TO STUDENT

Thank you for your interest and involvement      Sect io n 1. Ab o ut Wo r kp lace Lear n in g 2
  in our workplace learning program. As an       Sect io n 2. Ho w Wo r kp lace Lear n in g Wo r ks 3
employer who can provide quality workplace       Sect io n 3. Legal Req uir em en t s an d Pap er w o r k 5
learning, you will be helping students to gain   Sect io n 3a. Accid en t s an d Em er gen cies 5
   valuable practical experience which will
                                                 Sect io n 4. Pr o vid in g a Saf e Wo r kp lace 6
 assist them in their school courses and help
            ready them for work.                 Sect io n 5. A Ch ecklist f o r Em p lo yer s 8
                                                 Sect io n 6. Im p o r t an t Co n t act s 9

An employers guide to workplace learning
1 ABOUT WORKPLACE LEARNING                           • Employers supervise the students as they
This guide introduces you and your staff to the      practise and extend the specific industry skills
concepts of workplace learning. It explains the      they have learned in their course work.
workplace learning programs and the                  • During their work placement, students work
procedures and responsibilities when hosting         towards gaining specific industry competencies.
students in your workplace. It also includes a       • Students achieving competency receive an
handy checklist for employers, both large and        industry-specific VET qualification that is
small, to help guide you through the workplace       recognised throughout Australia.
learning process.
                                                     Work placement is a compulsory HSC
What is workplace learning?                          requirement for the following Framework
Workplace learning programs form part of the         courses:
NSW secondary school curriculum. They                • Automotive
enable students to spend time in the workplace,      • Business Services
gaining practical experience, assisting their        • Construction
career choices and building their industry skills.   • Electrotechnology
Workplace learning is available to students in       • Entertainment Industry
Years 10,11 and 12. Students are generally           • Financial Services
placed in an industry of their choice or study       • Hospitality
requirements, reflecting the type of work they       • Human Services
plan to do after completing their studies. For       • Information Digital Technology
some students workplace learning is their first      • Metal and Engineering
experience of the workplace.                         • Primary Industries
                                                     • Retail Services
What kinds of workplace learning are                 • Tourism and Events
NSW secondary schools offer two main types of        It is school policy and subject required to be
workplace learning − work experience and             completed for Board Endorsed Courses:
mandatory workplacement for HSC vocational                 Sports Coaching
education and training (VET) courses.                      Furniture Making
                                                           Hairdressing
Work Experience
These programs are usually undertaken by             Workplace learning assists students to:
students in Years 10 or 11. Work experience          • observe a variety of work being done
provides a general introduction to the ‘world of     • undertake supervised work appropriate to their
work’. Work experience can assist the social         skill level
and vocational development of students and           • gain general skills related to being at work
enable students to test tentative career choices     • learn how enterprises work and how to be
against the realities of the workplace.              enterprising in a business and community
                                                     • complete course assignments relevant to the
HSC VET Work Placement                               industry or workplace
• Work Placement Courses are accredited by:          • find out about training and employment
industry, the Australian Skills Quality Authority    opportunities
(ASQA) and the Board of Studies of NSW.              • fine-tune their career aspirations and career
• Work placement is a compulsory component           and transition planning.
for students enrolled in Higher School               • apply classroom learning in the workplace
Certificate (HSC) industry-recognised courses.       • develop confidence in their skills
• These vocational education and training (VET)
courses may be delivered by the school, a            Benefits for employers
TAFE NSW institute or a private training             Host employers have the opportunity to:
provide.                                             • participate in the education, career
• Work placement ensures that these students         development and vocational training of young
spend a period of time as voluntary workers in a     people in your community
relevant workplace.                                  • promote the attitudes and skills you want in
                                                     your workforce
• identify and train young people with potential    by undertaking a placement during the school
for your industry or business                       holidays. Conditions apply. Restrictions apply to
• strengthen your links with the community and      younger students in work experience programs.
raise your business profile                         Students in Years 10 cannot undertake
• increase the supervisory, training and            workplace learning during school holidays.
mentoring skills of your staff                      Students under 15 years age cannot work
• give students the knowledge of the value of       before 7am or after 6pm.
work and raise the quality of those coming into
your industry or business
                                                          What is the general procedure
2 HOW WORKPLACE                                                 for a placement?
                                                                     before the placement
Who organises work placements?                               Ho st em p lo yer s r eceive w o r kp lace
                                                                      lear n in g g u id elin es.
Schools will generally arrange their own                  Wo r kp lace p o sit io n s ar e n eg o t iat ed w it h
workplace learning programs working with                  em p lo yer s an d sub m it t ed t o t h e sch o o l
                                                                           f o r ap p r o val.
private providers involved in the delivery of
coursework. Employers may be approached by
the student, school, TAFE, third party or private
provider to host students in their workplace. For
HSC VET work placements, the approach often                  St u d en t s ar e m at ch ed t o a p o sit io n
comes from a Work Placement Service                           b ased o n t h eir co u r se w o r k an d /o r
Provider who is funded to negotiate and                    car eer p lan n in g . Th eir p ar en t s o r car er s
coordinate these mandatory placements. In the                    sig n o f f o n t h e ar r an g em en t s.
case of work experience, students may make                  Teach er s co n d u ct act ivit ies t o p r ep ar e
their own approach to an employer for a                           st u d en t s f o r t h e exp er ien ce.
workplace position and then submit the position
to their school for approval

