School operations

Structured Workplace Learning

Contacting students during the placement

The principal or the structured workplace learning coordinator must contact the student:

  • at least once during the arrangement
  • if the placement under the arrangement includes placement days during more than 1 school term, at least once during each of those terms

Contact may be made by either visiting the workplace or by telephoning and speaking to the employer and the student.

Contacting students during their placement provides the opportunity for the principal or structured workplace learning coordinator to:

  • find out more about the workplace
  • ensure that the student is being adequately supervised, either by the employer or the nominated supervisor
  • ensure that the student is being provided with opportunities to undertake tasks that are appropriate and meaningful
  • ensure that the requirements of Ministerial Order 1412 – Structured Workplace Learning Arrangements (PDF)External Link are being complied with
  • identify any problems in the workplace
  • ensure the student’s work is being evaluated and that the employer evaluation form is returned
  • learn more about the particular industry in which the student is working.

The principal or structured workplace learning coordinator should:

  • contact the employer to arrange suitable dates and times for any work experience visits
  • notify the school administration of the date and time of any visits
  • complete a report on the visit and ensure that both the student and the employer/supervisor are spoken to during the contact. It is strongly recommended that the conversation with the student should be conducted in private.

Suggested approach for a workplace visit

There are 3 important functions when visiting a student who is undertaking a structured workplace learning placement:

  • checking to make sure both the employer and the student are happy with the way the placement is progressing
  • encouraging the student to reflect on what they are learning from this different educational experience
  • checking that students are completing any required log books, journals and other assessment tasks and have given the evaluation form to the employer.

Contacting the student’s supervisor

You can talk to the student’s immediate supervisor first to ascertain if there are any problems. It is important to encourage the employer to be as honest as possible in their opinions about the performance of the student in the workplace as any shortfalls or issues that may impact on the arrangement must be addressed as soon as possible.

If any shortfalls are mentioned, it is recommended they be discussed with the student as a means of resolving the problem.

Contacting the student

It is important to encourage the student to be as honest as possible with you about their experience at the structured workplace learning placement.

Questions might include:

  • 'Is this what you expected to be doing?' (If the answer is no, you might like to ask, 'What’s different from your expectations?')
  • 'Have your feelings changed about this job?' (If yes: 'How?')
  • 'What problems, if any, have you encountered during the placement?'
  • 'What has been the most surprising or interesting thing you have learned during this placement?'
Chapter in the Structured Workplace Learning Guidelines on requirements relating to contacting students during structured workplace learning

Reviewed 10 November 2023

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