How to apply learning in the workplace

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Work based learning is on the up. Allowing students to improve their qualifications without the need to give up their existing careers, it means study is more affordable and more accessible. For employers it means strengthening the skills of their workforce without losing any staff of having to re-train and re-hire. So it’s easy to see why this study route is an increasingly popular one across a range of industries.

One of the major benefits of work based learning programmes is that by applying learning in the workplace students learn faster, and with a deeper grasp of their newfound knowledge. For employers, it means their business benefits from their employee’s improved skills from day one.

So how can students and businesses make applying learning in the workplace easier?

Work based learning programmes

By choosing a work based learning course students are facilitating the transfer of new skills from the classroom to the workplace from the outset. These study programmes ensure that students’ existing skills and work experience are accredited, while new skills learned are tailored to their specific workplace. Students study part time online and/or on campus, as well as in the workplace, and have the opportunity to apply their new skills and knowledge to the real working environment day by day.

Tailored learning

Work based courses are unique in that they are specifically tailored to the existing careers of students, as well as to their future career goals. Schools work hand-in-hand with students and their employers to create courses that deliver practical skills and knowledge that will benefit the business they work for. This makes applying learning to the workplace that much easier, since skills learned in the classroom directly relate not just to the student’s chosen industry but to the very company they currently work for.

It also means that students have peace of mind, sure in the knowledge that the coursework they have invested in will have real world applications and they will have a guaranteed job to go to upon graduation.

Involve employers as well as educators

Employers can help to tailor the course of their employee. For example, most work based learning courses culminate in an end of course project. This project can be designed around the business, delivering valuable research, development and insight for the company while the student learns valuable skills and completes their qualification.

Employers can facilitate the transfer of skills from the classroom to the workplace in other ways too. Ensuring that student employees are given the time they need during the working day to put new knowledge and working methods into practise is very helpful. Colleagues and managers can help by supporting new ideas and input rather than being resistant to change.


Students themselves need to realise the benefits of applying learning to the workplace. They can identify ways to apply learning to their roles, and talk directly with managers and employers to see how they can help implement this. Being self-motivated and confident in their new learning will help students transfer their skills where they can. It’s also valuable for students to seek feedback from their employers and colleagues regarding new skills they’ve been putting into practise.

The University of Lincoln Work-Based Learning top-up degrees will help you achieve your career goals and obtain a qualification with a global focus. Find out more about the Lincoln WBDL programmes.


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