If your son or daughter studies a Vocational Education and Teaching (VET) course for their Higher School Certificate (HSC), they MUST complete 70 hours of Workplacement over 2 years. This will be organised for your child by South West Connect through discussions with their school. It is just as important as all their other assessment tasks. If they do not complete the mandatory hours of workplacement they can be given an N award and thus, not be awarded the HSC.
Parents and Carers should access and read the Parents & Carers Guide to Workplace Learning before your son or daughter attends workplacement as it contains important information about workplacement. You should be provided with a copy of this guide from the school or TAFE your child attends.
Note: Workplacement Students may be expected to work evenings and other non-school hours, depending on the course being studied.
How can parents help their children while they are on workplacement?
Career Info for parents
The links below have excellent information about writing resumes and preparing for a job.
- Parents FAQ
- 1. What is Vocational Education and Training (VET)?
VET stands for vocational education and training – that is, study and/or practical training that develops the skills and knowledge that people need for employment.
Vocational education and training (VET) combines education with training to provide people with occupational or work-related knowledge and skills. VET provides formal links between the Higher School Certificate, the workplace and further education. VET courses may be undertaken at TAFE, school or a combination of both.
VET courses can provide students with industry skills as they are learning in an industry environment.
VET courses are competency based courses where students receive formal national recognition in school and industry. With further training these courses provide opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships.
- are available to students in Years 11 & 12
- are taught by teachers at school and TAFE
- can give students a head start in a career
- allow students to get work-related skills and to take further study at University or TAFE
- are designed for all students
- Can contribute to the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) if the optional HSC exam is sat
- are offered in a variety of industry areas
- 2. What VET courses can a student study?
This course is for students seeking to gain knowledge and skills to gain employment as a service mechanic trainee or a motor mechanic apprentice in the automotive service and repair industry.
Working in the automotive industry involves:
- identifying, selecting, using and maintaining tools and equipment
- customer relations and communication skills
- locating, identifying and stating the basic function and operation of major systems and components in automotive vehicles. The systems and components include engines, petrol and diesel fuel.
The business services industry provides clerical and administrative support to commerce, industry, government and the professions. Skills gained in this industry transfer to other occupations.
Working in the business services industry involves:
- customer (client) service
- organising information and records in paper and electronic forms
- using technologies
- creating documents
Construction provides students with the opportunity to gain a range of skills suitable for employment in the construction industry.
Working in the construction industry involves:
- constructing buildings
- modifying buildings
- designing buildings
- measuring materials and sites
- communicating with clients
This course is for people seeking entry level training in the electrotechnology industry. You will learn how to identify and use a range of components, accessories, materials, tools, equipment and technologies in the carrying out of work in the electrotechnology industry. This involves the design, installation, servicing and repair and maintenance of electrical and electronic equipment, for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes, such as:
- light and power
- computer systems
- wireless technology
- network management
- solar energy equipment
Entertainment offers training opportunities to students who are interested in performance and events: dance and drama, lighting and sound, staging and set design and dealing with patrons and professionals.
Working in the entertainment industry involves:
- front of house activities
- set and props manufacture
- lighting and sounds operations
- audiovisual operations
- costume design
- scenic art
- staging and stage management
Financial Services encompasses a diverse range of enterprises and financial products and services related to banking, finance, financial planning, financial markets, insurance, superannuation and taxation.
Hospitality focuses on providing customer service. Skills learned can be transferred across a range of industries. Workplaces for which Hospitality competencies are required include cafes, catering organisations and resorts.
Working in the hospitality industry involves:
• supporting and working with colleagues to meet goals and provide a high level of customer service
• developing menus, managing resources, preparing, cooking and serving a range of dishes
• providing food and beverage service in a range of settings
• providing house keeping and front office services in hotels, motels, resorts and other hospitality establishments
Human Services courses offer training opportunities to students who are interested in health care.
Working in the human services industry involves:
- legal and ethical issues
- communication strategies
- using equipment
- responding to difficult or challenging behaviour
- using medical terminology
- first aid
- working effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers
Information & Digital Technology
IDT offers training opportunities to students who are interested in designing web pages, software and games, creating programs, systems and databases, networking computers and finding solutions to technical and software problems.
Working in the information technology industry involves:
- designing web pages
- networking computers
- supporting computer users
- communicating with clients
- finding solutions to software problems
Metal & Engineering
Students learn about design, production, installation and repairing of machinery, tools, equipment and parts as well as working in teams and dealing with clients and staff. The key industry areas are fabrication, mechanical, metal machining, technician services, aero skills, transport equipment, drawing and design industries and industrial machinery.
Primary Industries provide products and services in response to the demand not only for food and fibre products but also for recreational and leisure activities.
Working in the primary industries involves:
- dealing with and caring for animals
- breeding and growing livestock (dairy, beef, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens) crops and grains
- maintaining and using equipment such as tractors, harvesters, bailers and ploughs • overseeing and managing farming operations
The retail industry can provide students with a career path that leads to higher executive levels within the retail industry.
Students can gain skills in operating retail equipment, stock control, customer service and selling skills.
Working in the retail industry involves:
- customer service
- stock control
- designing and creating displays
- using cash registers, scanners, computers
Tourism and Events
Tourism and Events aims to provide students with the opportunity to gain a range of skills suitable for employment in the tourism industry.
The course focuses on providing customer service, tourism advice and communicating with customers from diverse backgrounds.
Working in the tourism industry involves:
- marketing tourist attractions
- guiding people to special sites and places
- arranging reservations and accommodation for international and local travel
- teamwork • planning and organising events and managing services
- 3. What are the benefits of VET courses and Workplacement?
