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The Law and Best Practices for On-The-Job Training Part 1

In order to avoid a situation of imbalance in which the level or type of skills available does not correspond to the needs of the labor market, academic institutions have designed programs to ensure that the skills they impart shall match the needs of the industry. The most common of these programs is the on-the-job trainings (OJT) or internship trainings.

On-the-job training is a training program for students designed to immerse them in a work environment relevant to their courses in an attempt to learn productivity in, knowledge on, and respect for the workplace.[1] It is commonly known as “internship” and is part of the student’s curriculum to ensure the mastery not only of theoretical knowledge but also of practical skills in the workplace. The essence of on-the-job training is practical training. Legally however, there are various forms of practical training, each of which have their own legal and business implications. This article will focus on the legal definition and best practices of on-the-job trainings.

What an On-The-Job Training really is and is not legally As stated, the basic foundation of the term “on-the-job” training is practical training. The most common form of practical training is the internship program mandated by the senior high school curriculum and some collegiate course of study. Another form of practical training is the apprenticeship program. Under which, the company provides both theoretical knowledge and practical application of highly advanced technology.[2] Closely akin, but not identical to it, is the learnership program. It only involves training in semi-skilled industries and need not be supplemented by theoretical knowledge.[3] Lastly, the Dual Training System (DTS) is another practical training system modality which involves Theoretical training in an academic institution and practical training in a business establishment.[4] Each of the abovementioned practical training programs have their own specifications. They have different requirements as regulated by different government agencies. For a detailed account of their characteristics and distinctions, please see the article entitled “Different Forms of Practical Training in the Philippines”.

To understand the legal ramifications of the difference between an employee and a trainee with a practical example, wait for Part 2 next week!


[1] Department of Labor and Employment, On-The-Job Training Manual, available at (last accessed July 10, 2019). [2] Art 59 PD442, Labor Code of the Philippines. [3] Id. Art 74. [4] RA 7686.

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