Work-based learning (WBL) as an educational strategy provides students with opportunities to gain real-life work experiences where they can apply and develop skills and competencies, new or existing, that are essential on the labour market. WBL is a particularly effective way to motivate and re-motivate disengaged learners who are at risk of early school leaving.
There are three major approaches to the work-based learning model. The first approach, often referred to as dual system is the teaming-up of companies and training providers with the educational institution. In this model, students spend a significant period of time during their educational years working at the integrated companies. These periods of gaining first-hand work experience are complemented by the individuals acquiring general and occupation-related knowledge and complementary skills in the classroom. The second approach is school-based training, where a work placement or internship is incorporated as an optional, or compulsory element of the school-based programme. Finally, in the third model WBL is integrated into the programme through workshops, simulation projects, and other assignments that create “real life” work environments and develop the most relevant skills and competences (e.g. entrepreneurship competences) to reflect labour market needs.