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Learning on the job

Sometimes the best way to learn something is by actually doing it. Find out about learning on the job, from apprenticeships to professional training bodies.

The positives of learning through work

There are quite a few advantages to learning on the job, such as:

  • you'll get paid
  • you can make a start in your chosen job rather than waiting until you've finished a course
  • the people you meet every day will help you build your network
  • rather than just learning about the skills you need for the job, you'll be developing and using them

Depending on how you like to learn, you might find that learning on the job suits you best. 

Work-based learning covers a huge variety of things and we're here to help you discover some of the ways you can learn at work.

Discover the different types of training

Find out more bout the different ways you can learn whilst working. 


There are 3 different types of apprenticeships in Scotland and what you can do depends on what stage you're at. Discover what apprenticeship might be right for you and find out more detail at apprenticeships.scot


In-house training programmes

Many employers offer structured training programmes which let employees develop through work. What happens depends on the employer and the level of the position. For example, school leaver and graduate programmes often involve a level of training, to help you transition from study to work.

Work-based training programmes can help you develop the skills you need to do your job, retrain to move to different positions or work towards promotions. You might have a series of steps which you’re expected to work through within a set amount of time.

It’s useful to find out what’s on offer through different employers when you’re looking for a job.

External training if you're already in a job

If you're already in a job, you may be able to access external training through your employer. Find out if there is a training budget for the department or if you can request training as part of your personal development.

For example, your employer may be able to support you if you want to attend a particular course, event or workshop. Some employers also support employees through college courses or degrees, where you’d study part-time alongside work.

Speak to your manager or HR department to find out what’s available to you. 

Train through a professional body

If there’s a professional body connected with your job, you could work towards an industry-recognised qualification. For example, becoming a chartered engineer allows engineers to develop their careers, progress to management level and reach a higher salary. 

You can use the information on our job profiles to identify professional bodies in your industry.

Discover different job profiles