The PwC Chair in Digital Economy’s own Matthew Flynn has recently published the absorbing research piece, The Contribution of VET Student Placement to Innovation in Host Organisations, alongside Steven Hodge, Raymond Smith, and Jenny Field. This research explores the idea of whether the student placement process — where an individual is placed in a workplace to hone their new skills — can contribute to innovation in that host organisation. One of the obvious mechanisms for Vocational education and training (VET) is the contribution to the development of skills, however, the authors of this report ask and uncover whether this can also contribute to innovation in the workplace.
A suggestion emerging from this research is that host organisations and training providers could work together to capitalise on the student-placement process by identifying ways to encourage knowledge diffusion and practice innovation by students. This needs a changed mindset from ‘the student is here to learn from the business’ to ‘the student, whilst learning from the business, can be encouraged to express their own knowledge and ideas’.
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