Work placement service providers
Service Providers                                                      during the placement
These local organisations are funded to                     St u d en t s at t en d t h e w o r kp lace ever y
coordinate HSC VET work placements, liaising                                       d ay o f
between schools, TAFE NSW institutes, private                   t h e p r o g r am d et er m in ed b y t h e
                                                                                  co n t r act .
providers and employers. You will find they
                                                          Ho st em p lo yer s o r n o m in at ed w o r kp lace
have considerable expertise and resources to                su p er viso r s su p er vise t h e st u d en t s in
help you provide quality work placements for                                          t he
HSC VET students.                                             w o r kp lace, p r o vid in g t asks t h at ar e
You are welcome to contact them directly:                                       ap p r o p r iat e
Please go to                       an d at t im es, ch allen g in g f o r t h e
for their contact details.                                                        st u d en t .
                                                              Teach er s m ake a su p er viso r y visit o r
The Diocese currently has agreements with –                   p h o n e call t o t h e em p lo yer an d t h e
Youth Express for the Upper Hunter and                     st u d en t t o ch eck o n t h eir p r o g r ess an d
                                                            w elf ar e. Wh er e r elevan t , st u d en t s ar e
Maitland area schools 49537099
                                                                    assessed f o r in d ust r y -b ased
Career Links for Newcastle region schools                                     co m p et en cies.

When can workplace learning occur?                                    after the placement
                                                          St u d en t s r eco r d t h eir exp er ien ces an d
Workplace learning is usually scheduled on                                       r eview
                                                           t h eir car eer p r ef er en ces an d t r ain in g
weekdays during school or TAFE terms. This
                                                                               p at h w ays.
can be varied for individual students in Years            Ho st em p lo yer s r ep o r t o n t h e st u d en t ’s
11 and 12 with the approval of their school or                  p er f o r m an ce in t h e w o r kp lace.
TAFE. A student may wish to extend their skills          Teach er s im m ed iat ely f o llo w u p w it h t h e
                                                           st u d en t s t o en su r e m axim u m b en ef it .
Who has duty of care?

The school maintains a duty of care to students
undertaking workplace learning. Schools are
responsible for deciding if placements are
suitable, preparing students for workplace
learning, monitoring the student’s progress and
welfare during the placement and following up
with them immediately afterwards. It is the
responsibility of the host employer to provide a
safe workplace environment and appropriate
supervision for the student. Parents and carers     Are students paid for workplacement?
are required to nominate emergency contact for      Students are voluntary workers and should not
any emergencies that occur outside normal           be paid. If you decide to pay the student, this
business hours.                                     will change your relationship to that of
                                                    employer/employee and may invalidate the
Working Together: the workplace                     insurance and indemnity arrangements.
learning partnership                                The one exception is where the student uses
                                                    their part-time employment as part of their
Workplace learning programs are a partnership       mandatory HSC VET work placement
between educators, employers, students and          requirement. In this case, the student is not a
their parents or carers. We seek the input and      voluntary worker and the insurance
approval of all parties in the arrangement of       arrangements of the employer apply to the
placements, with every party agreeing to certain    student. This arrangement must be negotiated
roles and responsibilities. Central to this         with the employer and approved by the school.
process is the Student Placement Record, a
form that records contacts, arrangements and        Who do I contact if there is a problem?
approvals relating to the student’s placement.      If you have any concerns or difficulties during
Once everyone has completed their section of        the placement regarding the student or other
the form, copies are held by the school, host       matters, please contact the school as
employer, student and the parent or carer.          indicated on the Student Work Placement
The Student Placement Record also records           Record that you will receive before the
information regarding any disability, medical       placement.
condition, allergy or restriction that may affect
the safety and supervision of the student in the    Contact should be made as soon as possible so
workplace. It will indicate if employers need       that solutions can be found quickly.
to make adjustments to accommodate a
student’s additional support needs or
                                                             Useful tips from employers
                                                        Engage the student straight away as
Is there a cost involved?                               the first hour can set the tone for the
NO! There is no financial outlay involved in
having a student on placement but it is                 Chat with the student about their
acknowledged that there is an indirect cost in
                                                        current school work so you can set the
terms of the time involved in implementing the
                                                        work at the right skill level for them.
program and training the student.
                                                        Consider hosting students in pairs to
                                                        give them buddy support to solve
                                                        problems and get the work done.

