News & Events

Structured Workplace Learning – preparing young people for work



OELLEN supports senior secondary school students undertaking Vocational Education and Training (VET) by identifying employers who are willing to offer students a relevant and quality placement – Structured Workplace Learning (SWL).  An SWL placement with an employer provides students with the opportunity to integrate on-the-job experience with what they are learning at school.

Secondary students can be involved in VET as part of their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) or a School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT). Placements can be for a week or for one day a week over an agreed period of time.

The 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) have been funded to facilitate student access to structured workplace learning placements which are tailored to local priorities and employment opportunities


Linking students to SWL placement offers

The Department of Education and Training (DET) has established the SWL Statewide Portal, a website which provides students and teachers with a single, easy to navigate, information and referral point for structured workplace learning opportunities offered by a diverse range of employers.

Searching on the portal can be done by location, industry or VET certificate. If you are a student or teacher looking for structured workplace learning opportunities, visit the SWL Statewide Portal

OELLEN is contracted by the DET to provide training to schools on the use of the portal, and to register placement offers on the website.

If your school is not yet registered on the portal or trained in its use, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enable your students to search for SWL placement offers.




The value of a meaningful work placement

Providing VET students with a relevant, quality SWL placement experience is an important element for motivating and preparing them to join the workforce. This experience positions them to have the skills, expectations and attitudes that will lead to their success in the workplace.

Employers increasingly expect young people to have some “hands on experience” for entry-level jobs, which means that theoretical knowledge is not enough when leaving school. SWL offers students the opportunity to:

  • Enhance and further develop their skills
  • Practically apply their theoretical knowledge
  • Get insight into their level of competency
  • Achieve learning outcomes required by their VETiS course of study
  • Prepare them for employment.


Locating SWL placements

To support our local schools, OELLEN is linking with industry and employers to identify workplaces that will offer quality SWL placements to their VET students.

To ensure that the SWL placement offers are relevant to the students’ course, we liaise with schools on the types of vocational courses they are running and the number of students enrolled. We then seek SWL placement offers that will provide their students with the skills and industry experience that aligns with their course.

OELLEN is also available to search for an SWL placement for a student who is experiencing difficulty in finding the right placement for them – they may have particular learning needs or be undertaking a VET course where placement offers are in short supply. For this personalized support, schools need to contact the OELLEN and provide the relevant details so that we can seek the right placement for the student.

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Our work with employers

OELLEN identifies and develops relationships with employers who are interested to support the development of our future workforce by offering SWL placements.

Offering an SWL placement does involve a commitment from employers. The student will need to be supervised by a staff member who has the time, knowledge and skills to make the placement experience positive and worthwhile. It is also important that the student be offered opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience of the work, to ensure that there is useful and relevant  learning from the placement.

Employers have much to gain from hosting a student. Supervision of a student is an opportunity for your staff to develop their management and leadership skills. A student can also be used to look at your workplace and workflows with “fresh eyes” to identify potential areas for improvement. A young person can also bring a new energy to your workplace.

If your workplace would like to welcome students, then we would love to hear from you. Contact the SWL team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 8578 6844



Outer Eastern Local Learning & Employment Network