School community work (SCW) is community work undertaken by students which is organised by the school and directly benefits the community. The Department has developed a set of resources to support Victorian government schools to arrange school community work placements and protect the health, safety and welfare of students. Schools should refer to these resources when arranging school community work.
Work experience (WE) is the short term placement of secondary school students, generally from Years 9 and 10.
The student’s role is primarily to observe and learn, however they may be able to participate in entry-level tasks that do not require any specific skills or training.
The minimum student age to undertake WE is generally 15 years. A 14 year old may undertake WE under exceptional circumstances, but there are additional requirements for both the employer and the school.
The student must meet the appropriate occupational or workplace health and safety requirements before the WE placement can commence.
All arrangements made must comply with amended Ministerial Order 382 and the amended arrangement forms must be used.
Schools planning to offer WE should read the Work Experience Manual and Amended Ministerial Order 382.
Structured Workplace Learning (SWL)
Minimum student age is 15 years.
SWL is delivered as part of a Vocational Education and Training (VET) program, VCE Industry and Enterprise, or VCAL units.
SWL is on-the-job training during which a student is expected to master a set of skills or competencies related to their particular vocational program. Host employers supervise and instruct the students as they practise and extend the industry skills that they have learned in their program. Schools planning to offer SWL should read the Ministerial Order 55 – Structured Workplace Learning Arrangements.
The appropriate occupational or workplace health and safety unit of competency in each VET program must be completed at school before the student goes on a work placement. For example, the student must be undertaking occupational health and safety training that is part of their accredited course or has completed the required occupational health and safety program (safe@work, A Job Well Done, or Work Related Skills Unit 1) prior to the commencement of the SWL.
SWL placements are strongly recommended for all VET programs, and are compulsory for some. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) SWL Summary for VCE VET programs contains information relating to SWL requirements for each VET course.
See: How SWL Works
School based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBAT) offer students the option of combining part-time employment, school and training. The program runs under a contract with an employer, has a registered training plan, and leads to a nationally recognised qualification. Minimum student age is 15 years.
The minimum number of employment and training hours is 13 hours per week, which consists of:
- seven hours of employment, and
- six hours of training.
These hours may be averaged over three periods of four months in each year of the training contract.
At least one day (or equivalent hours) during the normal school week must be timetabled for the student to spend on the job or in training. Schools should only endorse the training program when:
- it forms an integral part of the student's school learning program and study timetable
- it can be verified that the student's timetable includes one day (or equivalent hours) of the normal school week to be spent in employment and/or structured training as an apprentice or trainee.
Head Start apprenticeships and Traineeships (HSAT) opportunities are not offered through this portal. HSAT is a new model for school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, currently offered through 10 clusters of government secondary schools. Please refer to your HSAT staff for local support.
Events (EV) can include guest speakers, work visits, mock interviews, and work-readiness preparation that help students understand employer expectations. These opportunities will not be visible on the public portal. For access to events, school staff should logon to https://goworkplacements.education.vic.gov.au/ or contact your LLEN.
School-Employer engagement support
The LLEN publishes opportunities on the Portal. To obtain a login so that you can secure opportunities for your students, contact your nearest LLEN.
See: About LLENs
NB: When a teacher secures an SWL, WE or SCW opportunity from the portal, a partially completed arrangement form will be generated for the school.