Section 8.1: On-the-job Training vs. Off-the-job Training

Bhavnit Sarai; Daniela San Pedro; and Hannah Doyle

Off-the-job training involves learning through acquiring knowledge away from the workplace. This method provides employees with the chance to learn in groups, meet other individuals and be trained by specialists and subject matter experts (Barker, 2018). Off-the-job training costs are significantly higher than for learning that happens on the job, as it needs to occur outside of the workplace. In addition, tools and resources also need to be acquired, which can be costly.

On-the-job training involves learning while in the workplace and directly applying the acquired knowledge (Agarwal, 2020). On-the-job training causes no disruptions to the organization’s work processes, and it happens during an employee’s working hours. This method allows employees to learn while they perform in their roles, enabling them to gain hands-on and practical experience as they learn (Surbhi, 2019). The training is imparted by the organization’s own experienced employees, making this option more cost-efficient.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Off-the-job Training:
Advantages Disadvantages
Off-the-job training can bring new ideas into a business It can be expensive
As off-the-job training is expensive, employees who receive it may feel more valued by the organization and therefore more motivated and loyal There is a risk that the newly trained employee will leave the business
The trainer is more likely to provide high-quality training as they will be a skilled expert in this specific area Training might not be tailored to the business and the employee has to spend time away from the workplace to complete the training
There are many options available Productivity is lost while the trainee is away from their role

The table above shows the advantages and disadvantages of off-the-job training. First, employees will have more flexibility and space to bring new ideas to the table. However, a downside of this method is that it can be costly for an organization because they will need to provide resources, special software, tools and equipment for their employees. Second, employees may feel valued in the organization if they see leaders of their organization investing in costly training programs. This will encourage employees to stay motivated, improve their job performance, and increase employee retention. However, a negative impact may be that employees who have received this training may leave the organization and apply their newly gained knowledge elsewhere. Third, employees will gain expert knowledge and training from trainers in a specialized area. However, the employees will need to spend time away from their workspace.


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People Learning and Development Copyright © by Bhavnit Sarai; Daniela San Pedro; and Hannah Doyle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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