The National Work Experience Programme is a work experience program which places job seekers in real life unpaid work experience placements. It helps jobseekers gain experience and confidence, while demonstrating skills to potential employers.
The National Work Experience Programme offers work experience and employment opportunities for job seekers by providing unpaid placements with businesses for up to four weeks, to a maximum of 25 hours per week.
Businesses may be eligible to receive an incentive payment of $300 for hosting a National Work Experience Programme candidate, and if participants are offered ongoing employment after the placement, businesses may also be eligible for a wage subsidy.
What are the benefits for businesses?
Being a National Work Experience Programme host business provides an opportunity to give a job seeker the chance to show they could be the right fit for your business.
An incentive payment of $300 may be available to host businesses for hosting a National Work Experience candidate.
Businesses who offer job seekers ongoing employment after the placement may also be eligible for a wage subsidy.
Is my business eligible?
A National Work Experience Programme placement can be undertaken in businesses run for profit, not-for-profit organisations and local, state, territory and Australian government agencies.
You cannot host a National Work Experience Programme placement if:
- you have downsized your workforce in the previous 12 months; or plan to downsize during the placement, or
- the placement would result in the reduction or replacement of any existing paid workers and/or any paid workers’ hours of work.
You can speak to a jobactive or Transition to Work provider in your area who will help you work out if a work experience placement is right for your business. To find a local jobactive or Transition to Work provider, visit the jobactive website.
What kind of activities can I offer job seekers on a National Work Experience Programme placement?
A job seeker participating in a National Work Experience Programme placement can do many of the tasks you might expect a paid employee to do. This will assist you in genuinely considering their suitability for the job opportunity available.
Your provider will work with you to determine the role and tasks appropriate for a job seeker completing their placement.
What does being a host business involve?
To assist a job seeker to gain real work-like experience your role as a National Work Experience Programme host business will involve:
- providing a work experience placement for up to a maximum of four weeks
- providing supervision, on-the-job training and monitoring attendance, and
- ensuring that the placement meets all relevant work health and safety requirements.
You need to sign an agreement with the job seeker and your provider before the job seeker commences a National Work Experience Programme placement with you. This agreement outlines the tasks the job seeker will undertake and confirms the length of the placement.
National Work Experience Programme placements should ideally have a likelihood of paid employment following the completion of the placement. However, there is no obligation for you to hire a job seeker following the placement if they do not meet your business needs.
Job seekers continue to receive income support and assistance from their provider during their National Work Experience Programme placement.
Is the placement covered under the Fair Work Act?
Job seekers on income support undertake National Work Experience Programme placements as an Approved Program of Work under Social Security Legislation. This means that, for the purposes of the Fair Work Act 2009, a job seeker is not an employee while undertaking a placement in your organisation.
Is the placement covered for insurance?
As job seekers are not employees they are not eligible for workers’ compensation.
The Australian Government Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business (formerly the Department of Jobs and Small Business) purchases personal accident insurance and public and/or product liability insurance to cover job seekers while they undertake their placements, including travelling to and from your business.
You can ask your provider to give you further information on the insurance policies and what to do in the event of any accidental injury or damage occurring.
What support is available?
Your provider will work closely with you to ensure your needs are met.
This may include assisting job seekers to complete any necessary workplace-specific training before commencing, and resolving any issues that come up.
Should you decide the job seeker is a good fit for your organisation, your provider will work with you to finalise the recruitment of the job seeker. Post-placement support is available over the first months of the job seeker’s employment, to assist with any ongoing support or training they may need.
Your provider can also advise if you could be eligible for a wage subsidy for hiring and retaining the job seeker.
Want more information?
- Go to the jobactive website to find your local jobactive or Transition to Work provider
- Call the Job Seeker Hotline on 1800 805 206
- For a version of this information to print, download the National Work Experience Programme — information for employers fact sheet
* Note that call charges apply for calls to ‘13’ numbers from mobile phones.