Apprenticeship: from learning theory to practice
To meet the requirements of an increasingly innovative and competitive environment, workers need to continuously develop and maintain competence. Consequently, initial vocational education and training should prepare (future) workers by providing a basis for lifelong learning in developing both routine and flexible competence. The question is whether workplace learning in initial VET contributes to this aim. To describe WPL processes and outcomes in the Dutch senior VET context, we apply a further elaboration of a comprehensive workplace learning theory, comprising a cognitive, a social and an emotional dimension. Qualitative case studies show that various factors in the different dimensions of learning influence the learning processes and outcomes in a diverse way. Especially more profound acquisition and development of abstract principles relating to flexible competence does not automatically take place during WPL. To fulfill the expectations regarding the role of initial VET to contribute to learning to learn and lifelong learning, improvements are required.