At Bendigo Senior Secondary College students have the opportunity to acquire industry-specific knowledge, skills and experience in the workplace before they leave school. Workplace learning can contribute to a senior secondary school certificate, through a VCAL learning program, or an industry recognized VET qualification.

Work experience involves secondary school students in short-term placements that broaden their experience and understanding of the world of work and career opportunities in general. Students observe different aspects of work and may assist with tasks allocated by their supervisor. Work experience is not the same as Structured Workplace Learning.

Structured Workplace Learning allows students to acquire skills and knowledge in an industry setting as part of an accredited vocational training program (VET/VCAL).

Why do Workplace Learning?

Work experience provides students with the opportunity to:

  • Examine and assess initial career choices and career opportunities and assist them in their course and career decision making
  • Develop contacts with potential employers
  • Be exposed to the real world of work
  • Fulfill tertiary institution pre-requisites that require experience in the area of intended study
  • Gain an understanding of the nature and conditions of paid work
  • Find out more about work-related issues such as the impact of technological changes on work, workplace relations, and rights and responsibilities of employers and employees
  • Develop an awareness of appropriate attitudes and behaviours for paid work
  • Improve their communication skills

Structured Workplace Learning provides students with the opportunity to:

  • Learn and apply knowledge and skills which are relevant to the workplace.
  • Try out career choices before leaving school.
  • Develop contacts with potential employers.
  • Be exposed to the real world of work and mix with adults in an adult environment.
  • Demonstrate the mastery of specific skills and competencies related to the accredited VET in Schools programs which they are undertaking. SWL is a mandatory component of some VET courses
  • Undertake relevant courses which count towards their exit credential and articulate into further education and training.
  • Undertake a relevant curriculum which develops skills appropriate for life-long learning.
  • Gain VCAA credits for the VCE/VCAL certificate through the structured Workplace Learning Recognition (SWLR) program.

Organisation and Evaluation

Contact our Workplace Coordinators, Melissa Payne and Joanna Quinlan, who work with students and their teachers to set up, monitor and complete the workplace learning process. Students and their employer will be contacted, either in person or by phone, at least once during the period of the placement to monitor the placement progress.

At the end of the placement, an evaluation form, supplied to the employer, must be completed and forwarded to the College. It is recommended that the student and the supervisor have discussed the value of the experience and the overall performance prior to the completion of the form.


The minimum rate of payment is $5 a day. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has agreed to the following arrangements under the Tax System for students undertaking work experience.


Where the placement is with a Commonwealth department or body established under a Commonwealth Act, an educational, charitable or community welfare organisation not conducted for profit, the $5 per day payment will not be made.