Placement on Work Based Learning
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The workplace as become a site of learning like the classroom. Ruth Heyler described work based learning as what s learnt by working. Practice has proven to be a better way to gain experience and improve on a skill. This is what work based learning provides. Learning is enhanced by observing a formal approach to work-based activities as planning, carrying out activities and reflecting on the benefits of activities to the business as well as the learner. Through supervision at the work place, learners gain skills and improve on their knowledge as well as benefits by evaluation of tasks they perform. Work based learning is gaining massive attention in recent times. It is considered a means to provide personal and professional development to students who are about to work or are already in work. Work based learning experience is a means by which potential workers gain competitive advantage in the world of work. The increasing rate of technological change and market responses demand a continuous drive to innovation which is key in work environment. Work based experience plays a key role in providing innovate support to persons as well as business.
- Research and evaluate suitable organizations that could provide industry
An industry can be described as a group of different firms producing or manufacturing similar or identical products. For instance, the petroleum industry or mobile phone industry consist of different companies producing the same commodity. The hospitality industry in the UK consist of different firms engaged in hospitality services as travel, tourism, accommodation or hotels and food services such as restaurants and fast foods.
The presence of internet has made industrial search easier. Search for organizations that suites my job interest was done online and with unsolicited application letters to organizations. Not all response from the organizations were favorable. However I was able to gain placement in a retailing organization. Many profiles that can provide experience to learners exist in this organization. For instance, finance, accounting, administration, planning, merchandise, safety among others. For my targeted experience, the finance and merchandise department was most suitable.
Other organizations such as restaurants and hotels can also provide needed work experience for the hospitality industry. The work profiles available in a hotel for instance can be useful in other sectors in the hospitality industry. For instance, hotel management and booking can provide skills that can be transferred to travel sector management and bookings, a chef in a hotel will gain employable skills for a restaurant or a fast food organization as well as handling commercial contracts as parties and banquets.
Below are a few organizations what as research for the placement on work based learning.
Name of Organization: Nachos Restaurant
Location: L6 Liverpool
Hours: 50 hours per week
Duration: Three months
Method: Unsolicited application
Name of Organization: Primark
Location: Oxford Street London
Hours: 30 hours per week
Role: Merchandise assistant
Duration: Six weeks
Outcome of inquiry: Negative
Name of Organization: HSBC
Area of work: Financial planning
Location: Central London
Search method: Online search
Outcome: Pending response
- Produce evidence to show your ability to negotiate work experience with your work and academic supervisors
College: UK College Business and Computing
Name of the Employer: Nachos
Nature of Business: Retail
Name of supervisor:
Title of position: Merchandize assistant
Duration: Six (6) weeks
In this position the learner is required to among other things collect and analyze store data and interpret to management, make orders for stores when stock level hits minimum quantity, also determine and ensure the right stock level in stores at all time. The learner will be an assistant to the merchandize manager will provide guidance and supervision to the learner on the job. The learner gains industrial experience as how to work with data in real work. The learner gets to engage in direct retailing with customers at sales points. Through this the learner gets to know the dynamics of handling customers who are treated as "always right in business".
Getting to interact with customers will equip me with skills to handle different customers. As customers are very key in to businesses, gaining competence with customer relations will give me a competitive edge in industry. Planning is necessary if management is to be successful. On this job, in get to be engage in planning operation of an organization.
- Recognize the business constraints associated with the work experience negotiated.
Constraints are expected obstacles in business that is well handled if it is forecasted and good planning is done. Every business have its own constraints though some constraint can be identified with different organizations in different industries. Like other business, the organizations involved in retailing have their own share of business constraints.
In a fabric retailing organization such as the Dottys. The seasonal nature of the market for poses a constraint to the business. The weather influences the choice of fabrics. In cold weather, there is a high demand for clothing that suits the weather and the same happens in hot periods. The main problem has to do with clearing stocks during these period where there are changes in weather. If this is not well forecast and planned well the company is more likely to have cash piled up in stock which may remain unsold.
The changes in price of competitors can affect the organization. When competitor offer a lower price for the same commodity. The organization is likely to face a decrease in sales margin which will reflected as a decrease in profits. However, the organization may have a high cost of production than its competitors result in the higher price. Lowering the price will mean cost to the organization. If such constrain is forecasted it can be solved by branding and advertisement for customer to know the wort of the commodity from the organization and from a competitor too. It must be noted that when organizations build good brand their earn loyal customers who will always purchase from them
The organization may not always have control over these constrains but can also reduce its effect on the business. For instance, changes in fashion and preference. When fashion favour a particular trend of doing things, there is high demand towards that preference. The organization does not have any influence on the preference of customers.
Language may be a problem in attending to customers. This is likely to happen when customer communicates in a different language than what I understand or can speak.
