The issue in a region such as ours where we’re dominated by very small businesses, many of whom are enthusiastic and willing to offer placements, and then on the other hand we have huge numbers of students who are undertaking VET studies while they are still at school wanting placements, is having them connect, it’s really difficult and it’s actually the SWL Portal, the state wide portal, which has made it possible for those young people to connect with those industries and then have that translate into successful quality work placements
*Speaker 2 - MICHAEL WEEDING, VET/VCAL COORDINATOR, MONTMORENCY SECONDARY COLLEGE*
So, the Banyule Nillumbik region is predominately made up of small businesses which our students can access for work placement, and that in the past has been a bit difficult for student’s due to the fact there is such a range of small businesses. Now with the portal, and the help of the LLENs who can basically support the schools in accessing reliable employers, students are able to access through the portal employers that they may not have in the past been able to do, and that’s been a great benefit for a lot of our students.
Many of our small businesses are award winning successful businesses, they’re in niche industries, they’re global traders, they’re innovative and they really provide opportunities for young people to develop a wide range of skills in a variety of VET industry areas. They they provide fantastic experiences for our young people that value add to their VET in School courses.
*Speaker 3 - KATE LOVE, VCAL STUDENT, MONTMORENCY SECONDARY COLLEGE*
So, I was looking for a placement cause I’m studying my certificate three in childcare and I was really struggling with it so I jumped on to the portal and I found a placement and I contacted the teacher. He got onto it and everything for me. It gave me really good information about where it was, the starting time and what my duties are, what to wear, and it gave me a map of where it is so I can get there, and it gave me transport details, so it’s really good with all the information. I found it really, really easy to use and I would really recommend it to other kids trying to find a placement.
Our Structured Workplace Learning staff are able to support businesses so that they can advertise opportunities on the portal and then we support the schools - both teaching staff and students - to understand how to use the portal and apply for those positions.
*Speaker 4 - KATHRYN HUGHES, Business Development & Training Needs Specialist, E-Focus*
The process in employing Madi was such a supported process in being able to place her; we selected Madi, we interviewed her, identified her for the role and then placed her here to work with us for the last twelve months, and it’s been a great process.
*Speaker 5 - MADDISON HART, VCAL Student, Eltham High School*
Since searching on the portal for my placement, E-Focus has really supported me with my Cert Three in Business. With some on the job training I then obtained some casual work with them after finishing my Certificate Three Traineeship, and have now gone on to further work which is a full-time position with another company.
Going through the Structured Workplace Learning portal meant that it was incredibly streamlined - we had a single point of contact to work with who was able to understand our needs and exactly what we were looking for as an organisation, so overall that therefore meant that it saved us a lot of time and money, so it was a brilliant process.
*Speaker 6 - JORDAN RISSTROM, Operations Manager, Britex*
The process of getting students through the portal is a better way than what we’ve done in the past, it shows that they’ve A, got initiative, and B, already focussing on that sort of employment, so they’ve already got an interest in that sort of trade which I suppose helps us to narrow it down to whether they’re the right sort of person for the job.
*Speaker 7 - TINA HEYS, Physiotherapist, St. Vincent’s Care Services*
The portal allows workplaces to be quite specific in setting the criteria for what they are able to offer the students and as a result there can be better matching between the workplace and the student, and that’s been a benefit to us in helping to ensure that we have people who are interested, and I would highly recommend it to other people considering taking on a student.
Having a Structured Workplace Learning program that brings together schools and local industry to provide quality placements, is key to making that happen.
I can vouch that some of our best guys right now have come from this type of employment model. It has been successful for us. Some of the best young guns we’ve got are definitely going to be my "right-hand men" for the future.