Working towards Skills: Perspectives on Workforce Development in SMEs. Research Report.Reportar como inadecuado

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Research into workforce development (WD) considered the relationship between corporate assessments of workers' development needs and WD strategies; how learning at work takes place; and what learning methods are used and their effectiveness. Focus was on practice in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Methodology included a literature review to identify the scope and extent of WD; survey of WD being undertaken in a sample of SMEs; follow-up interviews with managers in SMEs; and focus group meetings with employees in SMEs. Findings indicated that, while there are still many barriers to progress, WD seems to be gaining ground as a concept with both individuals and employers; securing greater employer involvement in learning within SMEs requires an emphasis to be placed on business support, rather than learning in itself; a wide range of learning styles and forms of learning must be accommodated, but a central theme is the need for flexible, time-efficient solutions; companies are finding innovative solutions; space as well as time may be a limiting factor in the extent to which certain types of learning can occur in the workplace; and very small firms usually face different problems requiring different solutions from those faced by bigger companies. Appendixes include: a review of related WD initiatives; and 19 tables illustrating characteristics of focus group participants. (Contains 46 endnotes.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Business Responsibility, Cognitive Style, Corporate Education, Developed Nations, Educational Research, Educational Resources, Employer Attitudes, Employer Employee Relationship, Flexible Scheduling, Foreign Countries, Instructional Innovation, Labor Force Development, Needs Assessment, Off the Job Training, On the Job Training, Small Businesses, Teaching Methods, Vocational Education

Learning and Skills Development Agency, Regent Arcade House, 19-25 Argyll Street, London W1F 7LS, United Kingdom, England (Reference no. 1307R; free). Tel: 020 7297 9000; Fax: 020 7297 9001; Web site: For full text:

Autor: Hughes, Maria; Keddie, Vince; Webb, Peter; Corney, Mark


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