On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a program available to youth and adults, including dislocated workers, as authorized in the applicable Local Workforce Development Board Plan and Service Provider Agreement.
OJT is a training activity conducted by a private, private nonprofit or public sector employer that occurs while an individual is engaged in productive work. The individual learns the necessary skills and information for full and adequate employment performance.
Unique features of OJT are:
- The participant begins training as a permanent employee of the OJT employer and is subject to the same conditions of employment as other similarly employed individuals
- The participant receives training in a production setting, under appropriate supervision, gaining knowledge of the job and acquiring and applying occupational skills while performing on the job
- The OJT is limited by the period of time required for the participant to become proficient in the occupation for which the training is being provided
OJT is directed at employers who are able to provide occupational skill training and full-time employment that leads to self-sufficiency for the participant. OJT employers must agree first to hire and then to train eligible WIOA participants. Reimbursement of up to 50% of the wage rate is provided to OJT employers to compensate for the extraordinary costs of training. Extraordinary costs are those associated with training and additional supervision.
Despite the benefits accruing to employers who participate as OJT employers, the focus of the OJT program is the participant. OJT, first and foremost, is designed to provide participants an opportunity to receive the training necessary to acquire skills and knowledge that will enable them to maintain self-sufficient employment and compete for job advancement.
OJT Program Eligibility
An OJT is appropriate for a participant when:
- The participant has received at least one intensive service and has not been able to gain or retain employment
- The Individual Employment Plan has identified employment goals and achievement objectives that support the use of an OJT
- This requires an in-depth assessment of the occupational and academic skills of a participant as well as prior work experience, interests and abilities. Both an unemployed participant and an eligible employed participant may qualify for OJT.
- The employed applicant may participate in an OJT when: His/Her wages do not provide self sufficiency (165% of the OMB poverty level for all counties with the exception of Madison County which is 175% of the OMB poverty level)
- He/She is a dislocated worker who is reemployed in a permanent position that does not pay at least 90% of the qualifying layoff wage
- The position meets all other OJT requirements
- The OJT relates to the introduction of new technologies
- The OJT relates to the introduction of new production or service procedures
- The OJT relates to upgrading to a new job that requires additional skills and workplace literacy
- The OJT is for other appropriate purposes identified by the Local Workforce Development Board
OJT Job Development
The OJT job development involves several factors. An employer whose workforce includes the identified occupation and who is willing to hire and train the participant must be located. As soon as the Case Manager determines that an OJT position is the best course of action for a participant, the Case Manager can begin this aspect of job development. Job development can be accomplished through:
- Selective job development in which the Case Manager makes the employer contacts on behalf of the participant, and with the participant’s approval, arranges for the interview
- A joint activity in which the Case Manager and participant develop a list of potential employers, and the participant contacts the employer
When the WIOA participant makes the initial contact with the identified employer, a general letter briefly outlining the OJT Program should be given to the participant requesting that the interested employer contact the Case Manager.
Once the employer is located, the Cage Manager and employer utilize the participant’s Individual Employment Plan to determine the tasks of the training and the period of time required for the training. These procedures are discussed below.
OJT Training Task Outline
The skill requirements of the occupation should be examined with regard to the prior work experience, academic and occupational skill level of the participant and the Individual Employment Plan. The Case Manager will work with the employer to shape the training tasks to the needs of the OJT participant, identifying the skills and knowledge necessary to perform in the occupation and determining which will be the focus of the OJT.
The Training Task Outline must clearly state the specific units of knowledge and skills which will be acquired during the training period and the approximate number of hours of training time to become proficient on the job. Once written, the Training Task Outline becomes part of the OJT Contract.
OJT Training Period
The length of an OJT is limited to the period of time required for a participant to become proficient in the occupation for which the training is provided. Consideration of the following factors should be used in establishing the length of the contract for training:
- The skills and knowledge requirement of the occupation
- The academic and occupational skill level of the participant
- The participant’s prior work experience
- The participant’s Individual Employment Plan
The Individual Employment Plan must document how the hours of training are determined. Use of the SVP is required unless the Local Workforce Development Board has established alternate procedures to determine the length of the Off. Case Managers should check service provider agreements to determine the appropriate method for determining the training period.
OJT SVP-Specific Vocational Preparation
Based on the Training Task Outline and using the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, the Case Manager will find a DOT code which accurately reflects the occupation of training. Case Managers will determine the length of training by using the SVP levels listed below and published by the US Department of Labor in the SVP Estimates of Occupations Supplement. Case Managers should consult service provider contracts to determine whether the plan establishes a minimum SVP level.
OJT SVP Estimates
The SVP estimate is the amount of time determined by the USDOL to be required to learn the techniques, acquire the information and develop the skills needed for average performance in a job as it is described in the DOT. Occupational preparation includes time spent in training programs, including academic training and essential training/experience received in other jobs.
1 Short demonstration only
2 Anything beyond short demonstration up to and including 30 days
3 Over 30 days up to and including 3 months
4 Over 3 months up to and including months
5 Over 6 months up to and including 1 year
6 Over 1 year up to and including 2 years
7 Over 2 years up to and including 4 years
8 Over 4 years up to and including 10 years
9 Over 10 years
Youth, age 14 to 21, also qualify for OJT. However, OJT may not be an appropriate work experience activity for youth participants under age 18 whose training plan is focused on completion of secondary education rather than employment. The Case Manager should be familiar with Child Labor Laws when developing OJT contracts for youth.
OJT Employer Eligibility
In general, employers are eligible to participate as OJT employers if they can provide occupational skill training and full-time, long-term, self-sufficient employment. Service providers must collect and maintain a list of ineligible employers who have exhibited a pattern of OJT failure.
The following patterns do not qualify for selection as an OJT employer:
- No long-term employment
- Wages not equal to those provided to regular employees
- Benefits not equal to those provided to regular employees
- Working conditions not equal to those provided to regular employees
Voluntary quits, termination for cause, and unforeseeable changes in business conditions will not be cause for loss of employer eligibility unless determined as such by the service provider.
For more information about the On-the-Job Training program, contact:
Phone: 731-989-0533 x3125
Email: [email protected]