“A Taste of Success”
Students currently completing VETiS Hospitality were seeking an opportunity to complete a Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) placement within the hospitality industry. Students completing this program are generally required to complete a week placement in front of house (waiting, coffee making, customer service) and in their second year of the program, they will complete a week placement in back of house (food preparation, cooking).
We would like to showcase the experiences of three VETiS Hospitality students who completed their SWL placement at the following employers:
- TGI Fridays
- Chives Cafe
- Dom’s Bistro
Youth Connect (YC) had an existing relationship with the host school, training provider and VET Trainer. The YC WLC Project Officer liaised with the VET Trainer to ascertain the type of placements which would be suitable for the hospitality students who were finding it difficult to find a host employer.
The YC WLC project officer contacted existing employers on the YC database and was able to secure three placements for the students. Students contacted the employer and arranged a time to meet with them and also complete the relevant forms. YC WLC have found it beneficial to educate the VET trainers who have direct contact with the students to ensure that they are aware of the importance of educating their students to communicate with the employer effectively prior, during and post placement to ensure that the employer relationship is not jeopardised at any stage which will allow for future placements.
From a WLC perspective, it was important to ascertain the following details to ensure that the placement would be successful for the young person and employer –
- Accessibility – ensure that the student is able to travel to the host employer using public transport should the student not be able to be dropped off and picked up
- Connection – ensuring that the place of employment is suitable for a young person especially within the hospitality industry
- Administration – ensure that the student has access to DEECD SWL forms and also resources which the WLC has developed including log books and information sheets which inform the student about work place etiquette, responsibilities (both student and employer) and contacts should there be an issue whilst on SWL
- Evaluation – ensure that both the student and employer complete post placement evaluation. YC WLC will forward this to the student and employer however they will be accessible via the web portal.
The students completed their SWL placement during term 3 school holidays (September/October 2010). Following the placement, an evaluation was completed by the student and host employers. The host employers all expressed interest in hosting more students in 2011 and that the placements were well organised and the students successfully completed their placements.
All three students were offered casual or part time work following the completion of their work placement. The host employers viewed the placement as an opportunity to identify the level of skills the student had acquired through their VETiS program and also how they functioned in the work place. It was also mentioned by all three employers that the students will be offered full time employment during the December school holidays.
For the YC WLC, this is just one of many ‘good news stories’ where students have excelled in the work place and the employers have embraced the work placement program. YC WLC strongly believes that the relationship with the education provider and the employer and each party having a clear understanding of each other’s role and responsibility will ensure that the placements are successful. We do understand that not all placements will become employment opportunities however our aim is to ensure that there are enough suitable placements for young people so that they are able to experience the work force and relate this to their studies and future goals.
There were no real challenges in achieving the outcome of these particular tasks however it does reiterate the importance of educating all stakeholders involved. From a WLC perspective, it is important that any contact, success and feedback are noted to ensure that as providers, we have captured the successes and learnings of the program.
Youth Connect has obtained permission and signed photo release forms from the young people and employers mentioned in this case study.
“YC4Me Webportal, Job Well Done”
The aim of the Workplace Learning Coordinators (WLC) program is to assist local students in finding suitable work placement opportunities. Using our YC4Me Webportal, students from local schools are learning how to log on and access our database of opportunities that our Workplace Learning Coordinators have identified as suitable in the Bayside, Glen Eira and Kingston areas.
Some students nearing completion of their VET courses for 2011 were yet to identify suitable placements to complete for their course. Students signed up for the YC4Me Webportal and browsed for opportunities online. Opportunities had been sourced from local employers passionate about applied learning and willing to host students for placement previously by the WLC and students were able to browse these opportunities to locate something suitable to their course.
Students studying VET Fashion courses found placements on the portal that had been sourced at Spotlight Moorabbin. Staff at Spotlight Moorabbin are all passionate about hosting young people in their store, teaching them the basics of retail sales as well as allowing them to familiarise themselves with fabrics, furnishings and accessories. This gave students the opportunity to learn more about different fabrics, as well as their usages, which complements their VET Studies.
The YC WLC visited Spotlight Moorabbin during student placements to receive feedback from students about their experiences. All students reported they were thoroughly enjoying their placement, felt welcome and comfortable and most of all felt as though they had learnt a lot from their placement experience. They reported that the placement they had sourced through the YC4Me Webportal was directly aligned to their studies and they were able to see this through the description of the placement and expectations from this employer which was outlined for them on the Webportal.
The YC WLC believes this is a positive example of how the Workplace Learning Coordinators program can assist students in identifying placements that directly align with their curriculum in employer environments that are suitable and welcoming, with staff who are passionate about students growth and learning.
Spotlight Moorabbin have committed to hosting students in previous years, and have committed to hosting students through the Workplace Leaning Coordinators through 2012. Subsequently students have already reserved placements for December 2011 through the YC4Me Webportal.