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Select and prepare workplaces as learning places

If part of the training is carried out in a work environment, workplaces will have to be partially redesigned as a training and learning setting. Even if practical instruction takes place in a school laboratory or workshop, some of the following recommendations may be helpful.

Consider these aspects:

Principles for skill enhancing job design

Criterion Expected effect Implemented by
Comprehensiveness Significance of own function is made clear.
Feedback on own progress at job.
… tasks with elements of planning, executing and controlling and the possibility to compare results to expectations.
Diversity of skills required A variety of knowledge and skills can be applied.
Uneven strain can be avoided.
… tasks with diverse physical and sensorial demands.
Opportunities for social interaction Difficulties can be overcome together.
Mutual support helps to bear strain better.
… tasks that require co-operation from others.
Autonomy Strengthens self-confidence and readiness to take on responsibility.
Avoids experience of not counting.
…tasks with scope for planning and decision-making.
Learning opportunities Intellectual flexibility is preserved.
Occupational skills are preserved and extended.
… taxing tasks that require previously obtained as well as new skills.
No time constraints Avoids overtaxing.
Leaves scope for stressless creativity and self-directed interaction.
… allowing for slack time in targets.
Meaningfulness Conveys a feeling of being part of a socially relevant function.
Helps with balancing personal and social issues.
… products with social acceptance.
… products and processes that are ecologically safe.

Adapted from: Weyers, K. (2012), p. 72

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Select a workplace according to the level of knowledge and capability of the trainee. This is also a question of matching learners and work places. In the case of apprenticeships, usually the employer recruits a young person to train for future employment. With other forms of work-based learning, however, the training provider is responsible for finding adequate placements for students.

A key issue in relation to finding suitable placements for learners is the extent to which the placement matches the expectations from the perspective of the learner and the employer. Matching expectations is important so as to avoid a negative learning experience for the learner and to avoid situations where employers feel they are not able to support the needs of the learner or are no longer willing to provide work placements in the future.

Critical factors for successful training at the workplace:

General criteria for a learning-friendly workplace:

An overview of beneficial and negative factors for learning at the workplace is given on www.ausbildernetz.de (in German).

The suitability of a workplace for learning is enhanced by its equipment with learning resources:

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