Workplace Learning is committed to supporting parents and families in our regions. We encourage parents/carers to regularly visit our website to view up to date information, events and opportunities to assist their children in the transition from school into further education, training or employment.

On this page find out more about Work Placement, School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships, our Job Education Training and Steps to Success programs

Work Placement

Work placement is a mandatory component of industry-based Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses that students can choose as part of their studies for the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC). It is a planned opportunity in a quality host workplace that enables senior school students studying particular industry-based courses to practise and develop their industry competencies and their employability skills in a vibrant real work context.

Work Placement is coordinated across NSW by a network of Work Placement Service Providers (WPSP). WPSPs are non-government, not for profit organisations contracted to support and coordinate the mandatory work placements for students.

Workplace Learning is the WPSP for the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and Far South Coast regions. We work closely with local schools, TAFE NSW colleges and campuses, Registered Training Organisations, and employers to coordinate the work placements for all eligible students across these regions.

In 2019, Workplace Learning organised 3,740 placements with a week of industry skills training directly related to the HSC course the students studied. Once again, Hospitality (40% of placements) and Construction (22%) were the most highly sought-after placements. Metal & Engineering, Business Services, Retail and Electrotechnology were also very significant industries.

The industry frameworks for work placement

Business Services
Entertainment Industry
Financial Services
Human Services
Information & Digital Technology
Primary Industries
Retail Services
Tourism, Travel & Events


• Mentoring by experienced staff and tradespeople
• Looks great on resumes and references for students
• Students receive an industry qualification at completion of HSC
• Work placement may lead to a job with the host employer
• Students attend and assist in a business for one week (35 hours)
• It’s like work experience and is compulsory for Years 11 and 12 students and directly relates to their Vocational Education and Training (VET) course
• Students put into practice the skills they’ve learnt in the classroom
• The future workforce gets to try a career before they decide

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships

School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships allow Students to make an early start on their career while still finishing school.

Opportunities are available across a wide range of occupations. Each offers a chance of getting paid for real work experience, while gaining a nationally-recognised qualification and contributing towards their HSC studies.

School Based Apprentices will complete the first stage of a trade qualification by the end of their HSC year. Trainees complete an initial qualification by the end of year 12.

The study and work associated with their chosen career also becomes a part of their HSC.

Learn More
Job Education Training

JET assists students to achieve their transition from school to work and further learning objectives. Suitable for Year 9 to 12 students, JET assists them to:

• Re-engage
• Understand their strengths
• Find their fit
• Identify post-school options
• Plan their pathway
• Attend structured work experience
• Gain work readiness
• Become employable

Steps to Success

The S2S Program commenced in September 2018 and is funded by Training Services NSW and is primarily aimed at Year 11 students in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions who are focused on a pathway to work and in particular an Apprenticeship or Traineeship.

Through career path planning, relevant training and work experience, S2S aims to ensure these young people are either in employment and/or enrolled in further studies.

The program has already greatly assisted many young people:
• 233 have a career path plan
• 46 are studying Vocational Education and Training full-time
• 100 completed a fully subsidised part qualification
• 16 in full-time employment
• 18 in apprenticeships
• 3 in a traineeship and
• 1 in a School Based Traineeship


Showcasing career and education pathways, addressing industry skill shortages and assisting workforce recruitment strategies to increase the economic capacity of our regions.