Participation in education, training and development : a study of the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission
This study sought to identify factors that deterred employees of the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission from accessing the training and development fund for personal and professional development. The researcher used an instrument modeled on Darkenwald and Valentine’s (1985) Deterrents to Participation Scale (DPS-G) and incorporated the Rosenberg (1965) Self-Esteem Scale and Robitschek (1998) Personal Growth Initiative Scale to investigate employee perceptions of deterrents to participation. For purposes of this study, participation was defined as enrolment in a course, workshop, seminar or training program for which the employee had requested prior approval and reimbursement of expenses from their employer. Principal components analysis identified the combined category and factor, workplace issues as having the greatest potential for decreasing deterrents to participation for Commission employees. Results indicated (1) the mean score on the item personal growth initiative was significantly lower for respondents with one year of post secondary education than for both respondents with two years and greater than four years of education after high school; (2) the mean score on the item personal growth initiative was significantly lower for respondents in the office and clerical occupational category than for all other Commission work groups. Another significant factor was that thirty-two percent of Commission staffs were eligible to retire within five years. Sixty-six percent of staffs were between the ages of forty-six and sixty. Survey data revealed the mean score on the item lack of relevance was significantly lower for respondents with greater than ten years until retirement than for respondents with three to five years until retirement. This result was anticipated, as Martindale and Drake (1989) clearly indicated that the closer one was to retirement, the less relevant education for career became. Marginally significant difference in the mean score on the item lack of relevance between respondents with one to two years until retirement and those with three to five years revealed a contradicting hypothesis. Participation in education, training, and development was less relevant to persons with three to five years until retirement than for those expecting to retire in one to two years. Personal and family constraints also influenced employee participation in educational opportunities. In order for the Commission to become a learning organization as indicated in the Draft Human Resource and Organizational Learning Strategy, 2003, innovative strategies are required to include all staffs in training and development. Thus, by identifying a framework of deterrents, the Commission could use this checklist as a tool in future planning and policy development efforts related to staff professional development. Participation by Commission employees in surveys related to this study has increased their awareness of opportunities to participate in personal and professional growth initiatives.
trade certification, apprenticeship
Master of Education (M.Ed.)