Work-based learning (WBL) is where a student or worker completes meaningful job tasks in a workplace that develops readiness for work, knowledge, and skills that support entry or advancement in a particular career field. There are dozens of WBL models with varying degrees of length, intensity, and skills training.
This framework visualizes how different methods of work-based learning fall onto a continuum of four areas:
- Career Exploration: Builds awareness of careers. Career exploration activities do not take place in workplaces and are not work-based learning, but provide a foundation for work-based learning and prepare participants to make the most of opportunities.
- Career Exposure: Brings participants to workplaces for short periods of time with the goal of gaining introductory information about an industry and associated occupations.
- Career Engagement: Provides extended opportunities for participants to increase their knowledge of an identified field of interest and gain employability skills and some entry-level technical knowledge or skills.
- Career Experience: Engages individuals as paid workers to gain specific skills, in conjunction with related classroom or lab instruction, in a particular industry or occupation.