Tara Fenwicks Work and Learning: Perspective from Canadian Adult Educators covers issues associated with the importance of workplace learning to employees, most of which I agree with. I believe that the progress of workers rights is highly dependent on an educated workforce. This is because workplace education enhances employees collective autonomy. Moreover, an educated worker knows his or her rights and thus is equipped with the capacity to defend these rights when need be. Consequently, learned workforce is the only means of achieving strong unions, with workers interests at heart.
In worker unions, workplace learning helps to bring the workers together towards the achievement of a common good. For instance, an educated workforce is capable of pushing for salary increments and better working conditions when necessary. This is because the learned workforce can compare their salaries, wages, and working conditions and those of other employees doing the same job in other companies. Through making such comparisons, they are in a position to know whether or not they are being oppressed by their employers. Consequently, if they workers find out that they have a justified course to pursue, they become united towards the goal through full participation and integration. Noteworthy, learning enables employees to stand up against injustices in organizations. Some of these injustices may include dismissal from the job without undue process, bullying in the workplace, and unfair employee treatment or unequal distribution of pay.
I also agree that there is a need for workplace learning as it enhances employees skills need to improve productivity (Fenwick, 2013). The 21st century is characterized by advancements in technology, such as the use of computers in jobs. Unless the workers upgrade their skills through education and training, they are highly likely to remain redundant. Therefore, learning can foster workers productivity and job satisfaction through improved skills. However, I disagree with some of the articles position on workplace learning. Specifically, I strongly disagree with the assertion that learning leads to workers subjugation and control is untrue because an employer has little capacity to oppress or suppress a learned worker.
Response to Adult Education Policies in Canada: Skills Without Humanity
There are high rates of employee participation in organized forms of adult learning in Canada. This is an indication that the Canadian working population values the need to acquire new skills to remain relevant in their current organizations. However, despite the high participation rates, the inequality of workplace education across different social and demographic groups demands the need for policies to ensure equality across various social and demographic groups (Elfert & Rubenson, 2013).
In the article, the authors noted that the absence a clear national strategy on adult education and the delegation of the provision of adult education to the provinces hampers the achievement of common standards in adult education (Elfert & Rubenson, 2013). Based on this, I believe that there is a need for the development of adult education or literacy program having a national outlook and that can deliver nationally endorsed skill sets. Such national adult education system should receive adequate federal funding for research and establishment of broad workplace learning programs that do not necessarily tie the content to workers job profiles. I believe that a new funding approach, which places priority on providing public sector education institutions as opposed to the current model of funding public and private providers that have resulted in underfunded public institutions.
Elfert, M., & Rubenson, K. (2013). Adult education policies in Canada: Skills without humanity. Building on Critical Traditions: adult education and learning in Canada, 238-248.
Fenwick, T. (2013). Work and learning: Perspectives from Canadian adult educators. Building on critical traditions: Adult education and learning in Canada, 289, 302.
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