programs appears in three main areas. The most direct of these is in the work based project value itself and skills plus changes, which it brings to the business. Projects could results in creation of knowledge that adds to the company’s structural and intellectual capital by enhancing its overall competence. Secondly, the wider development of learners could also have an impact through their raised motivation and professionalism. Lastly, programs of WBL could have huge impact through bringing about changes to ways of working, organizational change, gaining external prestige or recognition and identifying new directions for the firm (Marsick and Watkins, 2003).

Work based learning programs

An effective or quality work based learning program could make school-based learning more germane by offering students with the better chance to apply their skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to real situations of the world. In this regards, there are basically four main programs comprised in WBL, which leads to adequate development of employees:

  • Cooperative career and technical education work experience program (CO-OP) – This type of WBL program is for students of age 16 plus, consisting of 150 – 600 hours of paid, school-supervised work knowledge, supported by correlated in-school instruction is particular technical discipline and career. Students may receive half to two units of glory towards a CTE (Career and Technical Education) sequence, based on the specific progression (Fuller, Munro and Rainbird, 2004). Such program should be registered with New York State Education Department plus it is required to be coordinated by a teacher of CTE who possesses an annex as a coordinator of WBL programs or diversified CO-OP coordinator for career development.
  • Career exploration internship program (CEIP) – It is school-business joint venture initiative, which offers an opportunity to high school students of age 14 plus, to attain on-site, non paid, career exploration experiences. The focal point of this program is meaningful, career exploration and practical, rather than development of skill. Students may get ¼ to 1 unit of voluntary or sequence credit of CTE. The program should be registered with New York State Education Department and ought to be coordinated by CTE tutor who acquires an extension as WBL program coordinator or diversified CO-op controller for career development (Singh, 2003).
  • Work experience and career exploration program (WECEP) – This is an initiative of WBL, which is sponsored by the New York State Education Department and U.S. Department of Labor. It is parallel in operation and design as the General Education Work Experience Program, but designed particularly for students of age group 14-15. Students usually earn ½ to 1 unit of high school acknowledgment. The registration and coordination of this program is also equal to what is followed in above given programs.
  • General education work experience program (GEWEP) – It is an option of WBL for non-CTE students of age 16 plus. The program consists of 150-600 hours of paid, supervised work know-how, which is supported by the equal of at least one classroom period per week of interrelated instruction. Students normally receive half to two units of high school tribute. This program also follows the same structure of registration and coordination, which is tracked by above mentioned programs (Work-Based Learning Programs, 2012).

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  • Ball, I. and Manwaring, G., 2010. Making it work. [pdf]. Available through: University of Dundee. Website: <>. [Accessed on 21 February 2013].
  • Darche, S., Nayar, N. N. and Bracco, R. K., 2009. Work-Based Learning in California. [pdf]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 20 February 2013].
  • Facilitate work-based learning. 2013. [Online]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 21 February 2013].
  • Fink, K. F., Rokkjær, O. and Schrey, K., 2007. Work Based Learning and Facilitated Work Based Learning. [pdf]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 20 February 2013].
  • Garnett, J. and Young, D., 2008. Work-based Learning Futures II. [pdf]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 21 February 2013].
  • Introduction - Work-based Learning. 2009. [Online]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 21 February 2013].
  • Lemanski, T., Mewis, R. and Overton, T., 2011. An Introduction to Work-Based Learning. [pdf]. Available through: University of Hull. Website: <>. [Accessed on 21 February 2013].
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