Learning by doing: the importance of on-the-job training

With 16 % employee participation, on-the-job training is the second most attended form of continuing vocational training in EU enterprises

On-the-job training contributes to upgrading skills that are particularly important for specific jobs or specific work environments, emphasizing a learning-by-doing approach.

Data source: Eurostat, Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS3)

Key points

  • In 2005, 16 % of all employees in the EU participated in on-the-job training (2005, CVTS data). After CVT courses (33%), on-the-job training was the second most frequent type of continuing vocational training for employees.
  • Compared with an EU average of 16 %, participation in on-the-job training was higher (21%) in large enterprises and lower (10 %) in small enterprises.
  • Participation in on-the-job training was highest in the Czech Republic, Germany and Denmark (25 % or more of all employees) and lowest in France, Italy, Latvia, Cyprus and Greece (7% or less of all employees).
  • On-the-job training in small enterprises is biggest in the Czech Republic and In Luxemburg (27 %), followed by Germany and Slovakia (19 %).
  • Even though participation in training courses tends to be higher than participation in on-the-job training, in some countries, particularly in small and medium enterprises, firms are only slightly more likely to organise training courses than to rely on employee on-the-job training.

The data presented here refer to 2005, originates from the 3rd Continuing Vocational Training Survey (CVTS3) and are subject to its methodology.

The indicator presented here is the number of employees participating in on-the-job training as percentage of all employees in all enterprises (training and not training enterprises). The indicator is calculated for different enterprise class sizes: small (between 10 and 49 employees), medium (between 50 and 249 employees) and large (250 or more employees) as well as for the total of the enterprises considered (regardless of size). The indicator is presented in combination with other indicators calculated in a similar way but related to the participation in other types of employers’ provided training (continuing vocational training courses, job rotation, exchanges or secondments, learning/quality circles, self-learning, continued training at conferences, workshops, lectures and seminars).