Simon Roodhouse (2010: 26) indicates that “there is an increased interest in workplace learning” and “that those in work are increasingly undertaking work-based learning qualifications” for a number of good reasons:
- People can see a direct relevance between their studies and their role in the workplace’
- Those studying can obtain support from employers.
- Work-based programmes enable individuals to structure their studies around their individual interests and professional development.
- Those studying may negotiate the focus of study, context, timescales and their assessment.
- Such programmes allow for flexible fitting into working and personal lives.
- Studying towards an accredited qualification adds to commitment to professional roles held.
- Seeking career progression and increased earning through programmes.
Roodhouse (2010: 26-27) cites Durrant, Rhodes and Young (2009) that indicate the value of work-based learning for employers, namely:
- Employees execute real work projects resulting in direct benefits for the employer.
- Employees are motivated and focus more specifically on the challenges of the organisation.
- Employees engaged in work-based learning programmes are intimately engaged in organisational processes.
- Tangible and visible investment in the development of employees results in increased loyalty.
- Improved employee retention; advancement potential as result of enhanced capabilities and becoming a sought-after employer.
- Enabling employees on their path of self-actualisation and achieving their full potential.
- Employers can partner with a university in developing programmes that support both the professional development of employees as well as organisation improvement.
- The organisational culture can be changed through work-based learning programmes and projects.
- It is a means towards achieving organisational business plans.
- The university has a stake in employee development.
Roodhouse, S. 2010. Defining and theorizing university work-based learning (21-27). In S Roodhouse & J Mumford. 2010. Understanding work-based learning. Surrey: Gower.