Report

Employment-Based Training Models – The crucial aspect is whether the training helps with productivity and profitability

Employment-based training (EBT) is training for paid employees which is integrated within a work setting, related to their role, and provided or supported by employers. It can be nationally recognised or non-nationally recognised. It can be structured, or unstructured. For many employers, the crucial aspect of EBT is whether the training helps with productivity and profitability.

In Australia, apprenticeships and traineeships are widely recognised forms of EBT. As their role, format and delivery are already well researched and understood — as is their value — they are not examined in this report. Instead, this review, which is supplemented by insights from interviews with employers in the healthcare and social assistance, construction, and information technology industries, explores alternative approaches to EBT; for example, cadetships and internships, higher apprenticeships, and on-the-job structured training such as mentoring. While these approaches are not necessarily new, their application often has implications for vocational education and training (VET) content and delivery. The interest in these forms of EBT are attributable to their fit-for-purpose designs.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Employers look for training that is agile and responsive to their specific needs, is affordable, and minimises workers’ time away from their jobs. Whether the training is nationally recognised or not is generally not employers’ foremost concern.
  • Employment-based training approaches such as cadetships, internships and higher apprenticeships are well suited for meeting the needs of employers. VET providers’ experience in delivering staged training to match work experience progression, as occurs in apprenticeships and traineeships, offer them the opportunity to negotiate with employers to develop and deliver the bespoke employment-based training programs required by employers.

A key observation is that each EBT approach — cadetships and internships, higher apprenticeships, structured on- the-job training — is highly adaptable, demonstrating different features in each application to suit the occupation, industry, employer/s and students concerned. This aspect of EBT makes it both valuable and challenging in a VET context. The interviews with the employers revealed some of the key benefits of using EBT approaches:
ƒ – hiring skilled workers isn’t necessary — anyone with the right attitude can be trained
ƒ – staff skills currency is maintained
ƒ – staff learn from other staff — learning the organisation’s way of doing things
ƒ – it is a less disruptive way of training
ƒ – it results in better-quality training due to the immediate real-world application.

The resources required to develop and implement successful EBT programs however can act as a deterrent to employers without sufficient resources, for example, small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Given that employers already report that navigating the VET system is complex (Smith et al. 2019), developing bespoke programs with multiple stakeholders only adds to that burden. Some of the greatest challenges to using EBT approaches for the employers interviewed for this review were:
ƒ – staff and/or decision-makers not realising the value of EBT and not supporting it
ƒ – the need to make time to step away from daily tasks
ƒ – the cost associated with funding the training, as well as the cost of having unproductive staff while they are learning on the job.

Indeed, some of the employers interviewed for this review were not currently using EBT, citing a lack of resources to make it work well, while others expressed concern about the uncontextualised content of nationally recognised training or uncertainty about the best type of training certification to use (micro-credentials vs digital badges
vs other).

The employers interviewed for this review also identified the key factors making EBT effective, which were:
ƒ – the training is relevant to the role, and training is only provided for skills that are lacking; that is, undertaking a skills gap assessment at the outset
ƒ – the training provider is able to customise training to suit the organisational context
ƒ – ensuring that dedicated internal training systems and resources are available
ƒ – the training is of short duration, thereby minimising time away from work.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @  Review of employment-based training models

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