An exploration of the lived experiences of established staff members that become apprentices

Coulson, B., 2023. An exploration of the lived experiences of established staff members that become apprentices. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The apprenticeship provision has been through one of the most extensive reforms in the post compulsory. Following the apprenticeship reforms, the government made a commitment to achieve 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020. Consequentially, in England, there has been a significant increase in adult apprentices, in 2021/22, 76.3% of apprentices were aged 19 and over, and achievement rates of apprentices were low, 57.7% in 2020/21. Many of these adult apprentices were already employed and using an apprenticeship to upskill within their current occupation. Therefore, this research focuses on established staff members that become apprentices. Established staff members are defined as those who were already in employment before starting an apprenticeship.

The research objectives were formulated around theoretical concepts that were identified as pertinent to apprenticeships, namely, social identity theory; situated learning; and experiential learning. These concepts have provided the overarching theoretical framework for this thesis and were used to frame the research enquiry to achieve the objectives. This study was conducted using a qualitative approach over a twelve-month duration, this enabled a deeper insight into the lived experiences of the participants; the sample size was n=9. The participants were purposely selected from a range of occupations, levels, training providers, demographics, and geographical areas across England. Mixed methods were used to gather and validate the data, these included: semi-structured interviews, qualitative questionnaires, and focus groups; the suitability of which was determined through a pilot study in preparation for the main study.

The findings suggest that most of the participants' lived experiences were restrictive, with only one of the participants having an expansive lived experience as an existing staff member that enrolled on an apprenticeship. Furthermore, due to a limited understanding of apprenticeships within employment settings, and varying levels of pedagogical practice, most participants were unable to access their apprenticeship entitlements, and were experiencing issues related to their social identity during the apprenticeship journey. The study concludes with several recommendations for the UK Government, and employees to achieve their post-apprenticeship vision within an expansive apprenticeship journey. In addition, a new taxonomy is introduced, namely, 'the expansive continuum trigon,' this recognises the intrinsic link between social identity theory; situated learning; and experiential learning.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Coulson, B.
Date: June 2023
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 21 Jun 2023 09:26
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 10:08

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