capla 2011 11-15-stephens

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  1. 1. SMEs & Informal WorkplaceLearning in Canada
  2. 2. Outcomes & Results New insight about workplace informal learning as well as new evidence of its growing importance. New information about workplace training in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) Understanding of factors affecting PLAR practitioners interested in making inroads into the workplace. 2
  3. 3. QuestionAs a PLAR expert, is it important for you tounderstand the factors that influence why and howbusinesses decide to invest in workplace learning(training)? Why?3
  4. 4. RESEARCHby the Centre for Workplace SkillsWork-related Informal Learning:Research and Practice in the Canadian ContextChristine Wihak & Gail Hall, CAPLAInvesting in People:Effective Work-related Learning in SMEsThe Conference Board of Canada www.workplaceskills.ca4
  5. 5. RESEARCH (coming soon)by the Centre for Workplace Skills Effective Practices in Worker Adjustment Ingenia Consulting Making The Connection: Effective ways to link training needs to organizational goals Centre for Learning Impact Labour-led Workplace Learning Practices: Exemplary Practice from Canada and Abroad Labour Education Centre www.workplaceskills.ca 5
  6. 6. THE CENTRE FOR WORKPLACE SKILLSHow can our knowledge of effective workplace skillsdevelopment practices help prepare us for a highly adaptableeconomy in which:businesses can adapt efficiently to new technologies, markets andcompetitive challenges through better management anddevelopment of their workforces skills, andworkers, regardless of gender, ancestry, geographic location, are ableto develop strong basic skills, highly portable qualifications, andincreased employability that can help them weather difficult times inthe job market and seize opportunities in growth sectors, newoccupations, etc.? 6
  7. 7. WHY FOCUS ON SMEs?SMEs Make up the majority of companies in Canada Under 50 employees account for almost half of employment Account for most most employment growth.But They do not train as much as larger businesses Face proportionately higher costs. Are more exposed to problems with skills shortages,retention, adopting new technology. More likely to be focused on short-term survival. 7
  8. 8. INFORMAL LEARNING8
  9. 9. The Learning Continuum INFORMALFORMALPROCESS How learning is supported, controlled and assessedLOCATION & SETTING: whether the environment is designed forlearning, production, socializing, etc.PURPOSE: whether learning is a primary or secondary focus ofactivity, and whether it is controlled by the learner or an externalauthorityCONTENT: whether learning outcomes are involve abstractknowledge and advanced technical skill or development ofeveryday, practical skillsH. Colley et al, 2003 9
  10. 10. Case StudiesNURSES IN A MANAGED CARE ENVIRONMENTWOMEN IN THE IT SECTORKNOWLEDGE WORKERS IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL SECTORSCHOOL-TO-WORK TRANSITION IN THE HELPING PROFESSIONS. 10
  11. 11. Informal Learning & SMEs SMEs are reliant on informal learning They get better outcomes from informallearning Growth potential SMEs see productivityenhancements through informal learning 11
  12. 12. Informal Learning: New DevelopmentsGrowth of social learning activitiesOnline LearningKnowledge Intensive Service Activity (KISA) (recent OECD research)12
  13. 13. Investing in Skills:Effective Work-related Learning in SMEsThe research focused on 4 key questions:Why do SMEs invest in work-related learning?What challenges and barriers exist?What are the keys to success?How do SMEs measure the impact of theirlearning programs? 13
  14. 14. Why do SMEs invest in work-relatedlearning? Enhancing employee competencies Supporting organizational change Achieving broader human resource objectives14
  15. 15. What barriers and challenges exist? Overcoming essential skills issues Accessing required resources (money, time, know-how) Engaging leadership and employees15
  16. 16. What are the keys to success? Assessing the needs and desired outcomes Aligning learning needs and business needs Customized learning Recognizing the achievements of learners Having a learning champion Forging strategic partnerships Supporting informal learning16
  17. 17. How do SMEs measure the impact of work-related learning? Usually informal, anecdotal measures - enhanced productivity, employee engagement, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction17
  18. 18. CWS Best Practices Database www.workplaceskills.ca18
  19. 19. Where can I learn more? Visit our website workplaceskills.ca Download our reports Search our Best Practices Database Attend a SMART Session19
  20. 20. Contact usAlex StephensAlison CunninghamExecutive CoordinatorBusiness Liaisona.stephens@workplaceskills.caa.cunningham@workplaceskills.ca613 241 3222 ext 4244613 241 3222 ext 4250John Hugh EdwardsKindha GormanLabour Liaison & CLC National Rep. Communications Specialistjhedwards@clc-ctc.ca k.gorman@workplaceskills.ca613 521 3400 ext 417 613 241 3222 ext 2263Claudette RotondoExecutive Assistantc.rotondo@workplaceskills.ca613 241 3222 ext 4240 20