The challenge of educational disadvantage in a knowledge economy: a case study of Waterford crystal Ltd
Cooke , Senan (2006) The challenge of educational disadvantage in a knowledge economy: a case study of Waterford crystal Ltd. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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The PhD research question ‘how can educationally disadvantaged employees gain the necessary qualifications to secure employability status and contribute to competitiveness in a knowledge based economy ’ is addressed through case study research using Waterford Crystal Ltd, an indigenous, manufacturing, exporting company from 1990-2006 as the context. Both the company and the economy paralleled the transformation of its manufacturing bases to compete in the global economy during this period.
The researcher as Education, Training & Communications Manager in the company was a participant, observer. As an in-dweller he developed a unique set of insights and experiences on how educationally disadvantaged employees coped with the change process.
There are over 1,000 employees in the company and 600,000 in the national economy without a Leaving Certificate. The company responded by investing heavily in educating and training its workforce with particular attention paid to removing the barriers and providing customised progression routes for educationally disadvantaged employees.
In high value, knowledge based work it is individual competencies that become the limiting factor in achieving growth, not new technology or the market. The study contains eighteen recommendations on how the educational deficit of 600,000 educationally disadvantaged employees in the economy can be redeemed.
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