Supervised work experience: Construction companies as learning organisations

David Lowe, Rita Newton (Editor), Martin Betts (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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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 publicationProceedings of Bear 2003 - The CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and Research,
EditorsRita Newton, Martin Betts
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventThe CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and Research - Salford, UK
Duration: 9 Apr 200311 Apr 2003


ConferenceThe CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and Research
CitySalford, UK


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


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