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AbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to give a successful example of how universities can work with business to identify and address skills needs through a context-engaged approach to developing learning to meet the needs identified. Design/methodology/approach – Using a case study approach the business-university collaboration to introduce work-based learning programmes is explained. The paper sets out how learning interventions were researched, designed and introduced to meet identified skills needs throughout the organisation. It highlights the practicalities of the management approach adopted and the benefits achieved through partnership working. Findings – Key to the success of the collaboration was the recruitment of a “Training Centre Facilitator” (TCF) who was co-managed by the company and the university and who was located within the company. The TCF was able to fully understand the company’s and learners’ requirements and thus propose a context-engaged solution that met the needs of the individuals and the organisation. The work-based learning programmes introduced reflected the organisational requirements, individuals’ needs and took into account constraints and restraints on their design and implementation. Originality/value – The paper presents a case study that investigates an innovative approach to partnership working between HE, FE and a private business organisation. The appointment of a TCF, employed within the company to undertake research and implement identified training interventions is an unusual and original approach to bringing together the three organisations to achieve the planned business improvements. The process used and the key principles for achieving a successful partnership are presented and could be applied in other business-education collaborations to develop in-company work-based learning.
CitationAlison FELCE, Sandra STEVENS, David ROBERTS, (2016) "Work-based skills development: a context-engaged approach", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 6 Iss: 3, pp.261 - 276
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
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