Work Placement (SWL) - Frequently Asked Questions  

1. What is structured workplace learning?

2. Is structured workplace learning the same as work experience?

3. Do I have to do structured workplace learning?

4. When do I do structured workplace learning?

5. When is my deadline to submit the Work Placement Registration/Request form?

6. How do I know if I am work ready?

7. How long do I spend on structured workplace learning?

8. How do I get to my work placement?

9. What do I wear to my work placement?

10. What will happen if I arrive at my work placement without the correct clothing or equipment?

11. If I am already working in the industry, do I still have to do structured workplace learning?

12. Key Points to remember . . .

1. What is structured workplace learning?  

Structured workplace learning, or work placement, is the on the job training component of the Vocational Education & Training (VET) course you are studying. Work placement focuses on linking your knowledge and skills with real workplace situations and will give you an important insight into your chosen industry.

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2. Is structured workplace learning the same as work experience?  

No, work placement is different from work experience.

As opposed to simply observing what goes on, work placement enables you to put into practice and develop the skills related to the competencies in your Vocational Education & Training (VET) course. Students will also be required to keep a journal of the tasks they undertake and the hours they work during their time with an employer.

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3. Do I have to do structured workplace learning?  

Yes, work placement is a compulsory part of the Vocational Education & Training (VET) course you are studying. You cannot achieve your certificate if you do not successfully complete your workplace hours.

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4. When do I do structured workplace learning?  

Work placement is completed during school terms, on dates specified by your school or TAFE. Work placement dates will be provided to students by thier teacher.

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5. How do I know if I am work ready?  

The class teacher will advise students if they have been declared work ready before a work placement can be organised. Some important considerations in work readiness are:

  • Attendance how many classes have you missed?
  • Attitude do you pay attention and behave in a suitable manner?
  • Assessment tasks have they all been handed in on time and completed to a suitable standard?

Students who are not work ready when the class goes on work placement can complete the placement early in Term 4.

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6. How long do I spend on structured workplace learning?  

  • Minimum of 35 hours (5 days) in Year 11.
  • Minimum of 35 hours (5 days) in Year 12.

The actual work roster will depend on the normal opening hours of the business. Students must be available to work to the roster set by the employer. For example, if you are a hospitality student, split shifts, weekend and night work will be expected.

Please note that all hours must be documented and signed off by the employer as evidence.

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7. How do I get to my work placement?  

You will need to find your own way to your work placement venue. Therefore, please consider how you will get there - will you be driving, catching public transport, walking or getting a lift?

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8. What do I wear to my work placement?  

You will need to wear clothing and footwear that is appropriate for the organisation you are placed. Each business will have specific safety and dress requirements and you must be prepared to follow their instructions carefully. When you are choosing an employer, please think about whether you have suitable clothing for the business. At your interview your employer will discuss their dress code with you in more detail.

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9. What will happen if I arrive at my work placement without the correct clothing or equipment? 

For Workplace Health and Safety reasons work placement cannot be undertaken without the correct clothing or footwear. The employer will remove any student from the workplace until the correct clothing or footwear is worn.

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10. If I am already working in the industry, do I still have to do structured workplace learning? 

All students already working in the industry are eligible to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Students must be able to provide evidence of the hours worked and the activities undertaken as part of the job. Any additional Occupational Health and Safety training or other certificates that have been completed can be presented as evidence. The class teacher will advise if the application has been successful.

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11. Key points to remember about work placement...  

  • Be on time every day arriving 5 minutes early creates a good impression.
  • If you are going to be late, make sure to call the employer to explain.
  • Dress appropriately. If you're not sure what to wear ask!
  • Communicate clearly and ask questions.
  • Listen and learn from your employer.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Enjoy yourself! 
  • After work placement, send a thank you letter to your employer

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