Partner meeting in Ireland and results from pilot

The second partnership meeting was held in Dun Laoghaire in Ireland in the beginning of March 2015. The main discussion was the results of pilot and how to proceed. All countries reported on their main findings from the pilot and made suggestions for the review of the curriculum.

Overall, participation in the pilot was a positive experience for the trainees and they reported an enhanced competence in training newcomers within the retail sector.

Main findings were, that the preparation phase might be a bit confusing for some people, both participants as well as managers selecting the participants. So there is a need to give it more concern as it is a part of preparing the participants for their training sessions. Given the experience of the trainees on the pilot it was felt that in order for the program to have a lasting impact a post training review between the trainee and the line manager is preferred to secure the transfer of learning. This review would also open up for a broad discussion on continuous professional development for the trainee in regard to the opportunities within the company.

A common agreement was on the importance of introducing the use of a learning agreement or contract with the trainee. Learning agreement will help the trainee to keep track of the learning and how it can be used within real works and thus secure the transfer to the workplace.

The time frame for the model used for pilot, 40 to 50 hours, was considered to be fine. The time frame for the realization of the program as a whole should not be too narrow as it takes time to learn. Therefore a time frame from four up to eight weeks was preferred, with 20 to 24 hours of class time and 20 to 26 hours of offside self-directed learning which should for the most part be realized in live work situations. The time between sessions should be no less than five working days and no more than two working weeks to ensure the transfer of learning.

Currently the partnership is focusing on finalizing the curriculum taking into concern the findings from the pilot and remarks from the trainees and managers. Then the curriculum will be presented to stakeholders, such as educational centers, retail managers and other interested parties. A final conference will be held in Iceland in September 2015.