Supporting parents, supporting public schools

Improved strategies for VET work placements

To obtain a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) a student must complete either four Year 12 ATAR Courses or a Certificate II (or higher) Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. VET enables students to acquire workplace skills through nationally recognised training described within an industry-developed training package or an accredited course.  Students studying a VET pathway have work placement requirements where they engage in practical on the job experience, developing industry skills to equip them for new, emerging economies.

WACSSO has been receiving an increased number of reports from teachers, students and parents about the difficulty of securing work placements for VET students. In times of economic hardship many businesses are closing, some are reducing staff numbers and they aren’t always able to host students. Where limited certificate options are offered by a local school it creates increased competition for access to work placements. We acknowledge the strong support of government education by many businesses across Western Australia.

Government agencies deliver a wide range of services and are located throughout the state. We see an opportunity for the Government to make an investment in education by committing to having agencies host work placements for VET students. Not only will this dramatically increase the number of work placements available it will relieve the pressure on other businesses struggling to cater for the need. Where established agreements are in place it can reduce the administrative burden and time consuming process of staff trying, often unsuccessfully, to secure future placements. It would also give better certainty to schools when determining what certificates are able to be offered for study.


WACSSO calls for a commitment from government to provide work placements in government agencies for senior school students undertaking VET studies in government schools, by developing a partnership program with the Department of Education.

For referencing and the full report, click here.