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Learner Success in Building and Construction

Project Leader(s): 
Jan Eyre

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The Learner Success team

Left to right: Jan Eyre, Karen Vaughan, Paul O'Neil, Teresa Maguire, and Elliot Lawes

Why do some people leave their apprenticeship without finishing it?

Around the world, many people start tertiary learning programmes but never finish. Sometimes there are perfectly good reasons for this. Circumstances or priorities can change. But sometimes learners just need more support, and things can be done to avoid wasted effort or investment. If we could just understand more about what is going on for learners—which ones need support, and the kind of support that would be most useful.

NZCER  created a research-based tool that will help the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) support its apprentices to complete  apprenticeships and become qualified tradespeople. It’s a ground-breaking project and very collaborative. We measured people’s dispositions and situations, work/learning environment, and business characteristics.

Whether or not learners complete involves a complex web influences. We allowed for the idea that, for some learners, “success” does not necessarily mean completion. Not only that, as we build the tool, apprentice and employer/trainer lives are being lived, and their trajectories are unfolding. So the tool’s mathematical modelling needs to “learn” about the data and relationships as they happen in real time, in order to forecast possibilities.

The tool will provide a 'health profile' for each apprentice

The tool will be able to provide an overall, and updating, “health profile” for each apprentice, including a likelihood of completion. It will also provide guidance about appropriate learning support interventions against that profile. It is designed to augment, not replace, the learning support already provided through the BCITO’s Training Advisors. In other words, the humans will always be important!

Contact Jan Eyre for more information.