This first report in the ESRC Learning Society series examines the key processes of learning, as embedded in particular workplaces, in organisational structures and in specific social practices.
Why is learning suddenly so important?
How can the quality of learning at work be improved?
Instead of extolling the 'joys' of learning, the authors explore the conflicts and barriers which organisations run into (or create for themselves), even when they are trying to promote greater learning among staff. Its strong comparative dimension is illustrated in the discussion of, for example, the construction industry in Wales which is compared with its counterpart in Germany.
The importance of this edited collection is that it will help to transform fashionable phrases such as 'the learning organisation' or 'lifelong learning' into practical ideas and methods which could enhance the quality of learning in British firms.
Learning at work is important reading for managers in Industry and Commerce, for TECs/LECs, Trade Unions and Chambers of Commerce, for policy makers in the Department for Education and Employment, for politicians, voluntary organisations and academics specialising in the interactions between employment, training and education, and for all those practitioners in firms, Colleges of Further Education and training providers who are promoting lifelong learning.
Frank Coffield, Institute of Education, University of London
Contents: Introduction: new forms of learning in the workplace Frank Coffield; Artisans in the making? Comparing construction training in Wales and Germany Peter Scott and Antje Cockrill; Job rotation: combining skills formation and active labour market policy Reiner Siebert; Continuing vocational training: key issues Isabelle Darmon, Kari Hadjivassiliou, Elisabeth Sommerlad, Elliot Stern, Jill Turbin with Dominique Danau; Learning from other people at work Michael Eraut, Jane Alderton, Gerald Cole and Peter Senker; The Learning Society: the highest stage of human capitalism? Stephen Baron, Kirsten Stalker, Heather Wilkinson and Sheila Riddell; Skill formation: redirecting the research agenda David Ashton.