What Does On-The-Job Training Mean?
On-the-job training is teaching the skills, knowledge, and competencies that are needed for you to perform a specific job within the workplace and work environment, with supervision. You will learn in an environment in which you will need to practice the knowledge and skills taught in the on-the-job training. You will learn how to use the regular or existing workplace tools, machines, documents, equipment, knowledge, and skills necessary to learn to effectively perform your job.
It will occur within the normal working environment that you have been allocated to work although you could move to other departments. It will occur as you perform actual work and you should expect you will progress from simple tasks to more complex tasks as your apprenticeship goes on.
How to be Savvy during your Apprenticeship
We’ve all been there! That first day in a new job. Sleepless nights. That feeling of being like a fish out of water. First day nerves. All perfectly normal, especially when mixed with a feeling of excitement that you are finally on the road to the career you have dreamed of.
You will get plenty of training and support, but you need to also take responsibility for your own learning. And we know a few things you can try to help you do this…
Shadow Those In-the-Know
At the very best you will be allocated a mentor in the department you are working in. Your mentor should carry out your induction if possible, which allows you to form a good relationship with them right from the beginning of your apprenticeship. However, they are not the only person you can connect with to understand your personal job role, how the department works together as a team and how you fit in to the bigger organisational picture.
Build up your own mini internal network. Figure out who to go to for what – most people have a speciality or deal with a specific job in the department.
Ask Questions and Take Notes
Asking questions is a great way to learn the details of the job and all the while getting to know your co-workers. Try to take notes which in turn may produce new questions. Try not to ask questions every minute of the day as your co-workers need to fulfil their job requirements everyday but if you make a list of the questions you need to ask them then you can ask them to schedule some time with you that fits their diary. They will appreciate this approach and show you are being thoughtful and considerate to their workloads.
You may well be hungry for knowledge and be chomping at the bit to try new things but there will certainly be things you will can find out for yourself. This will demonstrate your resourcefulness and remember you can and should check with someone you have it right.
It will impress your co workers and demonstrate they have someone on their team they can in the future rely on to research things for themselves. or indeed. for them if required.
If you have equipment or computer programmes you need to learn then practice when you get a chance. As they say – practice makes perfect!
Talking About Your Progress
Remember your apprenticeship is a process where you start on day one, with little to no knowledge and arrive on the end day, with the skills/knowledge and competencies to do the job for the role and level you have trained for.
You can make this journey as focused as you want to. Let’s suppose you have done all the above, then you will have more to talk about in your progress reviews with your mentor/manager and your tutor. If you have notes to show what you have looked at yourself and further questions to ask in your review, this is far better impression to give than saying very little.
It is widely recognised that on-the-job training, when done well, is a great strategy. It can provide a solid foundation of skills, knowledge and job competencies along with high levels of motivation from learners. A Win Win situation!