                                                        Busy students tend to be happier and
                                                        learn more, having a reserve list of jobs
                                                        helps with this.

                                                        Debrief with your student at the end of
                                                        each day and plan the next day’s work.
3 Legal Requirements and                           No, as long as you follow the requirements in
                                                   this guide, you will not need to change your
Paperwork                                          insurance or WorkCover arrangements when
                                                   taking on a student under a workplace learning
                                                   program. You are expected to have current
Do I have to sign any documents?                   public liability coverage as is standard business
Yes. Each student is issued with a Student         practice. If you are a private provider arranging
Placement Record to document the                   workplace learning activities for students within
arrangements for their placement. This             your own organisation, your company’s own
important form allows for information to be        insurance and indemnity arrangements will
shared and approved by all parties − the           apply.
student, their parent/carer, the host employer
and the school or relevant TAFE or private
                                                   Can I claim compensation for damaged
As an employer, you will be asked to record
your workplace details, the student’s working
hours, arrangements for their supervision, the     The NSW Catholic schools can compensate
activities they will undertake during their        employers participating in approved workplace
placement, any pre-training required and the       learning programs for damage to their property,
measures you are taking to enable them to do       the property of employees or property in the
the work safely.                                   employer’s physical or legal control provided
The student’s educational institution must then    that:
approve the placement as described. Parents        • any claim for compensation is immediately
and students must also provide their consent,      notified to the relevant school or institute
emergency contacts and details of any disability   • the employer cooperates fully with the
                                                   Catholic Education Commission and the CEC’s
or additional support needs the child may have.
In the case of mandatory HSC VET work              legal representatives in investigation of the
placements, Work Placement Service                 claim
Providers help streamline this process for you.    • the damage does not stem from a lack of
                                                      supervision or instruction by the employer
Are there any other conditions?
                                                    As students are not employees, Workers’
                                                         Compensation does not apply.
• Participating students must be aged 14 years
or over.
                                                   3a. What to do if an accident or
• Students under 15 years cannot work before
7am or after 6pm.                                  emergency occurs involving the student
• No student can be directed to carry out any
task that is not safe.                             • Seek medical help immediately, using the
• Employers and employees are to respect the       student’s Medicare number as provided on the
rights of students to a safe and healthy host      Student Placement Record.
workplace, free from harassment, discrimination    Do not treat this as a workers’ compensation
and any conduct that is unacceptable in terms      claim.
of child protection.                               • During normal business hours, contact the
                                                   school, TAFE or private provider (and the
What about insurance?                              parents or carers depending on the seriousness
                                                   of the injury).
Insurance and indemnity requirements are           • Outside normal business hours, contact the
arranged for NSW Catholic schools. A copy of       student’s parents or carers or their nominated
the policy and the currency certificate are        emergency contact.
attached to the back of this booklet.              • Ask the doctor attending for a medical
                                                   • Complete a written report of the accident and
Will my business need to change its                forward it to the school or relevant provider. The
insurance arrangements?                            report must include a full statement from the
All claims for damage should be referred to        student, the supervisor and relevant witnesses.
       the school or relevant provider.
4 Providing a Safe Workplace                          • any special clothing required by the student
                                                      eg. enclosed footwear
                                                      • any steps you will take or adjustments you will
How can I make my place safe for                      make to support students with a disability or
students?                                             other additional needs as described on their
                                                      Student Placement Record
Before any placement can be approved,                 • awareness of your responsibilities under child
employers needs to satisfy the school, TAFE           protection legislation.
NSW Institute or private provider that they can
provide a safe and healthy host workplace for         What are my responsibilities regarding
students,                                             the supervision of students?
compliant with the NSW Work Health and
Safety Act 2011 and anti-discrimination               Employers are expected to act in accordance
legislation.                                          with workplace responsibilities as set out for all
You will be asked to provide information on the       employees and members of the public. That is,
Student Placement Record.                             responsibilities that flow from legislation such
It is also expected that employers will give          as Workplace Health & Safety, Child Protection,
students a site-specific Workplace Health &           Privacy, Equal Employment Opportunity and
Safety briefing at the commencement of, or            Anti-Discrimination Legislation.
prior to, the workplace learning program.
                                                      During the placement you need to
Are any activities prohibited for                     provide:
workplace learning students?                          • activities and skill development tasks
                                                      appropriate to the student’s skill level
