About Work Placement

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What Is Work Placement

Subject choices at schools now include Industry Developed, entry level courses that give young people a great kick start to a future career in the field they are studying and can even lead to a shortened traineeship or apprenticeship. These courses require them to complete work placements. This is called Structured Workplace Learning and is a compulsory component of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses. These courses include Automotive, Business Services, Construction, Entertainment, Electrotechnology, Hospitality, Human Services, Information & Digital Technology, Metal & Engineering, Primary Industries, Retail and Tourism and are recognised by industry and the Board of Studies.

Work Placement allows the students to practice what they are learning at school and enhance the skills they have learnt in the classroom. To demonstrate and hone these skills students are required to complete 2 weeks of work placement (1 week in Year 11 & 1 week in Year 12) for each course with a local business which we help arrange through their school/TAFE.

How Does MWLP Help?

Under the Structured Workplace Learning Program, an employer offers a student/s the opportunity to work as voluntary employees for 35 hours (usually in one week) in an area of business for which they are studying a VET Course as part of their HSC. The number, timing and frequency of offers in a year are totally under the control of the employer.

MWLP liaises with businesses to see what opportunities they can offer over the year. Schools put in requests for what their students require and MWLP manages the process to make sure all requirements are met (including full insurance cover for the placement) and the needs of both parties are met.

Having facilitated opportunities for more than 50,000 youths since 1996, we believe that we are a significant contributor to community development.

How Is It Different To Work Experience?

Work Placement is very different to work experience (which is usually done in Year 10) as work placement is directly related to the subject the student is studying and it is a mandatory component of the subject. Students also turn up on the first day with some skills they have already learnt from the classroom!

What Do Students Get Out Of It?

  • An opportunity to try out new skills
  • Many students impress the employer greatly and receive positive reports, references or even job offers
  • The work placement experience and report will be worth its weight in gold and impress prospective employers when your child is applying for hotly contested job opportunities in the future
  • Obtain practical workplace skills, both general and industry specific
  • Develop an awareness of career pathways
  • Build confidence & develop maturity
  • Gain experience and an understanding of a realistic workplace
  • Meet Board of Studies HSC requirements
  • Gain credit transfer and recognition into further education and training
  • The possibility of being nominated by their employer for the MWLP Honour Roll. This gives them exclusive opportunities for an apprenticeship or traineeship with MG My Gateway and the possibility of becoming the ‘Work Placement Student of the Year’

What Can I Do To Help My Child Complete A Successful Work Placement?

Work placement is exciting and rewarding but can also be daunting. Below are some tips & responsibilities which will help your child to make a good impression while on work placement and to get the most out of it:

  1. Students are required to get some paperwork completed prior to their placement which you also have to sign. This paperwork has to be returned to their teacher otherwise their insurance is not in place and their placement will be cancelled.
  2. Employers expect the student to call them the week before starting their work placement – this is to introduce themselves and to ask any relevant questions. It is a good idea that the student calls the employer instead of getting someone else such as a parent or teacher to call on their behalf as it does not make a good impression.
  3. Try to help your child plan how to get to their work placement, research their transport options and know what time they need to leave home etc. It is very important to be on time. If your child is late due to unforeseen circumstances, make sure they call the employer and let them know. If your child is going to be away sick, make sure he/she contacts the employer and their teacher and let them know. It is the students’ responsibility to make up for any time missed.
  4. Try to help your child plan how to get to their work placement, research their transport options and know what time they need to leave home etc. It is very important to be on time. If your child is late due to unforeseen circumstances, make sure they call the employer and let them know. If your child is going to be away sick, make sure he/she contacts the employer and their teacher and let them know. It is the students’ responsibility to make up for any time missed.
  5. Don’t let them forget to take all equipment listed as necessary – chef uniform, took kit, safety boots, OH&S white card and their work placement journal. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure their journal has been completed and returned to their teacher.
  6. Remind your son/daughter to act in accordance with OH&S regulations and workplace specific rules including maintaining confidentiality.
  7. Encourage your child to ask questions, show initiative, and be friendly and well mannered. Interest and enthusiasm will impress the employer, and they will get more out of their work placement.
  8. The work placement isn’t quite what your child expected? Not their ideal placement? Remember that they will obtain valuable transferable skills in any work placement they complete, such as working as part of a team, dealing with the public etc. As they have only just started, the tasks your child completes are likely to be simple and may be repetitive. This would be the case if they were an entry level staff member. Please encourage your child to perform these tasks as well as possible, and they could be given additional duties which may challenge them more throughout the week.
  9. If your child experiences a problem while on work placement, such as bullying, being asked to do something illegal or unsafe, or if there is anything they don’t feel comfortable with, call their teacher. These sorts of problems are very rare however they can happen, so make sure you have their teacher’s contact details.
  10. When the work placement has been completed, encourage your child to thank their employer for having them there. Employers who offer work placement to students like to give students an insight into their industry. It is nice to acknowledge them for their time and effort.

Many students have gained a reference or even a job following their work placement. It is definitely worthwhile to make a good impression, and it shows respect for the employer and the effort they are making to provide students with a good work placement. Without these employers, students would not be able to complete their mandatory work placement and therefore unable to complete their HSC.