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On-the-Job Training: Why and How to Support Modern Learners On The Job

The transition from student to full-time worker is not as easy as it sounds. While students learn and master trades while in school, not all of them graduate equipped with all the skills they need to survive and excel in the workplace. Schools teach technical skills, but some soft skills can only be learned and improved through experience.

And, that is one of the reasons why young people go through traineeship programs before they officially enter the workforce. It allows young people to adjust to apply the knowledge and skills they gained at school in the real world.

Moreover, on-the-job training gives young people mentors who will show them how to function inside the office. In Singapore, students are encouraged to enter a two-year program to have hands-on experience and work with a supervisor who can show them the ropes.

A survey conducted in the United States found that only 13 percent of adults say that college graduates are ready to succeed in the workplace.

What Organizat ions Gain from It

Businesses also gain from welcoming young people preparing to enter the workforce into their teams. The program is an opportunity for businesses to train and create a pool of talented individuals who will be well-equipped to start making meaningful contributions by the time they graduate. The more energy and resources an organization puts into the program, the better it will become, creating an even stronger pool of young people who are ready to go to work.

Many organizations treat the program as a test period for potential employers. In many cases, trainees who do well during the program are offered a full-time job as soon as they graduate from their respective universities. A lot of Fortune 500 companies eventually turn over 80 percent of their interns as entry-level hires.

Trainees also provide fresh perspectives and support employees in their day-to-day tasks. It is an arrangement that benefits everyone involved.

Assign Meaningful Tasks

Trainees do not have all the knowledge and skills necessary to join the workforce yet, but they are highly-educated and capable individuals. They also enter the program to learn.

Many companies make the mistake of giving trainees responsibilities that are either too easy or have nothing to do with their field. In short, they do not fully utilize the talent that is available to them through the program.

Trainees would not learn anything if they are only made to answer the phone or take everyone’s coffee orders. They should be assigned to departments where their knowledge and skills can be applied and be included in meetings and projects that will impact the organization’s success and future.

Explain Everything

explaining to coworkers

Trainees do not have prior experience working, so they might not know everything that, to a worker that has been in the industry for years, might think as easy or obvious. Some of them may not ask a question or clarification in fear of appearing dumb. As a result, they end up making a mistake.

When assigning tasks, provide detailed instructions and clearly communicate what is expected of them to do. Bosses should also be available to answer questions at all times.

Moreover, encourage an environment that celebrates asking questions and contributing ideas. The trainee should feel that they are welcomed and included in the organization.

Schedule Check-Ins

Trainees should always be included. There is nothing worse than being forgotten because it means that they are not getting the training they need to become efficient workers. They walk out of the program unsatisfied.

Organizations should regularly meet with the young people in their care and speak to them. A daily check-in where the trainee can receive orders and instructions and voice out their thoughts and concerns should be done by whoever is in charge. There should also be a more formal weekly sit-down meeting to assess if the trainee is getting the knowledge, skills, and experience they need from the program. Through these check-ins, the trainee can communicate whether their expectations are being met.

The trainee must feel like they are part of the team, and they are being treated as an important contributor to the organization.

Create Opportunities for Networking

Trainees also expect to connect with people within the industry during the program. Aside from teaching them the processes and procedures within the organization, they should also be given chances to interact with industry leaders.

Introduce trainees to executives within and outside the organization, and allow them to ask questions. It will serve as a learning experience and allow them to create connections so that they can gain employment or start their own ventures by the end of the program.

A training program benefits both the trainee and the organization that welcomes them. Organizations, therefore, should make sure that the time young people spend in the program is worth their while.

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