Purpose – The purpose of this case study is to explore the relevance of experiential learning to apprentices in the current commercial and industrial market. Design/ methodology/ approach – Through exploring the history of The Outward Bound Trust and of experiential learning namely David A Kolb's summary of its relevance in education, Priest and Gass's encouragement for active questioning and the practical application of experiential learning by The Trust on behalf of major companies within the UK, this study aims to encourage and enlighten readers of its benefits. The four elements or phases of the experiential learning cycle: experiencing, reviewing, concluding and planning are explained and explored within this case study. The case study outlines how Airbus and the Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Ltd use apprentice training programmes as effective extensions of their own in‐house training. Findings – Experiential learning has been found to be a cost‐effective extension of in‐house apprentice development programmes with attendees benefiting from an increase in motivation, improvement in self‐awareness and personal responsibility, enhanced team work and improved communications skills. The results of these new and enhanced skills have been found by The Trust's clients to transfer effectively back to the workplace. Originality/value – This paper is of value and relevance to in‐house or external HR directors who may wish to consider experiential learning programmes for training apprentices.
Industrial and Commercial Training – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 19, 2011
Keywords: Experiential learning; Organizational performance; Apprenticeships; United Kingdom
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