WBL Accelerator - Can the benefits of WBL outweigh the costs?


While empirical studies on the cost-effectiveness of WBL are scarce, studies carried out in recent decades in countries with well-established WBL systems have shown that the financial benefits of apprenticeships (the apprentice’s productive contribution) often at least equal the financial costs of training (lost output plus the management and administration of training), and that in many cases the financial benefits of WBL outweigh the training cost, even during the training programme. The reasons include

  • the higher productivity of fully experienced workers trained within the organisation compared to those recruited externally;
  • the better organisational fit between employees trained in-house and the organisation’s working practices;
  • improved staff retention of apprentices trained within the organisation;
  • external funding of up-front costs of apprenticeships in some countries (e.g. diverse financial incentives);
  • avoidance of the difficulties associated with recruiting suitable fully experienced workers in the labour market.

If your company is not currently involved in work-based learning, we hope this article has presented some compelling arguements as to why you should at least consider it.

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