Yes. Some activities are completely prohibited        • ongoing instruction and supervision by a
e.g. working on a roof, while others have             capable and trustworthy employee briefed for
conditions attached. There are restrictions           the task
on the operation of machinery and equipment,          • a workplace induction for students at the
the service of alcohol, work on construction          beginning of the placement, including relevant
sites and adventure or sporting activities in         safety matters
industries like tourism. Students are not allowed     • any personal protective equipment (PPE)
to undertake activities requiring a license (e.g. a   required and training in its correct use.
driver’s licence), permit or certificate of           Likewise, the students are expected to
competence unless they already hold the               comply with the employer’s workplace
relevant license, certificate or permit. Even         safety requirements and procedures. They
then, the activity must relate directly to the        are not to act in any way that could jeopardise
learning activities of the placement. Employers       the safety of themselves or others.
must list these activities on the Student
Placement Record prior to approval.                   Students must:
Some higher risk industries such as                   • Participate in orientation and any pre training
construction require the students to undertake        or induction identified.
training prior to their work placement. For           • Use safety equipment and protective gear
example, all students must complete the WH&S          where relevant.
Construction Induction training as a prerequisite     • Follow safety rules and procedures.
to placement.                                         • Report any risks or hazards immediately.
A limited range of work involving animals is          • Understand and follow emergency
available. The school, TAFE or a Work                 procedures.
Placement Service Provider can also advise
you if you have any further queries.
                                                      Employers must be aware that complaints of
You will need to indicate upfront:                    harassment or abuse of student in the
• areas of possible risk in the student’s tasks       workplace will require investigation and
and your strategies to eliminate or minimise the      possible notification according to
risk                                                  Part 3a NSW Ombudsman’s Act 1974 and
• any pre-training or induction required by the       Section 39 Commission for Children and
student to undertake certain tasks                    Young People Act 1998.
• your supervision arrangements for the student
Child Protection
                                                       In accordance with privacy requirements, it is
                                                       expected that employers will:
 Working with children and young people is very
  rewarding. However, to ensure the safety and         • keep all personal student information secure
 welfare of young people in your workplace, you        and confidential, particularly any health
  and your staff must comply with a few simple         information.
  rules. It is your responsibility as the employer     • ensure that information regarding the student
  to ensure that your staff know how to conduct        is used only for the purpose of the workplace
    themselves appropriately with children and         learning program.
   young people. They must avoid any conduct           • dispose of all student details once the
         that could make a young person feel           workplace learning program is completed
      threatened or coerced. This could include        • provide student access to any student records
 initiation of activities or horseplay involving the   held by the employer, including the supervisor’s
    student; physical or verbal abuse; physical
  assault; inappropriate conversations, remarks
                                                       This legislation applies to the information
    or jokes of a sexual nature; the showing of
                                                       collected about students by the school and
    sexually suggestive publications, electronic
                                                       passed on to employers, regardless of whether
    media or illustrations and any unwarranted
                                                       or not it directly applies to your organisation.
      and/or inappropriate touching or personal
                                                       Similarly, all information provided by the host
   communication with students regarding their
                                                       employer to the school or the Business
   sexual feelings. As an employer, you will be
   asked to indicate on the Student Placement          Education Partnership will be used only for the
       Record that, to your knowledge, there is        purpose of the workplacement or work
 nothing in the background of any staff member         experience program.
 or person in close contact with the student that
  would make them unsuitable for working with
      children. Host employers must report any
 allegations against an employee in the area of
 child protection to the Principal of the school or
    the relevant TAFE NSW Institute Manager.
       Child protection legislation requires that
       allegations about employee conduct be
 reported to the NSW Ombudsman. Allegations
     involving abuse, harm or risk of significant
   harm to the student must also be reported to
  the Department of Community Service and in
        some cases, to the NSW Police - your           Do I need to consider any Industrial
                  Responsibilities                     Relations issues?
                                                       Certain conditions that have been negotiated
Privacy                                                with the ACTU need to be taken into
                                                       consideration. Three important conditions are
The Commonwealth Privacy Amendment                     that:
(Private Sector) Act 2000 regulates the                • the hours of placement that a student does in
collection and storage of personal and sensitive       your workplace should be in accordance with
information that may be held by organisations.         the award for your industry
In order to meet duty of care responsibilities         • the student should not replace a paid
and to facilitate the design of suitable workplace     employee (including employees who are on
learning experiences, employers are provided           paid annual leave or sick leave) or reduce the
with relevant information regarding students           hours which a paid employee would otherwise
who are on workplacement or work experience.           be paid to work
This may include name, address, age,                   • the student should not be used to replace
emergency contact details and possibly                 employees engaged in industrial disputes
sensitive health information.
5 A Checklist for Employers

