This Program was formally held in the last week of Term 3 for 5 days. During this time, there were a number of students who attend the Queensland school camp. For those who did not attend the Queensland camp, were to attend work experience. There were 70 students who attend work experience this year and this almost doubled the 40 who attended a WEP in 2018. Participation has almost doubled. Students are expected to plan early to ensure forms are processed in a timely manner.
Work experience provides students with a different view of their world and the experience can encourage students to make more informed choices about their future pathways. Students are expected to sourced their own work experience. Often this is helped by the networks they have through family friends, their parents working in similar industry fields and if very lucky though pure self-motivation may need to approach businesses of interest to ask to agree to support their work experience. Just as a friendly reminder, the Careers pathway team do not seek work experience for students.
My recommendation: If students are considering to undertake work experience 2020, it really is important to begin planning for work experience often the year before. For example, many industries and businesses often start advertising on line or in their community forums for their 2020 work experience. Some businesses and industries start advertising now from August to November 2019 for the 2020 school work experience and most close their application processes before 2020. Some of the industries that are often advertising through their website (under work experience, carers or human resources) are hospitals (Royal Melbourne, Sunshine, Ronald McDonald), the Victoria Police, the Melbourne and Werribee Zoo, the Melbourne Aquarium (currently open now) and Radio and Television stations (NOVA, etc). Finally, the Sunshine and Melbourne Magistrates offices offering WEP’s. Students who are proactive, in the know and viewing Career compass posts often start their research and initiate contact with companies to ensure their applications are ready well in time for 2020. The Collage have had students arrange work experience with family friends and their industry networks. These encompassed work experience in legal and accounting firms, Veterinary consultancy rooms, marketing and creative design industries. Please note that some fields like working in the medical industry maybe restrictive due to health and safety measures and patient’s privacy. Often students want to be a social worker or a psychologist, or work in a school office. These fields are not approved due to the confidential nature of the industry.
A noticeable trend that is starting to show this year is that many industries and businesses are more difficult to access due to their industry security policies. For example, there are some government agencies that now require more than just the standard Department of Education work experience legal forms. Sometimes students even have to undertake security checks. Particularly in the defence and the police force and in government employment / centre link stations.
Fast food and Retail industries ask students to do health and safety training on their company’s website portals before being allowed to work on their premises. These organisations would like WEP contracts supplied well in advance as these jobs are competitive to gain ongoing work after the WEP is finished. Processing from a school approach can be highly difficult if students do not follow the industries process or our school’s process. If unsure students need to check with Ms Damon (Careers) to see if their forms will be valid before assuming that their work experience is approved. It is important ant to not leave to the last minute as this can frustrate potential employers.
The Trade Industry: The College has had similar experiences for students undertaking work experience with trades and expected to work on large building sites. Often these building sites require a student to have a special access card call the ‘White Card” based on modules completed in health and safety before a student can access a premise. These are actually qualifications and can be costly to undertake in a timely manner. Starting price often for these cards are around $120-$160. Smaller type family own businesses still allow students to undertake work experience without going through these tough approval access processes. My recommendation for anyone planning work experience with a tradesman or trade business / company is to check first the company’s legal processes before assuming that the student’s applications will be approved.
Our Industries and Business 2019: This year we have had a wide range of businesses & industries agreed to take our students for the 5 days. These included: health & community services, trades in plumbing, mechanics, engineering and electrical. Also, Information technology sectors, logistics, legal, medical and sporting companies and aviation. Students even who undertook primary and secondary teaching experiences supported by local schools in our area. There were some government and not for profit organisations along with the defence force. I have included some photos of students at the work place during September and October of this year. It is important if students go out on placement they have someone take a photo of them in their work place, just in case a teacher can not attend the work place due to time or distance constraints and then send their photo to Ms Damon to add these great experiences to either the newsletter or the end of year college magazine.
New forms for 2020 are in the process of being designed, however students can begin by contacting organisations and businesses to find out what they may need to do to secure a place or even just apply. The dates for 2020 Term 3 for 5 days is Monday 14th September to Friday 18th September. Students can work anywhere between 6:00am to 6:00pm (I suggest only 6-8 hours or within reason). Students must complete approved Safe work Certificates valid for one year from the date of the safe@work assessment.
Students are not allowed to work a Saturday, Sunday or on a Public Holiday. Dates on the forms are important for payment and for the student to be covered in case of accident. I suggest students have their own bank account ready for their employer if they are being paid via the business and their Tax File Number. Government agencies are not required to pay students. WEP will not be approved straight away or at the last minute of application. Forms need a two-week lead in time. Cut date for all WEP forms is two weeks before the date of the work contract. This allows time to check the validity of the legal form, check for ‘dodgy’ companies / employers, check about the safety of work place. Forms are given to Ms Damon (Careers) for checking before these are given to Mr Dedes to approve.
More information regarding WEP and other Career programs are always updated to the compass. Be in the know and keep a look out for these maybe career changing pathway opportunities