How to prepare your students for their work placement

As a school teacher, you play multiple roles every day to support your students to be the best version of themselves. Some days, 3pm rolls around and you think ‘where did that time go?’ Sometimes you may even wish that you had someone else to help you complete certain tasks, like preparing your students for their work placement. Well, maybe you do!

The Youth Partnership is here to assist and support you with one of your mandatory school tasks, work placement preparation! The Youth Partnerships’ coordinators have put together a useful VET Coordinator Work Placement Preparation guide to help you fit more into your school days.

Keep reading to find out how to prepare your students and feel a sense of satisfaction along the way as you tick work placement preparation off your to-do list!

1. Share work placement offers with your students

Firstly, you should share the available placement offers with your students. Following this, read through the host employer profiles to gauge what the host requirements are. Offers are provided by your Work Placement Coordinator.

2. Discuss and allocate a suitable venue

The suitable venue should be determined based on the student’s interests, the venues location, dress requirements, the hours and days they are available. Ensure you take into account student’s sporting and/or work commitments.

3. Ensure appropriate signatures

It is important that you ensure the students have the appropriate signatures on their Student Placement Record (SPR). This is best to organise in class and at appropriate teacher/Principal meetings. 

4. Research the host employer

Likewise, you should prepare a student lesson that is based on researching the host employer. This includes looking at their social media platforms. As a result, students will feel familiar with what is going on at the venue, the type of environment they will be working in or if the organisation has won any awards recently.

5. Book in an ‘R U Ready’ session

‘R u Ready’ information sessions hosted by The Youth Partnership are a fantastic and informative student presentation that delves into what work placement is about. The session shows YouTube videos of current host employers, and what hosts are looking for in their host students.

6. Encourage students to register their preparation knowledge online

Following this, prepare a lesson to help students register their preparation knowledge online. Here the students can obtain a certificate to indicate that they are prepared for their work placement. It’s recommended they show their host employer this on their first day to show initiative.

7. Communicate that you are their school contact

Ensure you communicate that you, the VET Coordinator, are their school contact for the full work placement week. Students are to contact you immediately if they have any questions or concerns about their time at their work placement. In addition, you will be their point of contact if they are injured on-site or do not feel safe.

8. Inform the students they need to call their host employer

The student must call the host employer one week prior to their work placement (no earlier or later than the Wednesday before the work placement). Inform students that the host will be expecting the call and that they need to introduce themselves. Additionally, students need to confirm the placement details that are noted on their paperwork. For example, is there a pickup location for constructions students?

Tip: You may wish to run through a script or demonstrate how you would pitch the call in a class lesson.

9. Hand out work placement journals

Ensure each student attending receives a work placement journal. It is mandatory for each student to complete their journal and have it signed on their last day of placement by a supervisor on site. Ask your Senior Pathways Officer if you do not have enough journals.

Tip: Ensure students have their signed SPR, journal and appropriate dress attire ready the week before.

10. Ask students to thank their host employer

If the student enjoyed themselves, they can write a thank you email to the host after the work placement. This shows their appreciation for the host’s time and will leave a lasting impression. Beyond this, the email may entice the host employer to reach out if employment opportunities become available.

11. Encourage students to complete the post-placement survey

Finally, the Youth Partnership will message the student after they complete their placement to fill out a simple survey about their experience. Please encourage your students to complete this survey as it helps us ensure that future work placements are suitable and fulfilling.

Overall, preparation really is key! We hope this has given you a clear and helpful directive in ensuring your students are well-prepared for their upcoming work placements and can represent your school to an exceptional standard.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to your Work Placement Coordinator on 9521 0500.