BEFORE                                                 Complete the employer section of the Student
                                                       Placement Record (see Sections 3 and 4 of this
• Decide when it is convenient for you to host         guide) and return it to the relevant school,
students for work experience or HSC VET work           TAFE or private provider.
• Decide the duration of the placements and            DURING -
how/when students should apply
• Appoint an experienced staff member to               Ensure that the student completes a first day
coordinate your workplace learning programs            induction and orientation tour.
for students
• Consult with staff to draw up a list of activities   The student’s induction should include:
that can be achieved and safely managed by               a welcome and introduction to supervisors
students.                                              and co-workers
                                                         a brief overview of your business, product,
These activities should:                               mission and values
  offer insight into the industry and workplace          an outline of the student’s planned activities
  be varied, safe, interesting and sometimes           and supervision arrangements
challenging                                              expectations of behaviour, attitude and dress
  not contravene the prohibited activities               clarification of working hours, breaks and
indicated in Section 5 of this guide                   other workplace routines
  include tasks and skills appropriate to the            a tour of facilities including the student’s work
student’s coursework requirements (eg. VET             area/desk, toilets, change rooms, exits, food
course competencies). For HSC work                     outlets etc.
placements,                                              an explanation of safety - its importance,
see Suggested Student Activities in the relevant       reasons and procedures
student journal at               first aid and evacuation plans and other
                                                       emergency drills
Appoint supervisory staff for each student:              a brief outline of policies on bullying,
  Supervisors                                          harassment and discrimination
  Other employees able to help                           procedures for lateness or absence
                                                         rules regarding confidentiality and the use of
Supervisory staff should be capable and                PCs, the internet etc.
trustworthy with good communication and
delegation skills. They should be briefed for the
task and given sufficient time to instruct and         Students should be given the opportunity to
monitor the student and provide feedback. We           ask questions about the workplace and told
also advise you appoint a separate workplace           who they can go to for advice or help.
advisor or mentor to provide the students with         Ensure that the student is sufficiently
general support and advice.                            challenged and supervised in the workplace.

Prepare your staff by ensuring they:
  understand the purpose of the workplace
learning activity
  are aware of the responsibilities of working
with young people, including child protection
  do not use the students in place of regular
paid employees
  receive a timetable of proposed student
activities and arrangements for their supervision
and induction
Your supervisors will need to ensure that
the student:
   undertakes varied activities appropriate to       Employers section
their skill level and workplace learning   
requirements                                         Work Placement Made Easy! with easy to
   does not undertake any prohibited activities      follow materials developed by an experienced
as indicated in Section 5 of this guide              employer for fellow employers hosting HSC
   does not undertake any activity requiring a       VET Also, suggested student activities for HSC
license, permit or certificate of competence         work placements
unless they already have the relevant
qualification and the activity has been approved
by all parties before the placement                  In Working Order, an injury prevention and
   is given appropriate feedback and                 workplace safety toolkit for educators,
encouragement                                        employers, supervisors and parents of young
   has sufficient time to complete diaries, work     workers
placement journals or research projects    
provided by their school, TAFE or private            n2012/youngworkers/Pages/default.aspx
|1                                                   For Information on supporting young workers in
                                                     your workplace
AFTER - providing feedback on the in the   
workplace                                            /index.php
Before the placement ends, please:

   complete the student report or evaluation
form supplied by the school, TAFE or private
   ensure that any property or identification
cards on loan have been returned
   take time to provide the student with helpful
feedback and encouragement.

6. Important Contacts
Thank you for taking time to read the
information in this guide. We hope that you feel
confident and well-prepared to support a young
person as they take up these valuable                Procedures for Workplace learning programs
workplace learning opportunities. If you have        within the Diocese of Maitland – Newcastle, are
any queries, please get in touch with one of the     in line with and referenced from the
following:                                           Department of Education and Communities.

• for HSC VET work placements, your Work
Placement Service Provider
• the VET coordinator, careers adviser, or
school-to-work coordinator at the student’s
• the HSC VET coordinator for school or HSC
students at the relevant TAFE
• the TVET consultant at the relevant TAFE
• the vocational education officer at the Catholic
Schools office
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