Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.20. Describe and discuss the features of the occupational environment

ryanrori January 24, 2021

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What do we mean when we refer to the occupational environment? Our environment refers to our surroundings. It can be defined as our social and physical conditions; the conditions that surround people and affect the way they live.

We spend the bulk of our adult life in some or other occupation. Most adults, depending on the level they attain in education, will work from their early twenties until they retire at sixty or sixty five. Obviously in economically depressed areas with few educational facilities, people might start work at a much younger age and be forced to continue working until they are too old or sick to do so.

Also in some parts of the world, unemployment is a major problem, and so not all adults can find work. The figure for unemployment in South Africa varies according to the source but ranges from estimates of 20 to 40 percent.

Depending on what type of work we end up doing our workplace environments can vary enormously.

1.6.3 Describe the ways in which the learning processes / application of learning is affected

As we have seen, there are many things that could influence the learning processes and the application of learning, such as:

  • Technological resources
  • Communication resources
  • Communication strategies
  • Multilingual needs in relation to necessary client or colleague interaction

By the time we start our careers, we will have had a broad range of learning. We will have experienced:

  • transmission teaching whereby information is passed on by a lecturer or via notes
  • more interactive learning methods in which we undertook small research projects, went on field trips, collected and analysed data, worked in groups, accessed information on the internet, presented our findings and so on
  • some courses such as this one which deals with broad general topics like communication 

Altogether you will possess a wide range of skills and learning strategies. How will you apply these in your occupational environment? Will you stop learning once you have completed a particular qualification or learning programme?

The answer to the second question is a definite and resounding “no”. No matter how thorough your basic training has been there will always be aspects to your work that require you to learn new things.

We can cluster the type of application of learning that you will experience the need of in the workplace as:

  • Technological knowledge – Many of your courses will have provided you with much that is necessary in this regard. You may however end up working in an occupation that requires very specific technological expertise and may have to learn this as well as apply what you already know.
  • Communication skills – Even if you end up being a researcher who does not interact with clients or employees in any way, you would still have to communicate with colleagues and communicate your findings in public arenas.

Multilingualism – In our country there is often a need to be able to communicate effectively in more than one language, e.g. in the Western Cape the three main languages are English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. It would be extremely beneficial to you as a future employee/business owner to become as proficient as possible in all of these languages. Most people appreciate the attempt others make to speak their language and multilingualism ensures effective communication with a far broader range of people in your occupational environment.