02 SES 11 B, Integrating the excluded
This paper presents part of the fieldwork developed within two different projects, a national research (EDU2013-45919-R) as well as an Erasmus+ (Jobcoach+). Several universities and work integration associations are involved in both. We focus our analysis upon the training and coaching processes we have identified in the companies: we describe them using Eraut’s approach on learning trajectories (2000, 2007, 2009, 2012) and we interpret them in relation to recent studies conducted on workplace learning in Europe (Evans, 2006; Malloch et al., 2011, Poell and Woerkom, 2011, Froehlich et al, 2014, Filliettaz and Billet, 2015), with a particular emphasis to that happening in SMEs (Ashton et al., 2008, Rubio et al., 2011, Cedefop, 2015) as well as in Third Sector organizations and the social economy (Huyse et al, 2012; Quintao, 2016) or with precarious and/or routinary work (Evans et al., 2004, Evans et al., 2010).
We want to find out the training and coaching processes happening in Work Integration Companies, the profesional competences and behaviors of their trainers and coaches, to identify the intentional learning processes as well as the content of such learning. We want to reflect to what extent these companies are expansive learning environments (Evans, 2006) and we want to point to their social and educational value.
Several assumptions underlie our research and have been dealt with elsewhere (Stenström and Tynäla, 2009; Marhuenda et al., 2010, Córdoba and Martínez, 2011, Seifried and Wuttke, 2013): WISE employ people in transition out of exclusionary processes, they hire coaches and trainers to train them and equip them with the appropriate social and personal skills, their aim is to facilitate entry into the ordinary labor market and therefore their contracts last up to three years for people with integration contracts, they foster their employability through the enactment of individual learning plans.
Therefore, we may assume that most of the learning that happens in WISEs as SME is informal but yet purposeful, that there are written documents entailing the plans and the evaluation of the progress of workers in transition, that most of the knowledge is shared with other workers in different stages. Most workers are active agents of these processes and have a relevant say in agreeing with the steps set by their coaches. The organization of the companies is arranged in order to maximize the facilitation of learning. Most trainers and coachers (Aeress and Faedei, 2014; Quintao, 2016) share a set of common values and competencies, an expertise that has been applied, discussed and reflected, that go beyond their personal style or approach. This expertise should allow trainers and coaches to behave differently according to the stage of each integration worker, even perhaps establish with them changing pedagogical relations along the whole duration of their contract, in order to increase both their demands as well as their autonomy and accountability.
Not only learning is informal, but assessment practice is often informal as well, most of the feedback provided is verbal and punctual, and only in a few cases (industrial laundry, catering services) it can be checked against an accredited qualification that serves as a curriculum guideline. As Ashton et al. put it, ‘in small enterprises, assessing skill needs or training needs analysis is done in a number of ways, with ‘observation’ being the most commonly used method. Employers and managers often work in close contact with employees, and in the process, they can observe how jobs are executed. Where they notice deviations from set standards of work practices, corrective action can be implemented (…) If relationships are more formal, then counseling may be provided and/or disciplinary action taken (…)(2008, 20-21).
AERESS and FAEDEI (2014). El acompañamiento en las empresas de inserción. Madrid: FAEDEI/AERESS. Ashton, D., Sung, J. Raddon, A. and Riordan, T. (2008). Challenging the myths about learning and training in small and medium-sized enterprises: implications for public policy. Geneva, ILO. CEDEFOP (2015). Who trains in small and medium-sized enterprises. Characteristics, needs and ways of support. Luxembourg: Publications Office. Córdoba, Ana and Martínez, Ignacio (coords.)(2011): Trabajo, empleabilidad y vulnerabilidad social. Valencia: Universitat de València. Eraut, M. (2000). Non-formal learning and tacit knowledge in professional work. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70, 113-136. Eraut, M. (2009). Improving the quality of placements. AERA annual conference, San Diego, April 2009. Eraut, M. and Hirsh, W. (2007). The significance of workplace learning for individuals, groups and organisations. Oxford, SKOPE Monograph 9. Evans, K., Hodkinson, P., Rainbird, H. and Unwin, L. (2006). Improving learning at work. New York, Routledge. Evans, K. and Niemeyer, B. (eds.)(2004). Reconnection: Countering Social Exclusion through Situated Learning. Dordrecht: Springer. Evans, K. and Waite, E. (2010): Stimulating the innovation potential of routine workers through workplace learning. In European Review of Labour and Research, 16(2), pp. 243-258. Filliettaz, L. and Billett, S. (eds.)(2015). Francophone perspectives on learning through work. Dordrecht, Springer. Huyse, H. et al. (2012). Evaluating NGO- capacity development interventions: Enhancing frameworks, fitting the (Belgian) context. Evaluation, 18(I), 129-150. Malloch, M.; Cairns, L.; Evans, K. and O’Connor, B.N. (eds.)(2011): The SAGE handbook of workplace learning. London: SAGE. Marhuenda, F., Navas, A. and Bernad, J.C. (2010): In-company work experience as a strategy for educating and inserting people in the labour market: work integration social enterprises. In: Revista de Educación, 351, pp. 139-161. McKee, A. and Eraut, M. (eds.)(2012). Learning trajectories, innovation and identity for professional development. Dordrecht, Springer. Poell, R.F. and Woerkom, M.v. (2011). Supporting workplace learning: towards evidence-based practice. Dordrecht, Springer. Quintao, C. (2016). The marketing and coaching functions in WISE. Exploratory study in 5 European countries. EPP project. Unpublished document. Rubio, M.J.; Millan, M.D.; Cabrera, F.; Navío, A. y Pineda, P. (2011). Training in Spanish organizations. Intangible Capital, vol. 7, 236-260. Seifried, J. and Wuttke, E. (eds.)(2013) Transitions in Vocational Education. Opladen, Barbara Budrich. Steadman, S. et al. (2005). Methodological challenges in studying workplace learning: strengths and limitations of the adopted approach. Paper for BERA Annual Conference. Stenström, M.L and Tynyälä, P. (eds.)(2009): Towards integration of work and learning. Dordrecht: Springer.
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