Work experience and workplace learning
Taking part in on-the-job learning and getting experience in different workplaces is a great way for your child to prepare for their life after school.
Why is workplace learning important?
Workplace learning gives your child the chance to:
- learn more about career options
- get direct experience in the workplace, and
- practice the skills needed to pursue goals when they leave school.
Your child can still participate in work experience if they are not physically able to do all the tasks in the workplace. They will benefit from seeing what different jobs are like and how different workplaces function.
For your child, this could mean participating in a school work experience program or doing a work placement as part of a Vocational Education and Training (VET) subject.
Most schools will have a work experience program, where students do one or two weeks of work experience during school term time, with the school's approval. Your child must be 14 or older, and you can ask the school when your child is eligible to attend work experience.
However, some schools will organise work experience placements for students with disability, with these placements meeting their needs and giving them a better opportunity to succeed. For example, your child may do work experience for a short amount of time one day a week and gradually add more time, giving them more confidence and building on their skills.
Your child may also do a work placement connected to a VET subject they are studying, which helps them develop specific workplace skills. Your child can start this VET study from Year 9, but they are more likely to do so in Years 11 and 12, or through Registered Training Organisations like TAFE NSW. Mandatory work placements are generally organised by a Work Placement Service Provider.
Finally, your child might want to pick up a casual or part-time after school job. This will also give them valuable experience to add to their resume, as well as the opportunity to earn and handle their own money.
Research shows that young people who do workplace learning will have a better understanding of the skills and qualities needed to succeed in the workplace.