Constituent aspects of workplace guidance in secondary VET

Robert Swager, Ruud Klarus, Jeroen Van Merriënboer, Loek Nieuwenhuis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Purpose – This paper aims to present an integrated model of workplace guidance to enhance awareness of what constitutes good guidance, to improve workplace guidance practices in vocational education and training. Design/methodology/approach – To identify constituent aspects of workplace guidance, asystematic search of Web of Science was conducted, focussing on mentoring literature, research on institutional socialization tactics and research on didactical interventions and their effects. Findings – The model interprets workplace learning as a relational and integrated process ofparticipation, acquisition, guidance and social interaction. Psychosocial support, structure-providing interventions and didactical interventions are discussed as essential components of guidance. How these components are enacted is influenced by the characteristics of training firms and their employees’readiness to provide guidance. This makes guidance an intrapersonal process. Workplace guidance is also an interpersonal process in which the agencies of employees mediate the relationship between guidance and interaction, and the agencies of trainees mediate the relationship between, on the onehand, participation and acquisition and, on the other hand, social interaction. Originality/value – Integrated models of what constitutes good workplace guidance are rare. To fillthis gap, this paper highlights constituent aspects of workplace guidance and brings them together in an integrated model. The model can help mentors/employees choose effective interventions to improve workplace learning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)358-372
    Number of pages15
    JournalEuropean Journal of Training and Development
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Workplace learning
    • Agency
    • Didactical interventions,
    • Workplace guidance,
    • Workplace interaction


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