Experience shows that students benefit from work placements in a number of ways. They:
- benefit from the practical application of what is learnt at school in an industry context
- gain self-confidence and maturity from the experience of working with adults and building on the knowledge and skills they have learnt at school
- become more motivated to learn in all subjects once they are able to see the relevance of their studies to their future employment
- enhance their learning by combining the practical and theoretical components of their course in a realistic way through the link between on-the-job and off-the-job learning
- learn to take the initiative and communicate effectively from the experience of assuming responsibility in a realistic work situation
- develop an awareness of career opportunities and the needs of potential employers
- expand knowledge, skills and attitudes recognised by employers and institutions offering further education and training
- 4. Who has to complete workplacement?
Year 11 and 12 Students undertaking industry curriculum framework Vocational Educational & Training Courses as part of their HSC. Students undertaking one or more industry curriculum framework courses for the HSC must complete compulsory periods of workplacement for each course in the relevant industry. Other vocational courses may also require workplacement in industry.
- 5. How is workplacement different to work experience?
Workplacement is very different from work experience.
WORK EXPERIENCE – is usually undertaken by Year 10 students (sometimes Year 11) as part of Work Education studies, and is usually up to 5 days. The aim of a work experience placement is for a student to gain an understanding of an occupation or business and to undertake small tasks where appropriate, under the supervision of a qualified and experienced employee. The employer is usually required to complete a form to acknowledge the student’s attendance, attitude and interest. Work experience is unpaid and voluntary.
WORK PLACEMENT (often called a “Structured Work Placement”) is a placement undertaken by Year 11 or 12 students (sometimes Year 10) with an employer as part of a chosen vocational course at school, and can vary from 1 to 4 weeks. The placement needs to demonstrate that a student can display the necessary skills (learnt in the classroom or on the job), which can be assessed against competencies required in the Training Package they are learning from. A work placement would usually be a requirement of a vocational course, with credit towards a student’s HSC and Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications. Employers are usually required to complete a logbook to acknowledge student competencies. Work placements are unpaid and voluntary.
- 6. What hours does the student have to work on workplacement?
In order to complete the required hours, students must understand they will be expected to work the hours of the industry and each individual employer will determine the hours which the student will work. This may include early starts, split shifts (i.e. 10am – 2pm & 5pm – 10pm on the one day) and evening work. Workplace learning activities are to take place during school term time as part of an ongoing educational program, except in the first and last week of each term.
The time allocated for lunch or dinner breaks is not to be included in the total number of hours worked. For example, you would need to work 9am – 4.30pm in order to take a half-hour lunch break, and fulfil the requirements of a seven-hour day. Students should negotiate meal breaks with the host and should be provided with a break appropriate to the hours worked. Employers are required by law to provide breaks after 5 hours work.
- 7. What should we consider before choosing a workplacement?
When your son or daughter accept a work placement, it is important that they commit to that placement. Unfortunately, if it is cancelled by you, it may be difficult to find another placement that meets all of the requirements. Please ensure your child considers:
- Assessments that week
- Work commitments
- Social activities and holidays
- Medical appointments
Once they have accepted a workplacement they are committed to attend. Do not allow them to make any other plans during that week which may interfere with their workplacement.
- 8. What do students need to do during workplacement?
The student, as a representative of their school and as a capable young adult must be responsible for the following when attending work placement.
- Be on time everyday and after breaks
- Take their student placement record and work placement journal
- Ask questions and give feedback
- Dress appropriately
- Be respectful
- Show initiative
- 9. What activities are students prohibited to perform on workplacement?
The activities which students are prohibited to perform are:
- Serve alcohol
- Use dangerous machinery
- Air travel on charter flights and aircraft other than those providing a regular public transport service.
- Travel by helicopter
- Travel outside the 12 nautical mile limit at sea
- Scuba and deep sea diving
- Any work of a sexual or explicit nature
- Attendance at abattoirs
- Work on roofs or roof cavity
- Work where asbestos is present
- High risk construction work
- Demolition sites
- Excavation sites
- Activities that require a license that a student does not hold.
- Use certain construction machinery unless suitably trained, instructed and supervised
If you have any problems or questions please contact us.
- 10. What type of insurance are the students covered for on workplacement?
The students have comprehensive insurance coverage through their school and departmental body. No insurance responsibility falls to the host employer as long as the student is not paid for their work during workplacement. The insurance policies cover employer indemnity, public liability indemnity, damage to employers’ property and compensation to students and teachers. The departmental bodies are; Department of Education (DoE) for all Government schools and TAFE, Sydney Catholic Schools for all Catholic Schools and Association of Independent Schools for any other participating school.
- 11. What happens if an accident occurs on workplacement?
In the event of a student being injured or involved in an accident whilst at the workplace, or whilst travelling to or from it, appropriate first aid or emergency care procedures should be immediately sought. As soon as practicable the student’s teacher, South West Connect and the student’s parents / guardians should be notified.
Students must ensure correct information is completed on any required forms for insurance purposes. If students do not have a form, ask their school.
The following procedure should be followed where a student is injured during a placement, including travel to and from the place of work.
1. The student receives the necessary medical attention. Note: Students are volunteers, not employees, such claims SHOULD NOT be classified as Workers' Compensation.
2. Contact the school immediately after Step 1.
3. The parent or caregiver claims upon his or her Medicare and private health funds.
4. The parent or caregiver then forwards to the school advice of the amounts not covered from health funds, together with supporting documents including accounts showing amounts paid by the health funds.
5. The school Principal should copy all documents and follow the procedures required by their school system for appropriate action.