Work experience and Structured Work Placement are two great options for gaining important job skills, and gaining some experience in industries that interest you. Read on to find out more about these two exciting options.

Work Experience or Structured Work Placement?

Work Experience can be a fun experience, as well as helping you to develop valuable job skills. Work experience might be something you have to do for a week or two as part of your school. It might also be part of your TAFE or university course.

You can also set up work experience for yourself so that you can get some experience in an industry or job that you're interested in. You will usually be advised to arrange this in your school holidays. You must do school based training in Occupational Health and Safety standards before starting any type of work experience.

Structured Work Placement is a little different in that it allows students to gain hands-on experience in an industry of their choice while completing their schooling. A student may spend one day per week in the workplace or on block release (working everyday) from school for a number of weeks. During the work placement a student may have specific tasks that they need to complete so that they can be assessed as competent in these areas of their VET studies.

Structured workplace learning is not the same as work experience. It is about ‘doing’. Work experience is usually about ‘observing’.

Because of the differences in Work Experience and Structured Work Placement, it is usually VET/VCAL students that undertake SWL and VCE students that organise Work Experience during their school holidays

Why Do Work Experience or Work Placement?

There are many reasons for doing work experience/work placement:

  • You get valuable experience that you can add to your resume
  • You might get a good reference from your work experience employer that can help with job applications
  • You might get invited back to do part-time, casual or holiday work, or even be offered a full-time job
  • You make contacts that could help you find a permanent job
  • You can get to find out what it's really like to do a job and decide whether you really want to do that kind of job – exploring your options
  • You can experience the ‘real world of work’ whilst enhancing your levels of maturity, independence and confidence, & finding out about work related issues
  • For SWL you can learn skills directly related to the VET program you are studying & you can undertake relevant courses which count towards your VCE/VCAL certificates

The BSSC Work Placement Coordinator is located in the Career/Pathways Office in G Block