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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Work Experience

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 schools implementing work experience placements for secondary school students.

Summary

  • Work experience is the short-term placement of secondary school students with employers.
  • Work experience is generally undertaken in Years 9 or 10.
  • It is intended to give students insights into the industry and the workplace.
  • Schools must ensure they implement this policy and the associated Work Experience Manual when planning for and conducting work experience arrangements, to ensure compliance with legislation.

Details

Work experience is the short-term placement of secondary school students, generally from Years 9 and 10, with employers to provide insights into the industry and the workplace in which they are located. It provides students with the valuable opportunity to:

  • develop employability skills
  • explore possible career options
  • understand employer expectations
  • increase their self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence.

Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn — not to undertake activities which require extensive training or expertise.

Work Experience Arrangements

All arrangements for work experience must comply with Ministerial Order 382: Work Experience Arrangements and the accompanying arrangement forms must be used from the Resources tab.

Work Experience Manual

The Department has developed the Work Experience Manual, to support schools comply with Ministerial Order 382. Schools must use this manual when planning for and conducting work experience arrangements. Refer to:

The Work Experience Manual outlines all the steps required for work experience arrangements under Ministerial Order 382 including:

  • student age requirements
  • required forms
  • timing, duration and hours of work
  • permitted number of work experience students per employer
  • travel and accommodation arrangements and responsibilities
  • communication between the school and the student
  • payment and taxation
  • WorkSafe and public liability insurance
  • interstate placements
  • overseas students
  • roles and responsibilities
  • student safety and welfare.

Work Experience Arrangement Form

The Work Experience Arrangement Form must be completed and signed before the work experience 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 a Deputy 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
  • principal.

Work Experience Travel and Accommodation Form

The Work Experience 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 work experience.

This form must be signed:

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

Occupational health and safety

Prior to commencing work experience, students must satisfactorily complete occupational health and safety (OHS) training, either through:

It is the responsibility of the Principal to determine which OHS program is the most appropriate for the student to undertake.

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 page: Child Protection and Child Safe Standards (PROTECT).

Contacts

For assistance with queries relating to work experience arrangements, please contact the relevant organisation as outlined below.

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, Peter Roberts email: Peter.Roberts@is.vic.edu.au, ph: 03 9825 7200

Definitions

Work experience
The short-term placement of secondary school students with employers.

Relevant legislation

Department policy outlining work experience requirements

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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