Workplace Experiences are important
"One of the most difficult challenges, that even the most highly educated person can face, is breaking into the labour market with little or no workplace experience. The (Australian Commonwealth) Department's research has shown that at least half of all vacancies require some level of experience, but many employers would hire someone with limited experience (6 months or less)".
Australian Jobs 2016, page 38.
While a student is at school there are three ways in which they can gain valuable experiences in the workplace.
- WORK EXPERIENCE
- STRUCTURED WORKPLACE LEARNING
- SCHOOL-BASED APPRENTICESHIP OR TRAINEESHIP
The Department of Education & Training provides thorough guidelines to support and protect students whilst they are engaged in workplace learning. For each of the programs above there is a specific set of conditions, expectations and arrangement forms.
WORK EXPERIENCE - WEX is usually a 1 or 2 week option completed by Year 10 students in a nominated workplace. Students are expected to observe and carry out tasks that do not require special skills. The experience helps students to make career plans and decisions. It is very useful in helping students decide what subjects to do in years 11 and 12. For more information visit:
STRUCTURED WORKPLACE LEARNING - SWL occurs when a student is actively particpating in a workplace as part of a VET enrolment. VET stands for vocational education & training. Students are generally studying in years 11 or 12 and undertake SWL for one day a week for a term or more. Others may complete a SWL in blocks of one or two weeks at at time. A SWL placement provides students with access to facilities, equipment and actitivites necessary to develop skills being learnt in their VET studies. The placement is directly related to the program the student is enrolled. For more information visit:
SCHOOL BASED APPRENTICESHIP OR TRAINEESHIP - SBATs offer students the option of staying at school and starting an apprenticeship or traineeship. The SBAT is an integral part of a student's school learning program and takes approx two years to complete. Regular school attendance is combined with 7 hours of paid work per week and 6 hours in VET training. SBATS can be arranged directly with an employer or with a Group Training Organisation who will find a host employer. For more information visit: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/curriculum/Pages/apprentice.aspx