Pathways for developing a 'smart' workforce : does the achievement of formal workplace qualifications encourage participation in higher education?

Armansin, Maree & Thompson, Robert M. (2012) Pathways for developing a 'smart' workforce : does the achievement of formal workplace qualifications encourage participation in higher education? In 16th Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM XVI): Contradictions in Public Management Managing in Volatile Times, 11 – 13 April, Rome, Italy.

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The purpose of this paper is to investigate a public workforce education initiative in the context of State and agency policies designed to enhance employee capabilities to adapt to a volatile and changing environment. In particular, we are concerned with public employees’ experience of a higher educational pathway that resulted in their obtaining a Diploma level qualification. In addition to understanding the employees’ experience of this pathway we were interested in whether the experience contributed to their openness to the prospect of university level education. We conducted telephone interviews with a sample of participants from the program. Employees reported very positive experience of the program; in particular employees reported enhanced efficacy beliefs, a strong sense of achievement, and a feeling of recognition. This experience is explained by four main factors; (1) a program design that was well aligned with the employees learning needs, (2) strong support by organisational staff who delivered and assessed participants on capability criteria, (3) strong management support for employees’ participation, (4) an academic ceremony that provided participants with public recognition of their achievement by valued others. Participants’ motivation to participate was primarily intrinsic rather than extrinsic. Participants in the study reported that their experience in this educational pathway gave them the confidence to consider the possibility of university level education. The paper also discusses the practitioner-academic collaboration that led to the development of this paper.

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ID Code: 52815
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Workforce Education, Higher Education, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 (please consult the author).
Deposited On: 30 Jul 2012 00:16
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 05:19

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