Why young people are essential to your business

THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS: Year 12 Damascus student Caitlyn Pitcher is currently engaged in a School Based Apprenticeship in Commercial Cookery at Kittelty’s at The Gallery.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF WORKERS: Year 12 Damascus student Caitlyn Pitcher is currently engaged in a School Based Apprenticeship in Commercial Cookery at Kittelty’s at The Gallery.

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With approximately 68,000 VCE and VCAL students undertaking Vocational Education Training across Victoria in all sectors, Structured Workplace Learning (SWL), has become a vital component, allowing students to gain hands-on experience related to their vocational course. 

In the Highlands region, there are hundreds of enthusiastic students who need local employers to provide them with supportive SWL opportunities to master key competencies and finesse skills. 

The program is a mutually beneficial arrangement for students and businesses. Students acquire experience and businesses gain an eager and interested young person that is willing to work and learn.

While there are hundreds of students keen to take up placements, more local businesses are needed. I collaborate with employers to explore how a student could best contribute to the business.

An important aspect of the SWL Coordinator role is to facilitate the initial relationship between the business and student in manner that is responsive to the needs of both parties. Once an employer agrees to support a student, the opportunity is advertised on the Statewide SWL Portal. Students and careers advisors regularly login to the Portal seeking opportunities that suit the learning requirements of the young person. Students are placed in workplaces relevant to their study. 

WORK AND LEARN: Year 11 Damascus student Macio Nash is studying a VET Certificate III in Sport and Recreation. He's currently engaged in an SWL at Bodyconnect Personal Training.

WORK AND LEARN: Year 11 Damascus student Macio Nash is studying a VET Certificate III in Sport and Recreation. He's currently engaged in an SWL at Bodyconnect Personal Training.

We have sport and recreation students working in local gyms, kitchen operations students actively participating in the local hospitality scene, traditional trade students working in both large and small businesses and there are students working in various innovative, micro businesses.

Ballarat Health Services is a strong supporter of the SWL program and takes students in blocks of time such as during school holidays. 

SWL allows students to apply theoretical knowledge gained in class to the real world workplace. Students can undertake placements that are one day a week or they can consider alternative arrangements with the employer such as one-week blocks. 

We regularly see great outcomes for local young people and local businesses. We firmly believe that students on placement add value to a workplace and that there are employers throughout this region who would be more than willing to create an opportunity for a young person in their business and local community, via SWL.

The initiative works for all businesses from micro to large and across all disciplines and occupations. 

For more information, interested businesses can contact me on (03) 4344 4151 or 0400 564 839. Alternatively you can contact me via email at lnash@highlandsllen.org.

  • This article was written by Lyndel Nash, Highlands LLEN Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator.

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