Important Information Regarding Structured Workplace Learning

20 May, 2020

Dear parents / carers,

A decision has been made to cancel Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) for the remainder of Term 2. It is also likely that SWL may be cancelled for Term 3. Students will still be required to attend onsite for VCAL classes and VET (unless otherwise communicated) as per previous communication. The cancellation of SWL does not apply to students undertaking School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs). Students undertaking SWL will be required to work remotely from home on their timetabled SWL day only.

This decision was made to ensure that we minimise risk of the COVID-19 virus within the school and wider community. Having students in contact with so many different workplaces would significantly increase risks to everyone in both the school and wider community. Specifically, the school does not have the capacity to monitor workplaces with regard to safety measures relative to the amount of students undertaking SWL in different workplaces. With students placed in so many workplaces and returning to the school, the potential risk exposure may be high for students, staff, families and the wider community.

Students will be required to log-on to the Google Classroom platform at 9:30am on their first timetabled SWL day. Students will receive an invite to a specific Google Classroom, which they will need to accept. Instructions will then be given by the assigned teacher. The teaching and learning will be similar to that experienced during the remote learning period. Students will be required to complete set work related and employability skills tasks. The outcomes will assist with meeting the requirements of their VCAL certificate.

Whilst you may be disappointed in the decision, it is important that we protect the school and wider community. I acknowledge the importance of SWL within the VCAL program and intend to reintroduce to our learning program at the earliest opportunity.

Thank you for your support of the school during the remote learning period. I would also like to thank our teachers and staff for their relentless work and support of our students during this period. It has been a privilege to work with such a professional and dedicated team during this challenging time.

Yours sincerely,

Rod Sheehan

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is a valuable compulsory part of the Peter Lalor Vocational College program.  The competencies gained during structured work placement contribute strongly to both Work Related Skills (WRS) learning outcomes and Vocational Education and Training (VET) units.

Structured Work Placement Days:

Foundation VCAL (Year 10): Tuesday
Intermediate and Senior VCAL (Year 11 and 12): Wednesday or Friday (depending on VET course)

SWL Arrangement Form:

 Prior to commencing a placement the following form must be completed by the student, parent/guardian. Employer and the Principal:

During Structured Work Placement:

  • If a student is unable to attend for any reason or going to be late they must personally call their workplace supervisor as soon as possible, before the agreed start time. They must also contact the office staff at Peter Lalor Vocational College. If the absence is due to illness a medical certificate should be obtained.
  • If a student needs to leave placement for any reason, before the agreed finish time, they must inform their workplace supervisor and the office staff at Peter Lalor Vocational College.
  • If a student believes the workplace is unsafe (e.g. manual handling, chemicals, bullying, falls etc.) or the tasks given are unreasonable they must inform their workplace supervisor of the issue immediately, cease work and return to Peter Lalor Vocational College to seek the advice of the Student Pathways Coordinator.
  • Mobile phones are not to be used under any circumstances during placement hours. They must be turned off, placed in a secure area and only use during allocated breaks and after working hours.
  • Students who wish to work outside the specified hours of the SWL Agreement must consult with the Student Pathways Coordinator before commencement and complete the required documentation.
  • SWL logbooks must be completed every week by students.
  • Students must attend their work placement till the completion of classes in Term 4.
  • Beginning Term 2 any student without a work placement is to attend school on their work placement day from 9.00am – 3.05pm.

Securing a Structured Work Placement:

The Student Pathways Coordinator will provide assistance to students in seeking and securing placements. However, students are encouraged to utilize their social and family networks to assist in securing a work placement. If a student contacts an employer who agrees to offer them a work placement they must talk with the Student Pathways Coordinator who will confirm the work placement and complete the required documentation before commencement. Students can also access work placements through the Department of Education and Training (DET) SWL Portal:

 Further Information:

Refer to the following link from the Victorian DET: Structured Workplace Learning Manual – Student, Parent or Guardian: