Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Socio-emotional support of apprentices during the school-to-work transition

Karin Du Plessis and Tim Corney,(Incolink, Melbourne, Australia) and Robyn Broadbent and Theo Papadopoulos (Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia) published in Education + Training Volume 54 Issue 5 (2012)


The aim of the paper is to locate the role of social and emotional support during the school-to-work transitions of apprentices, within the Australian vocational education and training context.
The research reported here is based on an independent evaluation of an apprentice suicide prevention and support program. This program has been implemented in rural and regional Australia, and findings highlight the program’s retention of key messages in the long-term (i.e. 6 months to 2 years post-completion). The work is based on both quantitative questionnaires from 119 apprentices as well as 18 face-to-face interviews.
The research showed that apprentices’ resilience to face school-to-work transitional challenges can be enhanced by increasing knowledge of suicide risk factors and sources of social and emotional support had increased. Findings indicate that a number of apprentices had made significant changes in their lives as a result of participating in the program. While 10 per cent of apprentices identify as “socially isolated”, it was encouraging to note that peer support, as a result of the program, can be considered an informal referral point to formal help-provision and support.
Research limitations/implications
While the program has been successfully applied to building and construction industry apprentices, there is overlap in school-to-work transition issues of other types of apprenticeships/traineeships; this merits consideration of wider application of apprentice support programs within the Australian vocational education sector.
This paper draws together a focus on school-to-work vulnerabilities and social-emotional support (similar to that found in youth development programs) as it can be applied to the vocational education and training sector.

No comments: