Learning in the workplace

There are different types of learning in the workplace. Some are governed by legislation and regulations, and arrangements are monitored by government authorities and regulators. Learning in the workplace may include:

  • Australian Apprenticeships
    • Apprenticeships
    • Traineeships
  • Work placement
  • Work Integrated Learning
  • Internships
  • Cadetships
  • Training employees
    • New employees
    • Existing employees.

Australian Apprenticeships

Australian Apprenticeships cover trade apprenticeships and non-trade traineeships.

A starting point to learn more about Australian Apprenticeships is to visit the australianapprenticeships.gov.au website.

The National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships outlines the obligations of an employer and their apprentice or trainee.

Work placement

Some VET programs mandate work placement as part of the training requirement. For example: nursing, aged care and child care qualifications.

In Victoria, ‘work placement’ is known as ‘practical placement’. The 2017 Practical Placement Guidelines (Victorian Government) outline the obligations of Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and employers with respect to arranging practical placement for VET students.

Work Integrated Learning

Work Integrated Learning is the term given to educational activities that integrate academic learning of a discipline with its practical application in the workplace. Universities may use Work Integrated Learning to prepare their graduates to be work-ready.

A starting point to learn more about Work Integrated Learning  is the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) website.

Work Integrated Learning encompasses any arrangement where students undertake learning in a workplace  as a part of their course of study. Such arrangements may include:

  • clinical or other professional placements
  • workplace projects
  • internships.


Internships are types of on-the-job training. People doing this kind of training don’t need to be paid if there’s no employment relationship in place. But if there is, then the person doing the training is an employee. And the business needs to pay them.

A starting point to learn more about the legal requirements associated with internships and employment is to visit the fairwork.gov.au website.


Cadetships is a type of on-the-job training. The military and journalism are known for employing cadets.

Support materials for employers, supervisors and trainers

In 2009, the Australian Government published a Good Practice Guide for Traineeships.

The Australian Government funded a project that produced the following support materials for employers, supervisors and trainers working with apprentices and trainees . The materials development was undertaken by AMES for the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA). These materials were published in 2001.

People studying for their TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification may find further useful information on this website. Tap or click on the following ABC logo to find out more.

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