This policy is current as at 20/11/2017 10:57am, AEDT. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

Workplace learning for Secondary Students in Government Schools

This policy enables students to contextualise their learning and achieve significant curriculum outcomes by accessing the skill and knowledge environment of participating workplaces. Collaborative involvement optimises student learning and safety during placement.

1. Objectives - Policy statement

1.1

Workplace learning programs are to achieve curriculum outcomes and enhance the vocational, educational and social development of students enrolled in regular classes, special classes and special schools. Innovative programs are encouraged.

1.2

Workplace learning programs include, but are not limited to, work experience, work placement for HSC VET courses, career and enterprise education programs, community learning and student mentoring programs conducted by employers in the workplace. This policy also extends to school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

1.3

The Department and the host employer hold a concurrent duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of students whilst engaged in a workplace learning program. This duty requires the elimination of health and safety risks where possible and if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate those risks, to minimise the risk so far as is reasonably practicable.

1.4

DEC and TAFE NSW must, through their delegated officers, take reasonable care to keep all students undertaking workplace learning free from harm. Duty of care for students rests with the school and the TAFE NSW institute and extends to workplace learning placements even where there is no direct daily supervision of the student by a school or TAFE NSW institute or RTO teaching staff member.

1.5

Insurance and indemnity provisions of the Department, as stated in the Department's The Workplace Learning Guide for Employers, apply to workplace learning placements approved by the Principal or nominee, and where relevant, also by the responsible TAFE NSW Institute Manager or delegate or RTO manager or nominee. Conditions apply. However, those insurance and indemnity provisions do not apply to the paid employment component of school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

1.6

Regular and effective communication with parents/carers, support staff and with host employers, directly and through Work Placement Service Providers, is an essential aspect of all workplace learning programs. For school based apprenticeships and traineeships, this also includes the training provider and the employer, or host employer where a group training organisation is the employer.

1.7

A range of mandatory and support documents has been developed to assist in the implementation of workplace learning programs. See Associated Documents and Forms including the essential Workplace Learning: Procedures and Standards.

1.8

DEC and TAFE NSW must ensure that students with special needs are provided with opportunities on the same basis as other students. This includes identifying and liaising with the workplace around adjustments and accommodations that students with disabilities may require.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1

This policy applies to all education and training organisations involved in the provision of workplace learning to students, aged 14 or over, in NSW government secondary, central and special schools or contracted private or community RTOs and school students enrolled in HSC and other vocational education and training (VET) courses in TAFE NSW institutes. This policy also applies to students solely enrolled in TAFE NSW and undertaking workplace learning for HSC courses.

2.2

The policy also applies to community stakeholders involved in the provision of workplace learning including Work Placement Service Providers.

2.3

This policy also applies to school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

3. Context

3.1

This policy supports:

3.2

The participation of local businesses, larger employers, industry groups, community agencies and RTOs is an invaluable and essential aspect of the skill and knowledge environment available through workplace learning.

3.3

The nature of workplace learning, with its off-site learning locations and the participation of non-Department personnel, poses risks to students that do not apply within the school. The Department has a paramount concern for the safety, welfare and well-being of students while enabling this valuable approach to learning to operate effectively.

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1

School Principals and where relevant, the responsible TAFE NSW Institute Managers have the primary responsibility for approving workplace learning programs. They must take reasonable steps to ensure that students, staff, relevant registered training organisations (RTOs), Work Placement Service Providers, parents/carers, and host employers are aware of their responsibilities in the implementation of workplace learning programs.

4.2

The Department’s duty of care for students cannot be delegated from the school or TAFE NSW institute or RTO to any stakeholder group involved in workplace learning other than in the situation of a student using privately undertaken regular paid, part-time work as an approved workplace learning placement. Duty of care includes providing suitable preparatory activities to optimise students' safe and effective participation in the planned workplace learning experience. The Department's duty of care does apply to the implementation of school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

4.3

Engagement of Work Placement Service Providers and host employers is subject to collaborative input and advice from local Principals and the responsible TAFE NSW Institute Manager and their nominated or delegated staff.

4.4

Parents/carers are responsible for providing the reliable emergency contact for their young person where the student undertakes workplace learning outside normal business hours.

4.5

The Senior Pathways Unit is responsible for publishing and ensuring the currency of the policy on the DEC policy website.

4.6

Users must verify the currency of this policy by reference to the DEC policy website.

5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements

5.1

Principals and the responsible TAFE NSW Institute or RTO Managers or delegates are responsible for monitoring and evaluating workplace learning programs.

5.2

Workplace learning should be included in the School Management Plan as part of the school’s curriculum delivery of vocational education for all students.5.3 The implementation of workplace learning programs must be reported annually, or as required, to the school and where relevant, TAFE NSW institute or RTO, management and community.

5.3

The implementation of workplace learning programs must be reported annually, or as required, to the school and where relevant, TAFE NSW institute or RTO, management and community.

5.4

Schools and TAFE NSW institutes are required to report incidents involving the safety of school students, including near misses, while they are undertaking workplace learning in accordance with the Department's Incident Reporting Policy and Procedures (intranet only).

6. Contact

Assistant Director, Senior Pathways, ph 9266 8315.

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