Work Experience Through Internships
What is work experience?
Work experience may be defined as the placement of individuals on employer’s premises in which a student carries out a particular task or duty, or a range of tasks or duties, more or less as would an employee, but with emphasis on the link between the tasks performed and the multidisciplinary integrative competence curriculum. Given that all aspects of the experience are linked to the school grade work it must have clear assessment targets that are explicit to both the students and their direct supervisors on the job. This means the curricula must be broken down to use the same concepts in workplaces, employers supervisors of students would require training to understand the skills they are measuring, and how they will be recorded. Skills4Industry Foundation Situated Learning support orchestration programs were established to ensure students learn through a structure similar to those they will encounter after their education.
1. The main features of work experience are:
- only students in their last two years of compulsory schooling, or students taking post-18 courses, are eligible;
- placements occur on employers’ premises; and
- the vast majority of pre-18 placements last for eight weeks, while the post-18 placements are more varied in length depending on the targeted course units occupational tasks concepts for which students must develop practical mastery.
3. The ‘hands-on’ nature of work experience placements is distinct from ‘work shadowing’, which involves students merely observing employees at their particular tasks provided to middle school (secondary) level students.
4. Those under school leaving age may take part only in programs for which the arrangements have been made, as part of a student’s Skills4Industry integrative competence education.
5. The success of a placement relies upon an effective partnership between the employer, Skills4Industry who is the work experience organizer, the partner schools, and the students.