Work based training

Community work experiences expose clients to actual work situations in several ways:

  • The client learns about a job by shadowing an employee in a real work environment
  • The client actually works on a job under the guidance of a mentor
  • The client does a job tryout at no cost to the employer

And, the employer has a chance to assess a person's potential with no obligation to hire.

VR pays Worker's Compensation coverage for clients involved in community work experiences.


Skilled Workforce Apprenticeship Training (SWAT) provides the knowledge soft skills clients need to become skilled workers with good career opportunities in trade and vocational jobs.

Clients are matched to the employer's position and needs through the use of WorkKeys. Clients are provided with a structured training period that may last three months or more. During this time, clients learn on-the-job under a mentor so they become fully competent in all aspects of a job, including knowledge, skills and company culture.

SWAT provides a win-win situation. South Carolina employers win as their needs for a skilled workforce are met while they enjoy a reduction in training costs, higher productivity rates and a more diverse workforce. VR clients win as they receive training that equips them with valuable skills and the opportunity to enter a skilled position within a stable career field.


An internship is job training for professional careers. Similar in some ways to apprenticeships for trade and vocational jobs, interns are usually high school graduates or adults. These positions are paid and last up to 12 weeks.

Generally, an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between the client and an organization. clients can also use an internship to determine if they have an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts or gain knowledge toward certification.

Some interns find permanent, paid employment with the organizations for which they worked. This can be a significant benefit to the employer as experienced interns often need little or no training when they begin regular employment. Unlike an apprenticeship, employment at the completion of an internship is not expected.

On the job training

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is specific training provided in an actual work setting by an employer, related to the particular job for which the client is being hired. The OJT model works particularly well with small and medium size employers who provide services (e.g. child care, customer service, food service).

An OJT may work well with clients who learn best by doing, have positive worker traits, and have clear interests and transferable skills. The OJT can be developed for someone who wants "hands-on" rather than vocational school or college training. The client works closely with the counselor during this development and plays an active role in identifying potential employment sites.

Once it has been determined that there is a viable training opportunity that the client is an appropriate candidate for, the counselor, employer and consumer should discuss the length of time required for training. Most OJT is limited to a maximum of one month. Programs beyond this period may be developed with client services approval when specialized, complex or unique training requires more training time.

Impact on Social Security Benefits

Benefits Specialists are on hand to counsel recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on work incentives and other benefits of working while educating them on the effects of earnings as they plan for employment.