Experiential learning and experience of learning through vocational education: the trailblazer apprenticeship

Fletcher, Roland (2019). Experiential learning and experience of learning through vocational education: the trailblazer apprenticeship. In: The Society of Legal Scholars, 110th Annual Conference, 3-6 Sep 2019, University of Central Lancashire.

URL: https://www.slsconference.com/


This paper is exploring some of the main themes and perspectives of the apprenticeship as a model of learning. The introductory section of this paper provides a brief overview dealing with the history of the apprenticeship as a means to develop the skills and knowledge of a trade. The paper is focussing on how the apprenticeship has been used as a model for learning within the workplace. The term ‘learning’ and the different perspectives on how learning takes place is examined. This leads us to the debate dealing with informal and formal learning that is recognised and seen as a way of developing knowledge and skills within a workplace environment. The second half of the paper examines the introduction of the higher apprenticeship and degree apprenticeship model. This is an ongoing debate which has created challenges for the higher education sector who must configure educational provision alongside work-based learning. This involves creating a partnership arrangement with stakeholders such as employers, employees (apprentices) and higher educational institutions. This is illustrated through the trailblazer apprenticeship model; a contemporary apprenticeships that has been adopted by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and adapted as the new pathway for intending solicitors who wish to qualify in the near future. It is this apprenticeship model that has been used as the blue-print when the SRA designed the new pathway(s) for the academic stage and the end-point-assessment to qualify. This is developed in the latter section of the paper whilst dealing with the mechanisms of quality assurance and governance dealing with this professional pathway to qualify as a professional practitioner.

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