How to develop and implement a work-based learning pathway

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Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.” This is not always an easy feat in the workplace, no matter how positive and rewarding an experience learning is, and organisational learning is a contributing factor in the achievement of organisational goals, staff retention and much more. In this blog, we will discuss learning pathways and how to develop them in a work environment.

What is a learning pathway?
A learning pathway is the way in which an individual uses their knowledge, skills, growth and experience through formal and informal education in their personal and professional lives.
This seems straightforward right? You apply what you know and have learned.
However, it is not always that simple. Although organisational learning contributes to meeting the needs of the organisation, increasing staff engagement, morale and effort, it is often a challenge to determine the connection between development and return on investment. For an organisation to achieve a balance between the two, it is important to develop learning pathways that not only meet organisation objectives but also align with personal objectives. Let’s look at the following methods.

Build a learning pathway
In simple terms, a learning pathway is the technique of progressing from the current situation to achieving a learning outcome.
This can be achieved with these five steps:

Identify the goals, outcomes or objectives for work-based learning
Identify job tasks and activities to be included in the learning process outlining the steps that need to be learned
Logically sequence job tasks and activities to reflect learner incremental development
Involve experienced co-workers and experts to perform, model or demonstrate tasks to the learner
Integrate opportunities for learner practice

Consider implications of learning at work
Some industries are very specific about the content and quality of learning e.g. Accounting and medicine. This can potentially impact learning at work initiatives by affecting learner availability and defining learning content, making it an important consideration when designing and developing learning programmes.

Utilise external learning activities
External learning takes place outside the workplace. The organisation can host the programmes itself off-site or get assistance from an external training provider. This training often involves industry or government facilitated programmes in purpose-built environments.

External programmes may include:
Skills training
Accredited short courses
Workshops and more
Share objectives of work-based learning with learners
Avoid focusing purely on the needs of the organisation. Transparency, in this case, will lead to a fulfilling experience because people work better when they know what is going on and why. Remember, the learner is a crucial part of the process. Involving them in the early stages allows them to contribute ideas and become inspired and committed.

Call Afri Training Institute at 021 202 3341 or read more of our blogs to learn how you can better your organisation through learning.

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