Work Experience

Information dealing with issues such as duty of care, student wellbeing, excursions and work experience.

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for contacts and links

Do you need to comply?

Yes, if your school conducts a work experience program.

Conditions of compliance

Work experience involves secondary school students in short-term industry placements, which broadens their experience and understanding of the world of work and career opportunities. It is generally undertaken in Years 9 or 10.

The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic.) details that work experience is only to be undertaken during the official school year. This includes the first, second and third term holidays, but not the holidays at the end of the year.

Work experience is different to structured workplace learning which is undertaken by students who are enrolled in Vocational Education and Training (VET) in schools programs and the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). These students must undertake tasks or activities that enable them to acquire skills and knowledge in an industry setting as part of an accredited vocational training program.

If you have to comply, what do you have to do?

There are many requirements of a work experience program with which you must comply. Full details are contained within Vic DET’s Work Experience Manual.

Some of the requirements are related to the following:

  • The age of students (particularly if a student is under 15)
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Work experience arrangement forms
  • Criminal records checks
  • Prohibited equipment and activities
  • Privacy legislation
  • Public liability insurance
  • WorkCover procedures
  • Anti-discrimination and work experience students
  • Harassment, bullying and occupational violence in the workplace
  • Students with disabilities
  • Contact during the placement
  • Timing of a work experience program
  • Hours of work
  • Length of work experience
  • Employer supervision of work experience students
  • Payment and taxation
  • Interstate placements
  • International students.

There are also roles and responsibilities for principals, work experience coordinators, employers, students, parents and teachers. These are described in the Work Experience Manual.

What are the consequences if you don’t comply?

You may be in breach of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic.). You may also be putting your students at risk.

Who will help you?

Independent Schools Victoria contact:

Peter Roberts
Director, School Services
Ph. 03 9825 7211
peter.roberts@is.vic.edu.au

Links and Resources

External linkVic DET: Work Experience

External linkVic DET: School Policy and Advisory Guide – Workplace Learning