Work-based Learning

A vocational qualification includes Work-based Learning, either with a training agreement or by apprenticeship. All students take part in it during their studies.

Work-based Learning is a crucial part of your vocational studies. It allows you to familiarise yourself with different kinds of jobs and tasks, and helps you to clarify your plans for the future. You will demonstrate your learning in real-life work tasks at a workplace – this is called skills demonstration. The length of the time spent at the workplace varies between individuals, but in vocational qualifications it is typically around 9 or 18 weeks. At the end of the Work-based Learning period your teacher responsible and your workplace instructor will assess your skills. The grades you get from each unit will be marked in your vocational qualification certificate.

Having work experience is a valuable asset when you are looking for a job. You might even get a part-time job or a summer job from the company where you did your Work-based Learning period.

Before you can start studying at a workplace, your workplace instructor and the responsible teacher, together with you, will agree on the work tasks and other practicalities, such as lunch. At the same time you will prepare the training or apprenticeship agreement, and update your personal competence development plan (PCDP). It is the employer’s responsibility to take care of orientating and familiarising you to the company, the staff, and the work, to ensure you get guidance and to familiarise you with occupational safety matters. The teacher will orientate your workplace instructor to the contents of the skills demonstrations and the assessment criteria. You are responsible for finding a suitable workplace, and for doing the given tasks as well as you can.

Read more about training on the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture (in Finnish) through this link

How to find a suitable workplace?

Finding a suitable workplace requires that you are active and that you take initiative in contacting the businesses and organisations that interest you. However, Business College Helsinki also has contacts to long-time partner companies that have hosted many our students during their Work-based Learning period in the past.

You can browse the vacancies for training, apprenticeship or job through the Wilma-platform. You are also free to apply to any company or business you might find interesting. It is also possible for you to apply to a business that is owned by your friends or relatives, in case the work tasks match your curriculum. At the workplace you must be able to do tasks that are related to the unit you are studying. The employer will provide you a skilled workplace instructor, offer you the tools needed for the job, and ensures that the work environment is safe and functional.

If you are interested in training or apprenticeship abroad, and you are at least 18 years old, contact our coordinators of international affairs. They can help you in finding a workplace abroad. Through them you can also apply for a grant to cover the expenses of going abroad.

What does skills demonstration mean?

All vocational qualifications include studying at the workplace, which allows you to demonstrate your skills in practical work tasks, in actual work situations, and real work environments. The demonstrations are a crucial part of the assessment of your skills – the grade for the whole unit consists of the skills you demonstrated, and other kind of completing skills.

You take part in planning the skills demonstrations with you teacher and your workplace instructor. At the beginning of the Work-based Learning period you will create a plan for the skills demonstrations in written. At the end of the skills demonstration your workplace instructor and the teacher responsible for training will assess you according to the qualification requirements. You may be present for the assessment discussion, but you cannot affect the assessment itself.

Your skills will be assessed on the scale from 1 to 5, and the assessment is based on the qualification requirements. The requirements are the same for everyone. On the basis of the assessment discussion your workplace instructor and the responsible teacher will give the grades for the units in question.

You can read more on the contents of units at the EPerusteet website, . The website includes the objectives, the vocational competence requirements and the assessment criteria.

Will I get paid for studying at the workplace?

In most cases Work-based Learning is unpaid, and Business College Helsinki signs a training agreement with the company/organisation in question. If you get student benefits from Kela, you will receive it during the training just like before. If you are unable to have lunch on campus during the work days, you can get additional meal support for every working day (the form is on Wilma)

If you have a training agreement, you are covered by the mandatory insurance by Business College Helsinki. It covers the injuries and hazards that might occur at the workplace. This means that in case there is some kind of unintentional hazard at the workplace, your expenses will be covered by the insurance. The accidents are also covered if they occur during the direct trips from home or campus to the workplace. The insurance does not cover any incidents caused intentionally.

It is good to remember that even though your training might be unpaid, in the best case you might get a part-time job, a summer job or even a permanent work contract from the company where you did your training. Instead of a training agreement, the company can sign an apprenticeship contract with you. This means that you are employed by the company, and you get paid for your work. During the apprenticeship contract you are not eligible for Kela’s student grant, and the salary might affect the other social benefits you get. During the apprenticeship the students are insured by the company.

For a training or apprenticeship abroad you may apply for a grant from Business College.

If you would like to know more, you can ask your teacher or Futura

Your responsible teacher will let you know when your Work-based Learning period takes place, and they will also tell you more about the required work tasks. The responsible teacher will prepare and sign the training or apprenticeship agreement in cooperation with you and the workplace.

You can turn to Futura (room 247, also for example when you need help with writing an work application, making a curriculum vitae or finding a workplace.