Delivery of Structured Workplace Learning, Work Experience and Employment Placements during Term 3

How will these programs run in Term 3?

From 5 August 2020, all students studying Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) (including VET secondary school students) moved to remote and flexible learning, in all schools across the government, Catholic and independent sectors in both metropolitan and regional areas.  This includes Year 10 students undertaking VET studies as part of the VCE or VCAL.

The following advice relates to Structured Workplace Learning (SWL), work experience and Employment Placements in response to the current Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria.

Structured Workplace Learning and work experience

Metropolitan Melbourne

All SWL, as well as work experience, should be deferred until the Stage 4 restrictions have eased.

Rural and regional schools

All SWL, as well as work experience, in Stage 3 restricted areas – can proceed in line with current arrangements. For further information regarding current arrangements please refer to SWL and work experience advice – Stage 3 restriction areas.

During this time, schools should identify aspects of placements that may be undertaken remotely. Where possible, schools should work with employers to capture and record student learning.

Qualifications containing mandatory work placement or workplace assessment – all students

There are four qualifications that have mandatory minimum hours of work placement or workplace assessment as detailed in the assessment requirements of the units of competency and the qualification.

These are:

  • Cert II in Active Volunteering
  • Cert III in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Cert III in Allied Health Assistance, and
  • Cert III in Health Services Assistance.

Most students undertaking any of the three Certificate III qualifications above only partially complete the qualification to achieve Units 1 – 4 for VCE, or 4 VCAL credits, as published in the respective VCE VET program booklet. This provides them with flexibility in adjusting units or scheduling units requiring workplace assessment to a later time. Schools should contact their training provider to confirm the arrangements for students undertaking these three certificates.

To achieve the full Certificate II in Active Volunteering requires completion of the core unit (Being an Effective Volunteer) which has a work placement of 20 hours. Volunteering activities can be undertaken in a wide range of workplaces and schools are encouraged to speak with the student and their training provider regarding opportunities to complete the unit.

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships and Head Start Apprentices and Trainees – Employment advice

Students undertaking School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) including Head Start Apprentices and Trainees (HSATs) may continue their employment in permitted industries or workplaces that can continue to operate within reduced capacity through the Stage 4 restrictions and Stage 3 restrictions.

Advice on permitted industries can be found at Business and industry stage 4 restrictions.

Employment component (including worker permit scheme)

Employers are required to maintain a suitable work environment with appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures that comply with either the Stage 4 or Stage 3 restrictions that are in place. If the student, student’s family or the school have any queries or concerns, these should be raised with the employer.

Under coronavirus (COVID-19) Stage 4 restrictions in place across metropolitan Melbourne, a permit is required for permitted workers to attend a workplace and travel between their home and workplace.

It is the employer’s responsibility to issue a permit to employees (including SBATs) who are required to work on-site if the employee’s work is permitted and cannot be completed from home.

All employees required to travel to and from work must carry their worker permit or have a digital version available on their device.

The permit can be download it from the Worker permit scheme webpage.


Consistent with VET advice for all students across the state, students undertaking SBATs or HSATs must only access the training component of the SBAT through remote and online learning during the period of restrictions in Stage 3 or 4 areas, unless it is for mandatory assessment and it is not reasonably practicable for those assessments to be undertaken from the premises.

The employer, the RTO and the school should discuss whether a variation to the SBAT/HSATs training plan is needed to reflect the change in circumstances.

Variations to the training plan should consider:

  • how far through the training plan the student has progressed
  • the extent to which units can be completed meaningfully without a student being in the workplace or at an RTO facility
  • what practicable alternatives are available to the student to enable them to complete their certificate.