Guide for Students and Parents

Spending time in a workplace can help you better understand your interests, set career goals and develop the skills that employers look for when hiring. 

Workplace experiences are a valuable part of many students’ secondary schooling, whether that includes the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), VCE Vocational Major, or Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC).

You can use this portal to find the following types of workplace opportunities:

  • Structured workplace learning (SWL)
  • School-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SBAT)
  • Work experience

The minimum student age for SWL and SBAT opportunities is 15 years and 14 years for work experience.

If you’re ready to find an opportunity that suits you, start your search now.

About structured workplace learning 

SWL is on-the-job training, where you are expected to master a set of skills or competencies related to your studies. Host employers will supervise and instruct you as you practise and extend the industry skills you have learnt about in school. 

SWL can be part of Vocational Education and Training (VET), the VCE Vocational Major, VCE Industry and Enterprise or the Vocational Pathways Certificate.

To arrange a SWL placement, start by talking to your teacher. 

Before SWL starts, your principal, the employer and your parent or carer must sign the SWL Arrangement Form.

You must learn about occupational or workplace health and safety at school before you start a SWL placement. This could be part of your VET course or a separate program (for example safe@work, A Job Well Done, or VCE Vocational Major Work Related Skills). Your teacher will help you with this.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website has more information about SWL in VCE VET programs

About school-based apprenticeships and traineeships

You can add paid, on-the-job training to your VCE, VCE Vocational Major or VPC with employment as an apprentice or trainee. 

An SBAT combines part-time employment with school and training. The program runs under a contract with an employer, has a registered training plan, and leads to a nationally recognised qualification. In government schools, there is a dedicated program called Head Start, with staff who can help you find a suitable employer to complete a SBAT and support you through the experience. The Victorian Government website has more information about Head Start apprenticeships and traineeships, as well as general information about SBATs.

About work experience 

Work experience is a short-term placement with employers for you to gain experience in a work place setting through observation and entry-level tasks that don’t require specific skills or training. You can do WE in an industry that you might want to pursue work in after school. It can help you understand if that industry is right for you, set career goals and choose your school subjects, TAFE or university course.