Work-based learning (WBL) gives students exposure to the world of work through a set of sequenced and coordinated activities. It addresses the shared goal of educators and employers in preparing students with the knowledge and skills necessary for productive careers.
When executed correctly, work-based learning enables students to achieve educational outcomes that align with employer requirements—bridging the gap between school and work. Students have the opportunity for applied career exploration which brings job-relevance to the educational process. Through exposure and financial support, they gain access to new, attainable career opportunities.
How can a quality WBL experience be provided?
Implementing a quality WBL program is made possible through partnerships between education, industry, non-profit and public organizations. This model delivers a comprehensive set of experiences designed to promote awareness, build capacity and align resources for students. This gives them the necessary tools to grow, develop, plan, execute and transition to meaningful productive careers.
What’s the difference between work-based learning and on-the-job training?
That’s a great question. On-the-job training (OJT) is often a component of quality WBL. What distinguishes them is that WBL aligns work experiences with an educational objective—not employment alone. OJT is often more narrow in focus, with the ability to provide the exact training required to execute specific job roles and functions. Conversely, WBL leverages OJT as part of its educational strategy. The focus? Develop the largest set of knowledge and competencies needed for both employment and educational outcomes.
Applying the principles of work-based learning
Work-based Learning is not a new concept, but the increasing efforts of so many to establish and grow Youth Apprenticeship models makes it necessary to align with practical, quality principles to ensure design, outcomes and continuous improvement efforts are not compromised.
Career-oriented | Equitable | Portable | Adaptable | Accountable