ABSTRACT. This paper deals with the specific characteristics of Human Resource Management (HRM) in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the region of Western Saxony, Germany. Our research provides a descriptive and explorative analysis of HR processes in the regional Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), their specific challenges and the status of Lifelong Learning (LLL). Thus, new insights and knowledge intended to contribute to research regarding HRM for SMEs were generated. The research results were obtained during the Erasmus+ project SHARPEN during which a collaborative cross-regions survey was conducted in five European countries from 2016-2019. This paper presents a review of the current literature relevant for HRM in (regional) SMEs as well as a discussion of the research results and recommendations for SMEs. It was found that the SMEs situated in Western Germany possess reasonably developed HR structures and processes and that Lifelong Learning initiatives are applied. For the benefit of the economic development of the region, offering ways to intensify the exchange of ideas and best practices as well as adopting theoretical constructs could allow the SMEs to gain new incentives for future projects.
Over the past 15 years, learning in distance education universities has become more interactive, flexible, collaborative, and participative. Nevertheless, some accounts have highlighted the importance of developing more instrumental and standardized educational practices to answer the challenges of employability. In fact, the choice of skills that are important to learning communities and the labour market has been the subject of controversy because it involves heterogeneous motives among different groups.
This paper compares the perceptions of employability skills in a sample of teachers from the Universidade Aberta and a sample of students who attend a local learning centre at this University. The research focused on the following dimensions: the most important employability skills, and the employability skills to be developed in online undergraduate degrees. To collect the required data, a questionnaire was prepared and applied to students and teachers taking the theoretical model of Knight and Yorke as its main reference. In spite of the specificity of each group, the results revealed some similarities between students and teachers with regard to employability. The conclusions also highlighted the need to promote research on this matter in online education.
Article first published in IRRODL The International Review of Research in open and distance learning, V. 14, n. 1, pp. 106-125, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence.