PRAXIS what you preach

Most industries have real concerns around skills shortages in the workplace, coupled with a lack of equal opportunities for young people and apprentices fresh out of university or college. There is significant pressure on organisations to address skills shortages and future proof their businesses.

The Centre for Work-based Learning will be hosting a second PRAXIS event examining the value of apprenticeships and how they can influence and drive change in an organisation. The Centre for Work-based Learning is a key player in stimulating debate on current and emerging work-based learning issues in Scotland, and will use the upcoming PRAXIS event to provide a forum for discussion. The event will bring together senior colleagues across Scottish public sector agencies, academia and the private sector, and will act as a vehicle to showcase work-based learning research.

Professor Ewart Keep, director of SKOPE (Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance) and part of the education department at University of Oxford, will lead the forum and delve into the issue of ‘market versus systems-reflections on a fundamental choice in skills policy’. SKOPE examines the links between the acquisition and use of skills and knowledge, product market strategies and performance, which are measured in a variety of ways.

Over last 40 years in England there has been an increase in central power through nationalisation and de-localisation which has been followed by a shift to the commercialisation of learner choice.  Scotland has chosen a more “system driven” approach during that time and the two approaches have diverged significantly. 

Policy around skills tends to either focus on markets and choice, or systems and planning, which inevitably creates implications for skills delivery. Professor Keep will be discussing these implications, and how work-based learning can  help combat  some of the issues.

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