Supervised work experience: Construction companies as learning organisations

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The benefits to students of an industrial placement or supervised work experience (SWE) as an integral part of undergraduate degree programmes have long been accepted. Employers use SWE as an opportunity to assess the capability of students prior to offering them permanent employment on completion of their studies. Likewise, students use SWE to review an employer’s ability to provide them with the relevant post graduation experience to enable them to progress to professional qualification. Also, during SWE they assess the construction industry in terms of its working environment and as a long-term career. The paper presents the finding of a 7-year study into the ability of organisations within the construction industry to provide appropriate learning environments during SWE. The paper concludes that construction organisations are perceived to be supportive in terms of personal and informal support provided by colleagues and to a lesser extent working practices but less supportive in terms of the more formal support given by managers, specifically in the use of appraisal systems. Construction organisations need to accurately assess their ability to provide an effective learning environment in order to attract potential employees to a career in construction and to retain students within the industry after SWE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Building education and research : proceedings of the CIB W89 Symposium, 9-11 April 2003, Salford, UK
EditorsRita Newton, Martin Betts, Andy Bowden
Place of PublicationSalford, UK
PublisherThe University of Salford
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print) 9781900491907
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventThe CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and Research - University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Apr 200311 Apr 2003


ConferenceThe CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and Research
Abbreviated titleBear 2003
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Construction
  • learning climate
  • learning organisations
  • supervised work experience


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