As already mentioned WBL’s main objective is to give students the opportunity to combine school-based learning with actual experiences on a real workplace in order to acquire hard and soft skills, as well as working experience, and get in touch with the current conditions in the labour market. It is undeniable that students are the protagonists of all WBL programmes, as the latter are designed and implemented for them, with the aim of helping them to develop expertise and a set of skills, competencies and behaviours that are highly relevant to a particular profession and a specific field. Bearing this in mind, it is important to ensure that first of all students realise the value of a WBL programme and that they have specific aims, expected results and aspirations that they want to achieve through it.
It is highly essential that learners are in a workplace that matches their profiles, their knowledge level, skills and competences, as well as their future career aspirations and personal objectives. This will help to make sure that students stay motivated and are learning what they actually want to learn. It will also provide a better fit into the workplace, meeting the company’s expectations and, as a result, will help the student to acquire confidence. In most WBL programmes the selection is normally done by the employer. It is undeniable that in order for all interested parties to enjoy benefits, this selection has to be carefully executed. Companies can and should be assisted in WBL student selection. Also, there is a need for careful screening by the VET school in order to make sure that students and companies are well matched.
VET schools, besides preparing students prior to the WBL experience by providing appropriate learning opportunities and facilities, should also help students to develop their personal learning paths for Work-Based Learning after the selection. Such a learning path, which is complimentary to the student’s CV, should contain information about personal, employment and career objectives. It should also contain information about what is expected from the student in that particular work, as well as the aims of this WBL placement. This way students can, on the one hand, express their objectives and on the other be informed about their general responsibilities in their new placement. This learning path should be completed by the students in cooperation with their teachers and bearing in mind the specific workplace, after the selection and best before the learning agreement. Tutors can discuss student’s personal objectives and aims with the responsible company-person/mentor and, bearing in mind the general framework of the WBL programme, they can negotiate the specific tasks-projects that the student is going to be involved in, during the WBL programme.