Considering vocational training needs, it can be concluded that action-based technical learning skills may require in terms of testing implications of new concepts. In this context, Levinson’s life task development model suggest that for the age group of 17 and 22 (as in CNC training program), developmental period is at the early adult transition and the task could be to explore possibilities and make tentative commitments (Levinson, 1986). In other words, the model suggests that vocational training for early adult transition can be more of an exploratory stage. In that regard, on-the-job training (OJT) stands as an option to be considered in CNC operators’ training program.

OJT stands as a variation of vocational training, and it can be handled in more of a professional environment. On-the-job training is training that takes place while employees are actually working. It means that skills can be gained while trainees are carrying out their jobs. This benefits both employees and the business. Employees learn in the real work environment and gain experience dealing with the tasks and challenges that they will meet during a normal working day. The business benefits by ensuring that the training is specific to the job. It also does not have to meet the additional costs of providing off-the-job training or losing working time.

There are several methods of providing on-the-job training. Four frequently used methods are briefly described as1:

  • Coaching – “an experienced member of staff will help trainees learn skills and processes through providing instructions or demonstrations (or both)”.

  • Mentoring – “each trainee is allocated to an established member of staff who acts as a guide and helper. A mentor usually offers more personal support than a coach, although the terms ‘mentor’ and ‘coach’ are often used interchangeably”.

  • Job rotation – “this is where members of staff rotate roles or tasks so that they gain experience of a full range of jobs”.

  • Sitting next to Nellie’ – “this describes the process of working alongside a colleague to observe and learn the skills needed for a particular process. This can be a faster and more useful way of learning a job role than studying a written manual. The colleague is always on hand to answer any questions or deal with any unexpected problems”.

In that regard, coaching and mentoring may step further as OJT implementation which is a similar approach to the traditional method. It would also ease the process of adaptation in learning process. On the other side, economic benefits of OJT is one of the main drivers in the business (Mincer, 1962).In terms of productivity and return on investments, the emphasis on OJT in vocational training should be considered as a primary substitute to the in-class education (Lechner, 2012). In that regard, CNC operators were believed to be well-suited in OJT trainings in terms of gaining professional skills effectively.


Lechner, M. (2012). Training the East German labour force: microeconometric evaluations of continuous vocational training after unification. Retrieved from

Levinson, D. (1986). A conception of adult development. American Psychologist. Retrieved from

Mincer, J. (1962). On-the-Job Training: Costs, Returns, and Some Implications. Journal of Political Economy, 70(2), 50–79. Retrieved from