Skip to main content.

wbv   Bundesverband der Lehrerinnen und Lehrer an Wirtschaftsschulen e.V.




Workplaces as Learning Environments: Assessments by Young People after Transition From

The Finnish Bridge project (1998-2001) catered for under-25 young people at risk of unemployment and marginalisation by offering them an opportunity to upgrade their 2- to 2.5-year vocational qualifications into 3-year qualifications giving formal eligibility for higher education. The pedagogical aim was to improve the quality of instruction and curricula from the perspective of learning at work. The article attempts to operationalise learning at work by asking young people who took part in the project what they had learnt best during the workplace training period of their studies, and what things during their first year in working life. The respondents thought that working had developed their initiative, cooperation skills, familiarity with domain-specific practices, self-confidence and independent thinking considerably more than their problem-solving skills, skills to evaluate one's own work, and planning skills. In the young people's opinion, the skills belonging to the latter group had developed less after their transition to working life than during the supervised work-based learning period included in their studies. The young people who had entered working life seemed to consider a job simply as a job, no longer a place where they consciously thought about or pursued purposeful learning. However, most of them wanted to develop their occupational skills and displayed a positive attitude towards addressing change.