Work-based learning is a broad range of activities aiming to acquire knowledge, skills, and competences in a vocational or occupational context. It can be workplace learning or simulated work environment training. It’s essential in education and training policies to prepare learners for the future job market. It can take place onsite or in a traditional learning environment and can be part of initial or continuing education and training. Work-based learning involves various actors, including teachers, trainers, mentors, and human resource personnel.
Work Based Learning is encompassing a broad range of activities and activity types whic have a similar goal that centres on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences through action-based or reflective learning in a vocational or occupational context. Work based learning usually applies to workplace learning or in-company training (e.g. through internships/traineeships, apprenticeship, alternance training or company visits, job shadowing, etc.) or in a simulated work environment (e.g. in workshops or laboratories in vocational education and training institutions, inter-company/social partner training centres).
From a strategic perspective, the provision of high-quality work-based learning lies at the heart of current education and training policy, with education-industry collaboration regularly prioritised (at national and European levels) and work-based learning increasingly recognised as a means of ensuring that learners of all ages are provided with the knowledge, skills and competences required by a future labour market.
In terms of delivery, work-based learning can take place onsite, in a company or organisation, or within a more traditional learning environment such as a classroom or training centre, the latter targeting learning that is vocationally or occupationally relevant and which centres on meeting the needs or expectations of a particular industry or profession.
Work-based learning can form part of initial education and training programmes, at all levels, or can be a part of a programme or continuing education and training, the latter allowing for the upskilling of staff and supporting personal and professional development and career progression.
To ensure successful delivery, work-based learning involves a wide variety of actors, ranging from those employed in more traditional learning environments such as schools, colleges, Universities and training centres (teachers; trainers; tutors; classroom assistants) to managers and others in the workplace (human resources personnel; individual staff taking the role of mentors or advisors).