Types of training

There are three main types of training carried out in the workplace.

  • induction
  • on-the-job
  • off-the-job


Induction training is offered to new employees when they join an organisation and usually includes:

  • a tour of the premises
  • health and safety information
  • specific training on any duties/skills required to do the job
  • company policies such as holiday entitlement and absence procedures
  • introduction to colleagues

Employees will settle quickly into the jobTakes time so reduces output
Employees will be made aware of important health and safety issues before starting the job
Employees will understand who the main personnel in the organisation are

On-the-job training

On-the-job training is training that is undertaken in your place of work. Businesses can carry out several different types of on-the-job training:


An experienced member of staff will work through a task step-by-step with an employee.

The experienced member of staff or ‘coach’ will support the employee through the learning process by passing on their knowledge and skills.

Role play

Role play involves acting out a scenario to see how an employee would perform under certain conditions.

This will allow the employee to practise appropriate ways to deal with situations that may occur in the workplace.

Job rotation

Members of staff can be rotated or moved through different jobs within the organisation so they acquire a range of skills from each department or job role.


Shadowing is when an employee observes another employee working to gain a better understanding of how they do their job. This is usually for a set period of time such as a few days.


Demonstration is when an employee watches a task or a particular process being carried out and then attempts the task/process themselves.

On-the-job training has a number of advantages and disadvantages

Training is specific to the company’s needsQuality of training may not be as good
Work is not interrupted by staff attending training courses outwith the officeMay pick up bad habits from other workers
May be cheaper as internal training does not need to be paid forConcentration may be poor due to work interruptions
Employees will feel more at ease

Off-the-job training

Off-the-job training is training that is undertaken outside the place of work. This training can take place at many locations such as colleges or training centres.


Colleges are formal places of learning where employees can take a specific course. This may be through:

Training centres

A training centre is a location specifically designed for training. Staff are sent to training centres to learn new skills.

Off-the-job training has a number of advantages and disadvantages

Higher quality training usually delivered by expertsCost of external training courses may be high
Higher levels of concentration as less interruptionsProductivity decreases due to time being spent away from the place of work
Employees may learn skills that are not relevant to the business