What is Work-based-learning?

Have you ever tried to imagine your “ideal employee”?
Ideally, it would be a person who is dedicated to the job, loyal to the employer, being in a possession of all theoretical and practical knowledge required for the certain position, sharing and representing the same values as the company itself.

But where and how to find your “ideal employee”?
How to achieve this level of synergy?

Today we expect students and employees to possess these 21st Century skills in order to be successful in their careers.The skills looked for by employers are often cited as:

  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Information literacy
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Civic literacy and citizenship
  • Problem solving
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Social responsibility and ethics
  • Global and cultural awareness
  • Technology literacy

But where and how is it possible to gain such a wide range of knowledge and practical skills especially among young people when they are only starting out in their career paths?

WBL might be the answer.




The character and process of work-based learning creates an opportunity and basis for companies to support the personal and professional development of their current and future employees, creating learning environments contributing to the “modelling” of the ideal employees.

Work-based learning refers to learning that occurs when people learn by doing real work. This work can be paid or unpaid, but it must be real work that leads to the production of tangible goods and services.

There are different types of work-based learning, their types and regulations depend on the legislation of the country. Some EU countries have well-structured WBL systems with a long tradition of implementation; whilst other EU countries have recently introduced new dual-based learning systems promoting WBL, and then there are those countries that are working to improve the current range of WBL options available to ensure, that the process is effective and beneficial for all parties involved.


Work-based learning – A process where everyone wins

Who is involved in the process?

  • Public Employment Service
  • Schools and colleges
  • Vocational education and training administrators
  • Employers
  • Employees
  • Learners

What to consider?

The process and structure of WBL differs from country to country. If introducing work-based learning within your company, it is important to not only consider the legislative regulations and procedures but also address existing perceptions of WBL, its realise the benefits and obstacles that could impact on the process. Having knowledge of these factors creates a basis for the successful introduction and implementation of WBL programmes.

Moving on from the perceptions of work-based learning it is important to realise, that this type of long-term investment creates an opportunity for employers to “create” their ideal employee and on the other hand offers learners and employees an opportunity to become skilled in their job roles, gain confidence and hopefully join safe, welcoming and supporting workplace environments, where they are able to be continuously develop their skills and knowledge.