On-the-Job Training


On-the-job training develops job skills for workers. It can be delivered in many different ways, from formal classroom settings to informal job shadowing. It can cover many different skills, from occupational skills to basic literacy training. Upjohn Institute research has examined job training that is given to incumbent workers but is financed by public dollars. We have also studied literacy training done in the workplace.

Little disagreement exists regarding the value of job training to develop job skills for todays careers. In an economic downturn, skilled workers with up-to-date training have the best chance of keeping a job and earning higher wages, especially in high-growth occupations.


  • What is the role of public support for on-the job-training?
  • What types of training (formal or informal) work best for which workers?
  • Does on-the-job training pay off for workers? For employers?
  • What is the need for and effectiveness of basic skills training in the workplace?

Selected Institute Research

Is There a Role for Public Support of Incumbent Worker On-the-Job Training?
Kevin Hollenbeck, Upjohn Institute
Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 08-138, January 2008

An Evaluation of the 21st Century Workplace Skills Initiative
Kevin Hollenbeck, Upjohn Institute
Bridget Timmeney, Upjohn Institute
Indiana Department of Workforce Development, December 2007

Workplace Education for Low-Wage Workers
Amanda L. Ahlstrand, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
Laurie J. Bassi, Human Capital Capability Inc.
Daniel P. McMurrer, Knowledge Asset Management Inc.
Upjohn Institute Press, 2003

On the Job Training
John M. Barron, Purdue University
Mark C. Berger, University of Kentucky
Dan A. Black, University of Kentucky
Upjohn Institute Press, 1997

More Institute Research about On-the-Job Training

Useful Links

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)