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14-19 Education and Training - page 48 / 60

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One implication for the work-related learning of 14 – 19 year olds is that work can be a very rich learning environment, but that learners may feel overwhelmed rather than positively challenged if they are not adequately supported. Indeed, in the absence of structured learning support, the types of learning strategies that enable individuals to learn effectively at work such as self-directed learning, learning from experience and learning from other people may need to be explicitly developed before individuals can get the most out of their opportunities. Similarly, even when formal training off the job is provided, people may still need further learning support on the job before they become fully competent. Support for meshing different types of learning can be fundamental for effective performance at work for young people, but many supervisors or experienced workers may be unaware about how to do this effectively.

One final caution about an uncritical acceptance of the value of learning at work is the importance of the micro-climate in the immediate work environment. If this is positive then the young learner may experience new ways of learning and their confidence as a learner may be enhanced, but if it is negative, not only may relatively little be learned but negative attitudes to other forms of learning may be developed or reinforced.

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