Models of Workplace Engagement

Schools have a key role in building young people’s workplace engagement, including supporting young people to explore a range of careers and industries, and sparking and building young people’s aspirations, engagement and capacity to navigate to their future destinations. All young people benefit from workplace engagement – it can support disengaged young people to re-engage in school or find non-school pathways, and help academically strong students to understand their pathways, make better decisions about tertiary education and have a smoother transition to their careers.

Given the link between young people’s aspirations, capacity to explore careers and workplace experiences and their success in transitioning for further education and employment as adults, careers and transitions support will be pivotal to young people’s capacity to navigate the changing future.

Through collaboration with industry, schools and pilots with student voice four models of workplace engagement have been formed to support schools to connect young people to the world of work.

OECD Disrupted Futures 2021: Models of Workplace Engagement


(coming soon)


  • deliver real-world learning experiences
  • better understand new and emerging work opportunities
  • raise awareness of the local labour market
  • improve engagement in learning
  • understand the impact of new technologies in the workplace
  • build employability and enterprise skills required for future life and work
  • develop critical career management skills used to successfully negotiate future work.
  • improve the ability to make a smooth transition from school.
  • contribute to workforce development needs
  • offer an opportunity to access potential employees
  • allow staff to develop mentoring and training skills, thereby improving their engagement
  • assist with positive public relations
  • uphold business values (including corporate social responsibility)
  • offer an avenue to develop students’ career awareness and work readiness
  • provide a practical way to support the local school and community.
  • broaden and enrich the curriculum
  • provide ‘real world’ context for subjects studied at school
  • develop innovative teaching and learning
  • demonstrate a learning community in action
  • provide an avenue to access external skills and expertise
  • access up-to-date industry insights
  • generate the possibility of school-business partnerships
  • provide opportunities for professional learning and industry experience / exposure
  • leadership development.
  • confident their children are being prepared with the skills for future work
  • greater exposure to local industries and employment opportunities
  • evidence the school is engaging with the community to broaden curriculum delivery
  • provide an avenue for career conversations with their children
  • widen their understanding of their children’s post-school options
  • better understanding of the changing world of work.


Projects are designed in school around a specific need or skill shortage in the local area/region depending on student interest.

School/location or region etc​

  1. Creating elements of the workplace experience
  2. Outreach an exposure to the real thing
  3. Produce something real and visible.

Benefits of in-school projects, developing capabilities: ​

Students build employability and enterprise skills and develop critical career management skills  ​

Employers and Community Groups develop students’ career awareness and work readiness , staff develop mentoring and training skills. Supports the local school and community  ​

Schools and Teachers access external skills and expertise, school-business partnerships  ​

Parents, children are being prepared with the skills for future work and given exposure to local industries and employment opportunities, widening their understanding of their children’s post-school options .

​Creating elements of a ‘workplace experience or workplace learning’ in a safe, school setting.

Ideas to enhance in school projects and workplace engagement examples: Workplace Learning within the school canteen, library and front office:​

  • Workplace Learning and or job shadowing with school maintenance staff. Examples: General Assistant, Agriculture Assistant

  • Linking with Student Representative Council (SRC) Examples: Communication skills, Business skills, Administration and Clerical skills, meetings, Voting, Hosting Assemblies, Student surveys​

  • Environment - Green Groups. Science and HSIE create a market or fresh produce stall, build flower or vegetable gardens during sport time, produce can be on-sold in the future, sustainability​

  • Links with school events e.g. Volunteering with creative arts festival, art, drama, music students, Hosting Parent / teacher meetings, End of Year Assemblies​

  • Hospitality students hosting fundraisers, school events, prepare, cook and serve food and drinks at school events, supporting faculty events, sports carnivals​

  • Volunteer work at community events. Clean-Up Australia Day and World Environment Day ​

  • Entrepreneurship programs such as iEntrepreneur - see Pathways and Transitions Entrepreneurial Learning webpage here.

  1. Authentic interaction with workers
  2. Exposure to different worksites or roles
  3. Documenting and applying to school
  1. Work on or develop a passion or interest
  2. Build self-esteem, growth and direction
  3. Opportunities to entice, engage or reconnect with school
  1. Develop capacity and confidence to be work ready
  2. Specific vocational or job read training
  3. Provide qualifications and experiences
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