Knox Economic Development eBulletin

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Looking for employers to provide workplace learning opportunities

The LOOKOUT Centre in the Department of Education and Training is looking for employers who would be willing to provide a workplace learning opportunity for a student in out-of-home care.

Children are placed in out-of-home care when their parents are unable to care for them or because Child Protection have removed them due to abuse or neglect. There are approximately 10,300 children in out-of-home care in Victoria. Some children may be in out-of-home care for a relatively short period whereas others can be in care for many years.

Most children in out-of-home care are in kinship care where they are cared for by relatives. Others are placed with a family in foster care and a small number live in residential care, which is a group home arrangement with four young people supervised by paid carers. Older teenagers can be placed in a ‘lead tenant’ arrangement where they share accommodation with one other young person and a mentor.

Young people in out-of-home care are a disadvantaged group in society, as in most cases they have experienced abuse or neglect, live with the ongoing effects of trauma, and are more likely to experience disrupted schooling and lack the social networks that provide career opportunities.

There are approximately 100 secondary school students in out-of-home care in the Outer Eastern area of Melbourne, approximately 25 of whom are in Knox Local Government Areas.

We are looking for businesses that would be willing to provide an industry engagement experience for a young person in out-of-home care.

The industry engagement experiences could include:

  • an industry visit where students visit a workplace that they are interested in, either in a small group or individually with a carer/support person, to learn about the different occupations and the industry more broadly. This could also involve an employee talking about their typical working day and/or their pathway into their role, the types of skills required etc.
  • flexible work experience placement where a student does work experience in a supported manner – this might be one morning or one day per week and could involve a support person attending with the student at first.
  • Standard work experience placement for one or two weeks

The type of experience would depend on the employer’s preferences and the age and situation of the student. Generally, work experience is for Year 9 to 10 students (i.e. those aged 15 to 16) whereas industry visits could be all secondary school aged students (usually years 7 to 10).

The ongoing impact of trauma on these young people means that they may require extra support in preparing for a work experience placement. A short (45 minute) online training session is available to interested employers to help prepare for a successful placement.

Providing a workplace learning experience can make a huge difference in a young person’s life and may help identify a future employee!

We would be interested in hearing expressions of interest from all businesses. Employers in the animal care, creative industries, trades, early childhood, sport, youth work, hospitality and health and beauty are particularly encouraged to open their workplaces to a young person.

Please contact Catherine Hirst, Careers Education Advisor at the Lookout Centre on 7022 1853 or for more information.

For further assistance, please contact Economic Development via email: or call 9298 8000.