Work experience is part of the schools’ educational program where students experience the world of work, often for the first time. It is the short term placement of secondary school students with employers, to provide insights into the industry, and the workplace in which they are located. Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn – not to undertake activities which require extensive training or expertise. It is undertaken at the employer’s premises and has enormous benefits for students.
Work experience manual
The work experience manual contains information that will assist school based staff to develop, coordinate and manage quality work experience programs for their students. It includes:
which provide the operational framework for work experience arrangements.
** Please note new Ministerial Order 382 replaces Ministerial Order 56 effective from 31 December 2010.
Work experience arrangement form and employer guidelines
The Work Experience Arrangement Form is to be completed and signed by the student, parent (if the student is under 18 years of age), the employer and the principal.
The Work Experience Arrangement Form and employer guidelines below may be printed in either colour or black and white, and are designed to be faxed or scanned if necessary.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a new Ministerial Order 382 for Work Experience which came into effect on 31 December 2010. All work experience arrangements for students under 15 years of age have to comply with the new Ministerial Order 382.
Work experience arrangements for students over 15 years of age:
- if arranged in 2011, should be made under the new Ministerial Order 382 using the new Work Experience Arrangement Forms, or
- if arranged in 2010, can be made under Ministerial Order 56 using the old Work Experience Arrangement Form. This includes Forms partially completed prior to 2011.
Work experience arrangements for students under 15 years
Following amendments to the Child Employment Act 2003, all employers of work experience students under 15 years are required to obtain a Child Employment Permit. Furthermore they must ensure that all supervisors of these students hold a valid Working with Children Check card.
For more information, see:
Health and safety guidelines for work experience students aged 15 years and over
The following guidelines contain information on declared industries and activities for ALL work experience students:
Occupational health and safety requirements for work experience students
safe@work is an occupational health and safety program for secondary school students undertaking work experience. All secondary school students undertaking work experience must satisfactorily complete safe@workbefore commencing their work experience placement (with the exception of students with disabilities and additional needs, referred to below). Refer to Ministerial Order 382, 7 (3)
A Job Well Done is an occupational health and safety resource to support students with a disability and additional needs. Students with a disability and additional needs are required to satisfactorily complete A Job Well Done prior to undertaking work experience. Schools should take all practicable and reasonable steps to prepare a student for work experience. It is up to the Principal to determine which OHS program is the most appropriate for the student to undertake, taking into account the disability and additional needs of the student. Refer to Ministerial Order 382, 7(4)
To access occupational health and safety resources for all work experience students, see: Occupational Health and Safety Resources
Reciprocal arrangements are in place for Victorian students to undertake work experience in New South Wales and South Australia.
These arrangements are primarily for students in those schools situated in regions adjoining the borders. Students should be encouraged to find work placements in their own state in preference to interstate placements. Prior to arranging interstate work placements permission must be sought from the New South Wales Department of Education or the South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services.
** Interstate work experience placements may only be arranged as a last resort.
To find out more about requirements for work experience placements in New South Wales, see: Workplace Learning - Non Local Placements
To find out more about requirements for work experience placements in South Australia, see: Workplace Learning and Skills - Learning Guidelines
For further information regarding work experience arrangements in your area, contact your regional Youth Transitions Officer, Independent Schools Victoria or the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. See: Contacts