Personalise my view
Personalise my view

😊 Personalise my view

We use cookies, including those from third-party providers, to enhance your online experience and deliver personalised advertisements. By using our website, you consent to our use of cookies and our privacy policy

Vocational Placement

Information for international students

Vocational Placement is a mandatory unit included in some courses at TAFE Queensland.

Students are required to undertake a set amount of supervised hours with a local business, relevant to their qualification. The total amount of hours is determined by the qualification and can be found outlined in the course information page, listed under the important information section. Students must successfully complete their vocational placement to be eligible to graduate from their qualification. Students may also hear other staff or students refer to vocational placement, as the acronym VPC.

Vocational placement provides a great opportunity where students can utilise their skills and knowledge gained from their studies at TAFE Queensland in a real life working environment, under the supervision of industry experts.

TAFE Queensland has ensured that that the placement is authorised under Australian and Queensland State law and is covered by the appropriate insurances.

After successfully completing vocational placement, students gain:

  • invaluable experience and confidence
  • skills and knowledge gained from industry experts
  • a better understanding of the theory learnt by putting it into practice
  • hands-on learning in real world environments
  • opportunities to further develop and enhance their skills in a supervised setting.

Additional requirements

There are other important considerations students need to know, before they undertake vocational placement.

Some courses have additional requirements that will need to be considered before arranging placement. Some examples include:

  • certain health and aged care related courses, students must be up to date with vaccinations and possible checks
  • for child care courses and some health courses students must have a Working with Children Card
  • some trade courses require students to have a General Construction Induction Training (GCIT) card and have their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

We recommend checking out the important information section on the course page online for the most up to date information on vocational placement, if it is a requirement.

Teaching staff, businesses and facilities will be able to confirm this information with student’s prior to undertaking their placement. Students will not be able to attend placement until all regulatory and pre-placement requirements have been met.

Student responsibilities

Students who undertake vocational placement are expected to manage their family and work commitments in order to complete the required total hours for placement.

Depending on the industry, the placement provider may determine the required shifts students will need to undertake, this might include: early mornings, late nights, any day of the week and/or public holidays. As students will be a part of the employer’s team, attendance is compulsory and they will expect students to be on time, work with a positive attitude and have a willingness to learn.

Students are also expected to apply their theory and practical skills studied at TAFE Queensland as students are being assessed while they are on placement with their provider.

Students will also be expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from their approved vocational placement provider. Depending on the industry and number of vocational placement opportunities available, students may travel local or in some cases they may need to travel further to complete their placement.

Vocational placement arrangements

Students can find further information on how their particular course placement is arranged, on the course information page, as it depends on the qualification.

Here are a few common examples.

  • Students organise their own placement with the help of local industry referrals from their teaching staff.
  • Students may already be working or volunteering in the industry and have discussed their vocational placement requirements with their employer and teacher (providing the employer can offer the appropriate level of supervision offering a range of skills TAFE Queensland requires).
  • Dedicated teams on campus, co-ordinate placement on behalf of students with local industry providers.

What is the difference between vocational placement and work experience?

Vocational Placement is a mandatory unit included in a qualification that students must achieve successful competency, to graduate from their qualification. Generally, vocational placement is unpaid.
On the other hand, work experience is offered to students during their course that can be organised with local industry or in some cases, may be completed on campus with our purpose built facilities that are open to the public.

Some on campus example may include the below.

  • Students can undertake front of house service and cookery experience in our fully functional kitchens during operating hours and in some cases, during scheduled events.
  • Beauty and hairdressing students can undertake their experience in the campus salons with real clients, who book in for their services.

Work experience provides an opportunity for students to get a taste for the industry during their studies. Work experience is unpaid and doesn’t count towards a unit or completion of their qualification. As an added bonus, students can include their work experience with real clients on their resume (in some cases use images of their hair cuts on real clients), to help stand out in the crowd. In some cases, work experience with local providers has created opportunities for students to gain future casual paid work.

Last words

The best way to think of vocational placement, is like starting a new job. It might be tough and demanding, but the benefits far outweigh the initial transition into placement. Students will have opportunities to learn and further develop their skills alongside working professionals, providing invaluable experience to help with the transition into industry. Not only will students learn from industry professionals, they will also have the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded individuals during their placement. There are so many benefits of vocational placement that help give students the edge, to kick start their career.

Student stories

Hear from international students about how vocational placement prepared them for their transition to work.