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National Policy Framework Development for Workplace-Based Learning in South Africa

  • Ronel BlomEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

The latest response in South Africa to social problems associated with youth not in education, training, or employment (the NEET youth) is the intention to roll out large-scale programs of workplace-based learning. The implicit purposes are to improve the employability of youth, to ease the transition from school or learning to work, and to enhance the educational value of learning through authentic, real-life workplace situations.

In support of the above, a study aimed at developing a national policy framework for workplace-based learning was commissioned by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training.

Using an educational design research approach, the first phase of the study entailed content analysis of legislation and policies which provide the statutory basis for, and intend to give effect to, a workplace-based learning policy.

Although the “language” of workplace-based learning is highly congruent across all the policies, the hoped for “outcomes” of such policies are very different from actual practice. Policies strongly focus on labor-absorbing activities, while education practices place emphasis on workplace-based activities for purposes of enhanced learning. Policy pronouncements may therefore place unfair pressure on the education and training system to solve the problems of the youth unemployment, a job-scarce environment and poverty.

This contribution tracks the genesis of a national policy framework for workplace-based learning in South Africa. It results in a typology of divergent practices, with differing purposes, which may make it improbable (and perhaps inappropriate) to implement a single, homogenous approach to funding and implementation of workplace-based learning in the country.

Keywords

Workplace-based learning Labor-absorbing activities Enhanced learning National policy framework 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Da Vinci Institute of Technology ManagementJohannesburgSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Robert Palmer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamStamfordUK

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