education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Structured Workplace Learning

Policy

This policy sets out the requirements for schools in planning for and implementing structured workplace learning placements for secondary school students.

Summary

  • Structured workplace learning provides students with the opportunity to integrate on-the-job experience with secondary study as part of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate.
  • Schools must ensure they implement this policy and follow the guidance on the Guidance tab, when planning for and conducting structured workplace learning arrangements, to ensure compliance with legislation.

Details

Structured workplace learning provides students with the opportunity to:

  • integrate practical on-the-job experience and learning in workplaces with nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) undertaken as part of the VCE, the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate
  • undertake work placement to complement an applied learning program as part of the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate
  • demonstrate the practical application of work-related skills as part of VCE Industry and Enterprise.

Structured workplace learning provides the opportunity for:

  • enhanced skill development
  • practical application of industry knowledge
  • assessment of units of competency
  • achievement of some learning outcomes
  • enhanced employment opportunities.

Structured workplace learning arrangements

All structured workplace learning arrangements must comply with Ministerial Order 1412 – Structured Workplace Learning ArrangementsExternal Link and the arrangement forms from the Resources tab must be used.

The department's comprehensive guidance, on the Guidance tab, supports schools to comply with their obligations under Ministerial Order 1412.

Structured workplace learning arrangement form

The Structured workplace learning arrangement form (PDF)External Link must be completed and signed before the structured workplace learning commences. It must be signed by:

  • the employer
  • the student
  • the parent/guardian of the student – if the student is under 18 years of age
  • the principal or acting principal – this authority cannot be delegated to an assistant principal or other member of staff.

The principal must ensure a copy of the signed arrangement form is provided to each party. The principal must retain the original copy.

Variations or amendments to the arrangement form must be made in writing and must be signed by the employer, student, parent/guardian (if the student is under 18 years of age) and the principal.

Structured workplace learning travel and accommodation form

The Structured workplace learning travel and accommodation form (PDF)External Link must be used if:

  • it is proposed that the student may need to undertake vehicle travel with their employer and/or supervisor during the arrangement, including travel to-or-from the workplace
  • the student is required to stay in accommodation other than their normal place of residence while undertaking structured workplace learning.

This form must be signed by:

  • for travel – both the employer and the parent/guardian – or the student if they are aged 18 years or over
  • for accommodation – the parent/guardian – or the student if they are aged 18 years or over.

School to Work Statewide Portal

The department’s School to Work (S2W) Statewide Portal provides students and teachers with a single, easy to navigate, information and referral point for work-based learning opportunities offered by a diverse range of employers.

Searching on the portal can be done by:

  • location
  • industry
  • VET certificate.

If you are a student or teacher looking for work-based learning opportunities including work experience and structured workplace learning, refer to the School to Work PortalExternal Link .

The 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks (Victorian LLENs) are funded to deliver the S2W Program and facilitate student access to work-based learning placements tailored to local priorities and employment opportunities. To find your nearest LLEN, refer to the Local Learning and Employment NetworkExternal Link .

Occupational health and safety

Principals must be satisfied that a student is either undertaking or has completed occupational health and safety (OHS) training prior to commencing structured workplace learning as follows:

  • where a student is undertaking structured workplace learning as part of a VET program within the VCE including the VCE Vocational Major, or the Victorian Pathways Certificate – the principal must be satisfied that the student is undertaking, or has completed the OHS training unit of competency within the VET program
  • where a student is undertaking structured workplace learning which is not related to their VET program within the VCE including the VCE Vocational Major, or the Victorian Pathways Certificate – the principal must be satisfied that the student has completed an OHS program required by the department as follows:
    • if the student is undertaking VCE Industry and Enterprise – they must complete safe@workExternal Link
    • if the student is undertaking structured workplace learning to complement an applied learning program as part of the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate – they must complete safe@workExternal Link .

COVID-19 advice

Employers and students participating in structured workplace learning must continue to follow COVIDSafe practices, in line with public health guidance and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Employers must ensure that students are aware of the workplace’s COVIDSafe Plan, if available, as part of their induction to the workplace. Students must comply with any control measures implemented in the workplace to manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Some employers, particularly in the healthcare and aged care industries, may have a workplace vaccination policy that requires a student on placement to provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination status to attend work onsite. Students and schools are encouraged to check with employers if a vaccination policy is in place before making a structured workplace learning arrangement. If a student refuses to disclose their vaccination status to an employer and the employer is not comfortable with the placement proceeding on that basis, then the employer may choose not to proceed with the placement. If this occurs, all efforts must be made to organise alternative arrangements for students.

Schools must ensure that students undertaking structured workplace learning that is required for assessment within the VCE, the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate understand that any exclusion from attending work onsite may impact their ability to complete their placement hours and their course completion.

For other department policy, guidance and advice on school operations during COVID-19, schools can also refer to COVID-19 advice.

Child Safe Standards

The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian schools to ensure they are well prepared to keep children and young people safe and protect them from abuse. Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools PDF)External Link provides the framework for child safety in schools.

The Child Safe Standards require schools to put in place systems and processes to help prevent harm to students in all school environments, including workplace learning environments where students undertake:

  • work experience
  • structured workplace learning
  • school community work/volunteering
  • and school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

For more information, visit:

Contacts

For assistance with queries relating to structured workplace learning arrangements, please contact the relevant organisation as outlined below.

For government schools

Career Education Unit, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce, Department of Education, email: career.education@education.vic.gov.au

For Catholic schools

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Jenny Wilson, email: jwilson@macs.vic.edu.au phone: 03 9267 0253

For independent schools

Independent Schools Victoria, Pam Hargreaves, email: Pam.Hargreaves@is.vic.cedu.au phone: 03 9825 7246

Definitions

Structured workplace learning
Provides students with the opportunity to integrate on-the-job experience with secondary study.

Relevant legislation

Department policy on planning for and conducting structured workplace learning in schools

Reviewed 25 February 2024

Policy last updated

13 November 2023

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

There are multiple contacts for this policy. Refer to the foot of the policy page for contact details.

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