Vocational education and training in the military context

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The fundamental intention of this research study was to investigate the vocational education experiences of learners undertaking military vocational training to ultimately draw an understanding of those learning experiences of military personnel, and therefore inform future practice. This research study aimed to address the following research question: How is vocational education and training, delivered in the military context, adequate in preparing military personnel for civilian work? This research question was designed to focus on the transferability of military attained vocational education skills and knowledge to the civilian workplace, and whether a military staff member making the move to the civilian workplace employed in an equivalent job would have adequate training. The researcher has strived to highlight the perception of military trainees about the transferability of their military acquired vocational education and training skills and qualifications to the civilian workplace. In achieving this various trainees and trainers were invited to participate in this study to complete questionnaires and interviews concerning aspects of military vocational training and the transferability of these skills to the civilian workplace. The vocational fields of interest and analysed within the study include hospitality, clerical administration and aviation. Case studies were developed and created from the data collected presenting and illustrating the learning experiences of military trainees who have undertaken military vocational training. These case studies examine and investigate the learners perceived quality of training, the support provided to the trainees, and their view on transition to the civilian workplace. The findings of the case studies are discussed and analysed in depth through a thematic analysis presenting the perceptions of both trainees and trainers of the transfer of military acquired vocational skills and qualifications to a civilian workplace. Of major concern to this study was the situated nature of military delivered vocational training and whether these skills and knowledge can be transferred to a civilian workplace and whether military acquired vocational training can be used to gain civilian employment once transfer from the military is sought. Through the development of the case studies and then with analysis of major topics and issues raised , various transition factors that may hinder and impede a successful transition to civilian work are highlighted. What will be required of military personnel once seeking transition is also raised as well as an awareness highlighted by the participants that transfer is to an extent more significant than skills. Transition from the military to civilian work is a personal transition requiring the ex-military member to adapt to a new environment and organisation, learn new ways of work and to develop new working relationships.
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