Vocations and Learning

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 121–140 | Cite as

Assisting with Qualification Completion by Applying the Concept of Occupational Identity as Conferred before Self-Inference: a Longitudinal Case Study of Bakery Apprentices

  • Selena Chan
Original Paper


This paper proposes the utilisation of a method for matching qualifications’ graduate profile outcomes to job roles and work responsibilities as apprenticeship progresses. In so doing, attainment of qualifications is made possible through the workplace validation of graduate profiles. Conferred occupational identity by other workers or managers before apprentices’ self-inference is argued to provide reliability to the validation process. The data supporting the premises introduced and discussed in this article are derived from a longitudinal study of bakers’ apprenticeship. In the study, the metaphoric phases of “belonging to a workplace, becoming and being” are used to explain apprentices’ progressive occupational roles as allocated through work tasks. Occupational responsibilities alter as apprentices proceed through proximal participation into apprenticeship. Apprentices begin as junior apprentices, progressing to nascent bakers, senior apprentices, bakers as conferred by workmates and supervisors, and eventually charge-hands or shift leaders, overseeing other bakery workers. Therefore, apprentices’ occupational identity become associated with designated job roles as accompanied by the role’s attendant tasks and work responsibilities. When apprentices are able to complete assigned duties, other workers confer the occupational descriptors on apprentices before apprentices eventually infer their status within the organisational hierarchy.


Vocational education Apprenticeship Occupational identity Qualification completion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academic Services DivisionAra Institute of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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