Structured workplace learning, work experience and practical placements provide an opportunity for students to get some first hand, on the job experience or training.
It is important to make sure that the correct type of workplace learning arrangement is entered into for each student undertaking a placement with an employer.
There are three kinds of workplace learning arrangements under the
Education and Training Reform Act 2006:
- structured workplace learning
- work experience
- practical placements.
Structured Workplace Learning and Work Experience
Students enrolled with non-school Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and undertaking a senior secondary certificate (Victorian Certificate of Education or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) can only participate in structured workplace learning or work experience. They cannot undertake practical placements.
Structured workplace learning is undertaken by students aged 15 years and over who are taking vocational education and training (VET) courses as part of either the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). Students undertaking Foundation VCAL or VCE Industry and Enterprise Studies should also be involved in structured workplace learning.
Work experience is undertaken by students aged 14 years and over and involves short placements which are part of a student's general secondary education. Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn, not to undertake activities which require extensive training or experience. Work experience placements are not a requirement as part of a particular subject or course.
Ministerial Orders have been developed to assist providers to arrange structured workplace learning and work experience for their students and provide clarity around the roles and responsibilities of parties entering into these arrangements.
Ministerial Orders 723 and 724 commenced operation on 1 January 2014. These Ministerial Orders do not apply to arrangements made* on or before 31 January 2014 for placements occurring during the period 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2014.
*made means that all parties have signed the relevant arrangement form.
Structured Workplace Learning Resources
Work Experience Resources
Structured Workplace Learning and Work Experience: Interim Guidelines
Ministerial Orders 723 and 724 replace the Interim Guidelines that were released by the Department in 2012 as a result of amendments to the
Education and Training Reform Act 2006. These Interim Guidelines explained which workplace learning arrangements should be entered into for different students and what documentation was required for each arrangement.
For more information, see:
The Interim Guidelines do not cover students who are undertaking School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs). For information about SBATs, see:
School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Practical placements are undertaken by students in post-secondary vocational education and training (VET) courses and are intended to develop job-related skills in the area of the particular post-secondary course. They vary widely in duration and content from course to course, although the minimum requirements are set out in the Practical Placement Guidelines:
These guidelines are to assist Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and employers to meet their obligations with respect to arranging practical placement for students of technical and further education.