• A manifesto for higher education, skills and work based learning: through the lens of The Manifesto for Work

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-08-14)
      Purpose: This paper is prompted by recent professional and political events and specifically the politically oriented ‘Manifesto for Work’ recently published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), to propose a manifesto for the broad professional sphere of higher education, skills and work based learning. Design/methodology/approach: This paper utilises a unique form of political ideology critique, applied to the CIPD’s Manifesto for Work, to propose alternative directions for practice, research and policy. Findings: This paper highlights four key areas which need further research and development in the area of higher education, skills and work based learning. These are discussed in relation to: overhauling corporate governance; inclusive workplaces, flexible working, and disadvantaged groups; investment in skills, lifelong learning, and well-being; and re-balancing working practices and rights. Research limitations/implications: This paper highlights areas for further research in the broad professional area of higher education, skills and work based learning. Originality/value: This paper is a unique, time-bound political response to the current political landscape, and is the first to propose a manifesto for the professional sphere of higher education, skills and work based learning.
    • The Reflective Practitioner: The challenges of supporting Public Sector Senior Leaders as they engage in reflective practice

      Rowe, Lisa; Moore, Neil; McKie, Paul; University of Chester (Emerald, 2020-10-13)
      This paper explores the challenges, issues and benefits of reflective practice faced by work-based practitioners undertaking negotiated experiential learning. The study focuses upon the case of a ground-breaking UK based Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) programme which requires learners to develop and apply reflective practice skills through comprehensive work-based learning and research activities. Degree apprenticeships represent a significant opportunity for providers and employers to become more closely aligned in the joint development and promotion of innovative learning opportunities, yet the efficacy of individually negotiated, experiential learning and reflective practice for senior leaders within a challenging healthcare environment remains relatively unexplored from a tripartite perspective. This paper investigates the role of reflective practice within a leading degree apprenticeship programme which embraces this pedagogic approach and considers the potential barriers and benefits for learners and their organisations. The paper begins by discussing the nature of reflective practice in the workplace and explores the growing importance of this activity in contemporary organisations. Theoretical and conceptual foundations relating to experiential learning and reflective practice are analysed and discussed. The SLMDA programme and NHS case organisation are described in detail. Qualitative data drawn from semi-structured interviews undertaken with learners, employers and Personal Academic Tutors (PATs) is then analysed to identify the key issues and challenges encountered. The study identifies the benefits of reflective practice, explores the challenges and issues that act as barriers to reflective practice and highlights the importance of the role of the Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) and that of employers in supporting and developing reflective practice in one of the first SLMDA programmes to launch within the UK. Although reflective practice and work-based research have attracted considerable scholarly activity, investigations have overwhelmingly been focused upon professions such as teaching and nursing and have explored challenges and issues from the perspective of the provider. This study explores reflective practice from the viewpoint of learners, employers and PATs and thereby seeks to compliment and expand current understanding by developing a more holistic approach. This work will inform future programme design, practitioner skills development and employer support procedures as learners plan and prepare to facilitate work- based research projects within their organisations.
    • The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship: Trials and Tribulations

      Rowe, Lisa; Perrin, David; Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2016-11-14)
      Purpose: In 2014, the UK government introduced a new form of apprenticeship, the Degree Apprenticeship, which extends across all undergraduate degree and Master’s degree levels, maps to professional standards, and which is now embedded within governmental levies of large businesses. The purpose of this paper is to share early experiences of developing these Degree Apprenticeships, and consider the processes deployed to achieve it. Design/methodology/approach: This paper combines desk research with reflections on the experience of developing the new Degree Apprenticeships within Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and considers the implications of this upon current and emerging HEI practice and research. Findings: There were a number of key resources which facilitated the approval of the Degree Apprenticeship, and these included a pre-existing, flexible work based learning framework, the associated mechanisms of accreditation, existing professional networks, and a professionally oriented interface between the university, employer and professional body. Research limitations/implications: As the context is currently at the early stages of implementation, and the policy context is rapidly changing in the context of Brexit, so too will the related scholarship. This means factors others than those highlighted within this paper may emerge over the coming year or two. Practical implications: There are a number of practical implications for the development of Degree Apprenticeships from this research that are reflected in the findings, and include the development of flexible and collaborative processes, resources, and networks. Originality/value: This paper is one of the first published accounts of the development of a Degree Apprenticeship within the context of the new policy context in the UK.