Structured Workplace Learning

What is Structured Workplace Learning?

As part of the VCAL program, students are required to complete Structured Workplace Learning each Thursday during school terms. This is often called a work placement or structured work placement.

​​Structured workplace learning provides students with the opportunity to integrate on-the-job experience with secondary study. It is delivered as part of either the VCE or the VCAL, VCE Industry and Enterprise or VCAL units. It provides:

  • enhanced skill development
  • practical application of industry knowledge
  • assessment of units of competency
  • achievement of some learning outcomes for VCE studies or VCAL units and
  • enhanced employment opportunities

Where can I complete a placement?

VCAL students are able to complete their placement at a variety of places. Many students will decide to complete their placement in a field related to their VET study, whilst others will use this opportunity to explore an alternative career path.

How can I find a placement?

There are lots of ways to find a work placement. The most common method is to approach a business directly in person, bring with you your resume and a cover letter explaining the reason for seeking a work placement.

Click here to see sample resumes and cover letters

You can find a lot of information about writing a resume and cover letter by clicking on the links. You should tailor your resume and cover letter for each business you are applying for. You can get more information about what employers want by clicking here.

You can also find businesses by performing a Google search to find businesses nearby and get in touch with them via phone or email. It’s best to write out what you’d like to say over the phone and use this as a script. When sending an email, you should follow the correct email ettiquite. It’s also a good idea to follow up with the business with a phone call.

Structured Workplace Learning Portal

The best place to find a business that is offering placements, is by using the SWL State Portal. This website is run by the Department of Education and Training and has a huge database of employers who are actually looking for students to work for them.

So if you’re tired of businesses saying no, this is a great place to secure a placement. Simply use the search function to find nearby or related industries and send the notice to your teacher – we will assist in getting in touch with the employer to set up an interview.

Conditions of Structured Workplace Learning

  • A student must begin a work placement by Thursday, 15 February.
    • If you do not have a placement, you are required to attend school this day and use this time to make contact with employers, or utilise the Structured Workplace Learning Portal to search for placements.
  • A student is not permitted to start placement until the Structured Workplace Learning Arrangement Form (Contract) has been completed and signed by the following:
    • Employer
    • Parent/Guardian (if student is under 18)
    • Student
    • The Principal – the principal cannot sign until all parties above have signed.
  • A placement is scheduled for a maximum of 20 days. This placement can be extended with authority of the principal to more than 20 days if the Structured Workplace Learning Exemption Form is completed and signed by the principal.
  • Students are to organise start and finish times with the employer and notify Mr. McMillan of these times.
  • If you are unable to attend a placement due to illness or an appointment, the student must inform the employer as soon as possible. The student must also notify Mr McMillan of their absence.

Important Documents