Work-Based Learning

What is it? It is training or education on a job site, where participants learn from real-life work experiences or exposure. Work-based learning can take a variety of forms and involve different levels of intensity. In some forms, participants are fully integrated into the workplace, gaining not only technical skills but professionalism and employability skills as well. Paid apprenticeships, summer youth employment programs, On-the-Job Training (OJT) provided under WIOA, and paid and unpaid internships are all considered work-based learning. Less intensive forms of work-based learning involve job shadowing or visits to a work site. 

Who provides it? Employers offer work-based learning programs, often in partnership with the public workforce system or education and training providers. 

Why is it important? Work-based learning offers the opportunity for exposure to work and hands-on instruction that might not be available in classroom training. The idea is that training delivered at the job site, often at the expense of the employer, may be better aligned with current skill requirements. Participants in work-based learning are also socialized into a real work environment, which reinforces employability skills that are hard to teach in a classroom.