This case study examines the perceptions of a group of trainees on the employment-based graduate teacher programme (GTP) towards the close of their initial teacher education. Seven trainees were selected to participate in the study. Data were collected by conducting a series of semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that GTP trainees were able to identify ways in which 'theory' had positively influenced their practice. However, the authors claim that most workplace learning occurs on the job and that this masks an uncertain interplay between formal and less formal elements of how trainee teachers learn on the employment-based GTP route studied here.