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Structured Workplace Learning

Refer to the Department’s advice for all schools on undertaking Structured workplace learning (SWL) and work experience during COVID-19. Schools can also refer to the COVID-19 advice on the Department’s website for information and updates.

Policy

This policy sets out the requirements for conducting structured workplace learning in schools.

Summary

  • Structured workplace learning provides students with the opportunity to integrate on-the-job experience with secondary study.
  • Structured workplace learning is delivered as part of either the:
    • Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE)
    • Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
    • VCE Industry and Enterprise, or
    • VCAL units
  • 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 on-the-job experience with secondary study. It is delivered as part of either the:

  • VCE
  • VCAL
  • VCE Industry and Enterprise
  • VCAL units.

It provides:

  • enhanced skill development
  • practical application of industry knowledge
  • assessment of units of competency
  • achievement of some learning outcomes for VCE studies or VCAL units
  • enhanced employment opportunities.

Structured Workplace Learning Arrangements

All structured workplace learning arrangements must comply with Ministerial Order 55 — Structured Workplace Learning Arrangements and the accompanying arrangement forms must be used — refer to the Resources tab.

The Department has developed comprehensive guidance, on the Guidance tab, to support schools to comply with their obligations under Ministerial Order 55.

Structured Workplace Learning Arrangement Form

This Structured Workplace Learning Arrangement Form 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 should retain the original copy.

Variations or amendments to the Arrangement Form may only 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 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
  • if 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.

Statewide Portal — Structured Workplace Learning

The Department has established the Structured Workplace Learning Statewide Portal — a website which provides students and teachers with a single, easy to navigate, information and referral point for structured workplace learning opportunities offered by a diverse range of employers.

Searching on the portal can be done by:

  • location
  • Industry, or
  • VET certificate.

If you are a student or teacher looking for structured workplace learning opportunities, refer to the SWL Statewide Portal.

The 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) have been funded to facilitate student access to structured workplace learning placements which are tailored to local priorities and employment opportunities. To find your nearest network, refer to the Local Learning and Employment Network.

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 VCE or VCAL — 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 part of a VET program, or structured workplace learning which is not related to their VET program within VCE or VCAL — 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@work
    • if the student is undertaking VCAL — they must complete Work Related Skills Unit 1 and safe@work.

Child safe standards

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, all Victorian schools must comply with Ministerial Order 870 — Child Safe Standards.

Child Safe Standard 6 requires schools to develop and implement risk management strategies to ensure students’ safety in the school environment.

The school environment includes 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 the Department  PROTECT page.

Contacts

For Government schools

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

For Catholic schools

Catholic Education Commission of Victoria, Jenny Wilson, email: jwilson@ceomelb.catholic.edu.au ph: 03 9267 0253

For Independent schools

Independent Schools Victoria, Pam Hargreaves, email: Pam.Hargreaves@is.vic.cedu.au ph: 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 06 September 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

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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