development of the low-skilled
In a knowledge-based society learning and knowledge should be more than
just a crucial economic element, and learning should be more than ex-post
compensation for the problems arising from the economy; instead learning
and knowledge should be ex-ante governing principles of society.
Tensions and contradictions can be envisaged from the viewpoint of the
learning economy, in particular concerning the widening gap between knowledge
'haves' and 'havenots' within industrial countries (based on: Tomassini
2001k, p. 3).
This is to pick up on the issue of the power relationship in knowledge
sharing and development. What worries me very much, and I haven't got a
solution, is that in an enterprise, with a lot of knowledge development
and learning, we still have those at the bottom line of the hierarchy:
employees with low skills who are hardly involved in that process. If we
just look at the places of formal learning we know that those with low
skills hardly participate. My impression is that in quite a lot of the
policy oriented documents this is a problem which is neglected to a substantial
extent, in the sense that they are talking in very general terms and that
no one raises the issue of how you can manage the knowledge development
of those at the bottom line of the enterprise. And how you can really manage
their learning process. In my perspective this is a major question which
should be addressed.
Findings from our investigation show that men at the metal works get very
little training, and when looking at it this is not real training: it is
about transmitting the ideology of the company. So the little content of
training they get is not allocated to generating knowledge or cognitive
things; it is more about the social effects of the expansion of competences.
This is also something one has to be alert about in companies, and the
unions should discuss it much more: what kind of formal learning and training
is actually beneficiary and what is just indoctrination.
more important is another aspect: when you are engaged with low-skilled
workers you have to start where they are, with an understanding of how
they can really get involved in a knowledge developing work content. If
you don't do this you gain nothing. I would assume that the informal learning
model is much more beneficiary than to introduce formal learning.
Cluster: Fiesole Oct 01