What is WBL?

Learning that takes place within the workplace using tasks or jobs for instruction and practical purposes. It may be formal and structured using instructional plans, or informal, occurring incidentally, in the process of normal daily work, for example, through experience, practice, mentoring or demonstration. There are a number of different types of work-based learning programmes. These have different advantages and disadvantages: for learners, for employers, for schools and colleges, and for governments.  

Work-based learning can be used to achieve a number of different objectives, such as:

  • to develop vocational skills that contribute to recognised vocational qualifications;
  • to develop general work habits and job-readiness;
  • to help students to understand what is involved in jobs so that they make better career choices;
  • to give disadvantaged people and job seekers access to opportunities to work that they might not otherwise have.

The main types of WBL:

arrangements in which the learner is legally an employee, such as formal apprenticeships, and in some cases alternance; in some cases informal apprenticeships may come under this heading;

  • arrangements in which the learner is legally a student; these can be called by a number of names, including traineeships, internships, work placements and cooperative education;
  • borderline cases such as virtual firms, training firms, or ‘real’ firms that are attached to and part of educational institutions;
  • programmes such as work shadowing and work experience, the main aim of which is to teach the learner about work rather than to teach them to do work.  

If you would like to learn more about WBL, sign up for this FREE ONLINE COURSE.

This free e-learning tool is designed to support those in charge of students’ training in working environments by providing relevant information and facilitating planning, organization and implementation of work-based learning.

It can be used by a mentor-to-be as well as anyone looking to enhance existing knowledge on the subject.