Exploring the scope and role of workplace education
Customer focus is becoming one of the hallmarks of progressive, innovative workplaces, with customer responsiveness being closely linked with all aspects of operations, from the design of products and services, to production, delivery and marketing. This focus is also evident in the organisational change literature, quality management strategies, company mission statements as well as new education and training initiatives. In an attempt to be more responsive to increasingly diverse customers, workplaces also need to more effectively manage the diversity of their own personnel. Rather than being perceived as a potential source of miscommunication and tension, workforce diversity is becoming a key contributing factor to success in the marketplace - provided it is effectively managed. This chapter focuses on some of the ways that educators can contribute to these changes. It also looks at a short training programme developed by Catherine O'Grady and Jan Porter for the public contact staff of a culturally diverse local council.