Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Proceedings of the International Academic Conference, Novotel Lisboa Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal. September 9 - 12, 2012.


This research set out to examine the learning experience of apprentice painters and decorators on the Irish Standards Based Apprenticeship. It focussed on three painting and decorating apprentices from the DIT who were coming towards the end of their four year apprenticeship. As such, the participants had experienced the full range of possible learning on the programme. The Irish Standards Based Apprenticeship system incorporates work based learning with college based learning. As such, the learning experience is wide and varied. The main aim of the study was to explore the learning experiences of apprentices on the standards based apprenticeship in their own words. This would provide for unique insights into that learning experience. The research design was interprtivism informed by a constructionist epistemology. As it was exploring the real life experience of the participants it was phenomenological in nature. The research method was one on one semi structured interviews and the data was analysed using interpretative phenomenological analyses. One of the findings from this research indicated the transformative power of learning. Each participant effectively experienced a change in their self perception and sense of self as they engaged in the learning process.