2.1 Agree and prioritize the tasks and responsibilities involved in your area of work
In placement on the job, I will be involved in back office analysis and front store services in the retail department. Experience from this work will enhance my personal learning and contribute to my experience to work in a future position. The responsibilities involved in this work include
Monitoring of stock levels: Learner will be required to monitor stock level on daily basis and ensure efficient stock level I maintained in stores at all time. Learner will gain knowledge of re-order quantity(ROQ), maximum and minimum stock level, average usage and average lead time among others
Reporting on stores performance. Leaner will be involved in analysis of data on the performance of the store. Among the activities will be to collate daily stores report, analyze them and present them to management for decision making purpose. Report from stores may indicate, daily sales, stock on hand, cost of product, total sales.
Customer Service: Learner will be involved in team that will be serving customers. The main objective here is to serve customers satisfactorily that they may wat to come back or recommended the stores to others. Good customer relations is important for a business such as a retail store that depends on its customers. The good customer relations will help build trust and loyalty. My main role in the tem will be to treat each customer with respect and courtesy and answering their queries efficiently and pleasantly. Learner will also take feedback from customer where necessary and acting on it appropriately.
Increasing sales - This involves speaking with potential customers and convincing them to purchase from the store. Leaner will also involve in collecting data from loyal customers to update customer data base.
2.2 Produce a plan of how you will meet your objectives through the work experience
Duration of work: Six weeks
Location: Central London
Working Hours: 9:30am to 5:30pm
Transport: By city cabs
Position: Merchandise Assistant
Supervision: Expected at least once a week from college supervisor
2.3 Analyse the benefits the proposed activities of the work will have on the business as well you the learner.
Work based learning is beneficial to both the learner and the business offering the placement. For instance in my placement, the proposed activities I will be involved in will help the business make accurate performance decisions based on reports from operation. I will be involved in sending reports to management. I will gain the skills on working with some professional software's used in retail services. This will increase my value as well as give me a competitive edge when screening for jobs.
In accepting students for work based experience, the organization, through this serve as a platform to improve, enhance as well as prepare students for the job market after school. Learners get to learn professionalism while on real job placement aware from the school classroom. The organization through work based placement is able to connect to best candidates to fill positions at a very low or no cost to the organization. This is evident as most student on placement with organization end up working with the organization after school. Some are maintained while on the job.
The learner falls in an avenue which provides opportunities to implement theories that has been learn. At the stage the learner is able to fully understand the extent to which theories learnt on various topics are applicable. The learner develops and builds on skills such as team work which is very important in the world of work.
By placement on different jobs and with different organizations in different industries, the learner gains knowledge that may influence career path in future.
3.1 Show how you fulfil the specified requirements of the placement and conforming to all the related codes of practice
Codes of practice varies among organization whiles it is still possible for two or more organization to have similar code of practices. However, behaviour of employee and relations among employee in an organization is determined by the company's code of practices. Specifically, they highlight the dos and don'ts in the organization. Employees whether permanent contract or internship are expected to comply by the code of practices.
At the Dottys, the code of practices include adhering to working hours. At the Dottys, all workers are expected to be in or on time in their respective departments to start work. While the number of hours available t work may vary among persons in the same organizations, in the UK, the Working time regulation (1998) allows students to work for more than eight hours a day thus a student on placement can be allowed to work up to eight hours on the job daily.
On the issue regarded payment to leaners on placement from studies. The learner is not entitled to any form of remuneration as the placement is considered a part of an academic work on which the learner is assessed. However the leaner may receive some benefit or incentive form the organization. The point of interest is that the company is not mandatory to provide such for the learner who is on placement.
As a placement employee, the learner is expected to maintain and keep the confidentiality of all issues in concerning the organization. Being on the job, it is possible that the learner will get to know more about the organization it is except that the employee keeps all information in secrecy as leaked may be an advantages to competitors especially if the information lands in the wrong hands as rival organizations in the industry.
3.2 Produce systematic records of work performed by evidence of diaries, logbooks, portfolio, spreadsheets or databases
As evidence of work, the organization, maintains internal records of employee on daily basis, learners on placement are also captured in the internal record. These records may include, log books, clock in cards among others.
This sample on internal records may look like this
Emergency contact number:
Name of the school:
Name of the Employer:
Dates of placement:
3.3 Show how you revise your initial plan produced in 2.2 to meet your objectives
The plan for placement is more likely to be revised on the job. This may happen due to changes and other issues that may arise whilst on the job or due to regulations of the organization. To succeed on the job, the learner is expected to be highly adaptable to changes in the immediate environment that is the work.For instance more tasks and responsibilities may be added to the initial task assigned at time of placement. Also the duration of training can also alter the natal plan of the learner to achieve objectives set on the placement. Training may over best practices on the job and special skills training for selected task or teams.
3.4 Explain the suggestions you made for improvement and how you reviewed it your supervisor
Places in the work based experience that could be improved is performance assessment. Though I did not have much problems with this. The personal relations between the learner and the supervisor can affect the supervisor's assessment of the learner. It is recommended in other to get a fair assessment, assessment should not be done by one person alone in the organization. For instance, in a case of a single assessor when a bad trend is developed between the leaner and the assessor, the assessor is more likely to assess the learner based on emotion and this could turn out not favourable for the learner.
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