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Structured Workplace Learning Recognition (SWLR): Information for Employers

The content of this page is available as a downloadable fact sheet:
Employers Fact Sheet (pdf - 1,023.34kb) (March 2018)

What is structured workplace learning (SWL)?

Structured workplace learning (SWL) provides an opportunity for students to apply the skills and knowledge they have learnt in their VCE VET program within an appropriately matched workplace placement.

SWL is not work experience, it is a structured learning program that students would normally undertake aligned to their VET program. Employers are able to help students learn by relating their training to the real workplace.

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How is structured workplace learning recognised?

A student can gain credit towards the VCE or VCAL by successfully participating in SWL and completing the workplace reflections.

Workplace reflections are recorded in a Workplace Learning Record (WLR). A WLR must be completed by a student to be eligible for a SWLR credit. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain the WLR.

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Who participates in structured workplace learning?

The employer, school, Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) and student are essential participants in the SWL program. The employer, school and student collaborate to plan and deliver a SWL program, while the LLENs may provide assistance and access to SWL placements for students.

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What is the employer responsible for?

The employer will be contacted by the school/LLENs and invited to participate in the SWL program. Once an employer has agreed to engage a student, they will be fully briefed by the school/LLENs to deliver a structured workplace experience for the student. The employer will:

  • provide a work placement that complements the student’s VCE VET program
  • meet with the school/LLENs and student before the SWL program starts
  • allow the school to visit or contact the student at the workplace
  • encourage students to talk about SWL and relate training to the work placement
  • provide the student with opportunities to complete a workplace learning record (WLR) during work placement
  • meet with the student to provide constructive feedback.

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What is the school responsible for?

The school will assign a staff member to each student undertaking SWL, who will:

  • guide and support the employer and student as they complete the SWL program
  • visit or make contact with the student at the workplace
  • guide and support the student to complete all three sections of the WLR
  • assess a completed WLR
  • check that a student is enrolled in a minimum of 180 nominal hours in the VET program
  • check that a student has completed 10 days full-time equivalent hours at the workplace.

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What types of information can be recorded in the WLR?

Workplace reflections are recorded in a WLR. The WLR must be completed by the student undertaking the work placement. The WLR provides the evidence for assessment. The WLR has three sections and each section must be completed.

The WLR evidence can be drawn from:

  • observations at the workplace
  • activities and tasks undertaken at the workplace
  • learning from conversations with staff at the workplace
  • workplace documents prepared or used to support workplace activities
  • photos/videos of equipment/processes/workplace activities.

Note: the use of any workplace material should be discussed with the employer or workplace supervisor.

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What are the benefits for employers?

Hosting students allows employers to:

  • participate in the education, career development and vocational training of young people
  • talk to students about the industry, career paths and future directions
  • identify young people with potential for future employment
  • strengthen links with the community and raise the profile of the business
  • improve the supervisory, training and mentoring skills of staff
  • help develop students’ knowledge of the value of work.

Assisting students with their WLR will:

  • enhance an employer’s understanding of the student’s learning program
  • enable an employer to modify or adapt their workplace activities to better reflect the VET units being undertaken
  • enable employers to more accurately assess the student’s suitability for future employment in this industry.

Employers are encouraged to contact the school, LLEN, TAFE or training provider if they have any queries or concerns.

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