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The challenge of establishing sustainable workplace 'Skills for Life' provision in the UK: organisational 'strategies' and individual 'tactics'

Waite, E; Evans, K; Kersh, N; (2014) The challenge of establishing sustainable workplace 'Skills for Life' provision in the UK: organisational 'strategies' and individual 'tactics'. Journal of Education and Work , 27 (2) pp. 199-219. 10.1080/13639080.2012.742180. Green open access

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Abstract

Drawing on longitudinal data from the ESRC-funded 'Adult Basic Skills and Workplace learning' project (2003-2008), together with recent findings from research undertaken under the auspices of the LLAKES research centre (Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies), this paper seeks to explore the key factors that facilitate and inhibit sustainable 'Skills for Life' (literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages) workplace provision in the UK. We draw on the metaphor of a social ecology of learning to explore the inter-relationships between individuals and groups at policy and organisational level and combine this with Michael de Certeau's theoretical work on quotidian social practices in order to cast light on the diverse ways in which 'Skills for Life' provision has been put to use by learners. The paper argues that the 'Skills for Life' national strategy has generated a complex 'ecology of learning' at policy level, whereby a byzantine and shifting funding landscape, with its concomitant bureaucracy and strong emphasis on target-bearing qualifications has militated against long-term sustainable provision. Those organisations that have managed to sustain provision have generally succeeded in integrating 'Skills for Life' courses within a broader 'ecology of learning' whereby there is both support and formal recognition for such provision within the organisation as a whole. © 2012 © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Type: Article
Title: The challenge of establishing sustainable workplace 'Skills for Life' provision in the UK: organisational 'strategies' and individual 'tactics'
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13639080.2012.742180
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2012.742180
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127488
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