Relevance of Further Education and Training College Engineering Learning Programmes within The Apprenticeship Context
AbstractThe development of learning programmes and courses, qualifications design and future curriculum development in Further Education and Training (FET) vocational education provision on a national level is at the heart of the college sector. It should respond to the technological needs of labour market conditions, sectors and industries they support and more importantly, to the current critical South African economy. In this regard, apprenticeships have a huge role to play. This study was undertaken to identify factors, which were perceived as important in determining the relevance of FET college engineering learning programmes within an apprenticeship context. The sample in this study was 200 training and development managers, skills development facilitators and training practitioners with apprenticeship training responsibility and representing employers in the metal and engineering industry. A probability sampling technique in the form of simple random sampling was used to recruit participants for the study. Data were collected through the administration of a questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to report on the demographic data and exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify factors that were perceived as important in determining the relevance of FET college engineering learning programmes. Four factors, namely meeting industry needs, industry-college alignment, context-focused learning, and industry collaboration were identified. In South Africa, FET colleges are expected to play an important role in the acquisition of human resource development (HRD) priority skills that are required by government and business to deliver on major infrastructure development and to meet the needs of an expanding economy.
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