Structured workplace learning (SWL) and work experience during COVID-19

Advice for all schools

Students can now undertake structured workplace learning (SWL) and work experience on-site.

Conditions of SWL and work experience

SWL and work experience can only take place if the principal is satisfied that:

Principals should consider the following when deciding whether a SWL or work experience placement for a particular student should proceed:

  • The extent to which it would be possible and practical for a student to maintain physical distance at the placement in accordance with health advice.
  • The level of supervision an employer would reasonably be able to provide the student to ensure safety measures are adhered to.
  • The extent to which the placement could be regularly monitored by the school.
  • The personal circumstances of the student, including any medical conditions or medical advice about the student's suitability to undertake the placement.

Where these conditions cannot be met, principals should consider cancelling or deferring SWL and work experience placements until further notice. Refer to the process for cancellation or deferral below.

Process for the cancellation or deferral of SWL or work experience placement

The cancellation or deferral of a SWL or work experience placement takes effect by written notice from a Principal to an employer. A sample notice is provided below:

Dear (employer),

I am writing to advise you that given the current health advice relating to COVID-19, SWL and work experience placements at (Name of school) will be (cancelled/ deferred).

This applies to any placements that are currently in process or any new placements yet to commence. Accordingly, please note that the scheduled SWL or work experience placements of students at your workplace will not go ahead.

I would like to thank you for supporting workplace learning opportunities for our students. If you are willing to consider the possibility for placements to be re-scheduled for a later date, please contact (school SWL/work experience coordinator name & telephone or your local LLEN).

Yours sincerely,

Name of Principal

Name of school.

Updated SWL guidelines and work experience guidelines

The SWL Guidelines for Employers (docx - 62 (docx - 65 (docx - 65.92kb) and Work Experience Guidelines for Employers (docx - 62 (docx - 62 (docx - 62.72kb) have been revised to include advice relating to reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. Schools should provide these guidelines to all employers before placements begin.

Student and parental engagement

For all SWL and work experience placements it is recommended that the student and the parent/guardian (if the student is under 18 years of age) complete one of the following documents, whichever is relevant,  as an acknowledgement and agreement that COVID-19 may have changed the proposed work environment.

A copy of this form should be attached to the SWL or Work Experience Arrangement Form kept at the school.

More information and contacts

Additional information is available on workplace learning for secondary students.

For advice on SWL within:

For further queries about SWL or work experience placements, contact the Career Education Unit at