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Business-bureau-UK

In order to develop skills and knowledge, employees need to undergo training from a qualified professional in a prepared and designed manner. This aids sustained employment and possible promotion. Training and development can take place on-the-job or off-the-job. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both of these methods? On-the-job training is when the employee is trained at the workplace using its resources, whilst carrying out tasks entailed in the job.

Various types of on-the-job training include: Demonstration/Instruction – where the trainer demonstrates the steps required to be taken to complete a task; Coaching – where the trainee works closely alongside an experienced individual providing beneficial guidance, support and encouragement; Job Rotation – where the trainee is allocated a cocktail of tasks to widen their knowledge and understanding of activities within the company; Projects – where the trainee can broaden their team-working skills whilst completing a group assignment (Tutor2u); Apprenticeships – “a combination of…

work experience and technical training” (Immigrant Toolbox) over one and three years; and Job Shadowing – where the trainee escorts the trainer through everyday tasks, observing the responsibilities undertaken (Barrett, 2003). On-the-job training can solely train an individual or take place alongside off-the job training (Buckley and Caple,

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1996). Rather than going to a training centre, offering guidance at the workplace would be more efficient as the employee would not waste production time or disrupt business activity – they would be working and learning concurrently.

The trainee saves time learning specifically for their role at the workplace, rather than wasting time learning skills and information irrelevant to their job. (Buckley and Caple, 1996). There would be “no hotel, training or extra equipment fees, all is provided in-house and in works time” (Business-bureau-UK, 2003). Whilst working alongside an experienced trainer within a specific field, individual problems can be assessed easily as it would be simpler to keep an eye on the trainee’s progress and improvement, assisting them in decisions to delegate responsibility and authority (Glew et al, 2000).

Any issues with development would be easy to recognise, solve and make necessary changes, due to a closer trainer-trainee relationship (Tutor2u). Inexperienced trainees may slow down productivity due to imperfect work. If materials are wasted, this would be costly (Barrett, 2003). For example, an experienced worker cannot varnish a table until the trainee has painted it. If the worker varnishes a table painted insufficiently, the table may be wasted. An unspecialised trainer may not have the knowledge to maximise the trainee’s potential and may pass on bad habits (i. e. shortcuts and laziness) to the trainee.

An organisation may on the other hand hire someone outside the business to do the job. However, this external trainer may not be familiar with the equipment and surroundings at the workplace, so will take time to adjust to the layout and usage of these fixtures (Tutor2u and Business Bureau-UK, 2002). Although an advantage, time can also be a disadvantage to on-the-job training as an in-house trainer may be under a tight schedule to meet their own deadlines along with educating the trainee. The disorganisation of priorities may encourage rushed explanations, resulting in an under-informed trainee prone to errors.

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