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

Advice for regional Victoria (excluding Greater Shepparton LGA)

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) and work experience placements can resume in regional Victoria (excluding Greater Shepparton), for students who reside in regional Victoria (excluding Greater Shepparton). 

Conditions of SWL and work experience in regional Victoria

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

Principals should consider the following when deciding whether a SWL or work experience placement in regional Victoria 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. If SWL or work experience placements are deferred or cancelled, all efforts should be made to arrange suitable alternative arrangements for students. For placements organised via the SWL Statewide Portal, please amend the placement status to "On Hold" for deferred placements and to "Cancelled" for cancelled placements.

Updated SWL guidelines and work experience guidelines

The SWL Guidelines for Employers (docx - 65.92kb) and Work Experience Guidelines for Employers (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 SWL and work experience placements in regional Victoria 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.

·       Additional Structured Workplace Learning Form (COVID-19) (docx - 98.98kb)

·       Additional Work Experience Form (COVID-19) (docx - 99.01kb).

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

Advice for metropolitan Melbourne and Greater Shepparton LGA

For students who reside in metropolitan Melbourne and Greater Shepparton LGA, all Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) and work experience placements must continue to be deferred, or if that is not possible, cancelled. If SWL or work experience placements are deferred or cancelled, all efforts should be made to arrange suitable alternative arrangements for students. For placements organised via the SWL Statewide Portal, please amend the placement status to "On Hold" for deferred placements and to "Cancelled" for cancelled placements.

For placements or work experience that count towards VCE or VCAL units, all efforts should be made to arrange suitable alternative arrangements for students so these can occur at a later time. Only students undertaking a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship are able to attend their work placement, if on the Authorised Providers and Authorised Workers list.

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

Where it is necessary to defer or cancel SWL or a work experience placement, the cancellation or deferral takes effect by written notice from a principal to an employer. Where it is necessary to cancel SWL or a work experience placement, all efforts should be made to organise alternative options for students. For placements organised via the SWL Statewide Portal, please amend the placement status to "On Hold" for deferred placements and to "Cancelled" for cancelled placements:

A sample written notice is provided below:

Dear (employer),

I am writing to advise you that in line with public health advice, 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.

More information and contacts

Additional information is available on workplace learning for secondary students.

The 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) have been funded to facilitate student access to structured workplace learning placements across Victoria. LLENs can provide support and advice on work experience opportunities and connections to local employers. To find your nearest network, refer to the Local Learning and Employment Network page.

For advice on SWL within:

For further queries about SWL or work experience placements, contact the Career Education Unit at career.education@education.vic.gov.au