Technical and vocational education typically involves a structured mix of a) work placement to develop new skills and perform real and productive work, and b) off-the-job education and training in a school. The mix of the education and training leads to a formal qualification. The kind of mix vary and how this mix is organised differ from country to country. Also within a country, we will find many different solutions.
Work based training as apprenticeship is an attractive way of learning as it simultaneously enhances skills and prepares for jobs and careers. In most cases, companies take responsibility for apprentices during their work placements. They typically follow a plan for the training that is designed in a cooperation between the public authorities and companies.
Some training requires a separate time with instructors outside productive activities. Other types of training can be integrated into the productive work of the company. For example, after having received instructions from a trainer/instructor the apprentices can try to carry out a certain tasks on their own. They can practice and repeat these tasks either in a real work setting or in a workshop environment. In a real work, setting apprentices exercise their skills while also producing an output.
The apprentice needs more time than a skilled worker needs, but still yields benefits to the company through productive work. Alternatively, the company can hire unskilled people to do the work. However, the unskilled workers also need training to follow up the task on their own. Both an apprentice and an unskilled worker can learn to do productive work in the company. If we on the other hand compare them and look at the results after some years, we will see that training of the apprentice can end with a skilled worker for the company, while training of an unskilled worker will end as a trained unskilled worker.