All students enrolled in youth and community degrees at Victoria University undertake units of study which include Work Integrated Learning (WIL) commonly referred to as industry placement.

Industry placement provides students with practical experience of professional work, in collaboration with industry and community sector supervisors, whereby students begin to understand and enhance their knowledge of work practice. These practical experiences are also the basis of students’ critical reflection and theorising.

Youth Work industry placement

Students in the following youth work courses from the College of Arts, Business, Law, Education and IT complete industry placement units during the course:

Youth Work industry placements are undertaken concurrently with university academic studies so that students can reflect on their practice and continue to consider how theory and practice interconnect. This model provides students with ongoing contact and support from the university for the duration of their placement.

Placement hours

Students undertake 400 hours of placement in the youth work courses, structured as two placements each of 200 hours, competed in the second and third year of the course.

Placement can occur at any time throughout a given academic year dependent on host organisation needs and student availability. Students negotiate their placement schedule with the workplace supervisor.

"I completed a placement at The Youth Junction Inc. Two months into my internship, I was offered a full-time position."

Eliza Kandell, Bachelor of Youth Work.

Industry placement opportunities

Throughout the industry placement units, students in the youth work courses will have an opportunity to gain practical experience by working with:

  • non-government organisations (NGOs)
  • non-profit organisations (NFPs)
  • local and state government
  • alternative education
  • social enterprise
  • youth services
  • alcohol and drug services
  • community camping /recreation programs.

In the second year of the course, students focus on developing skills for engaging with diverse group of young people. As this is often the first industry experience students have had, the placement aim is to expand knowledge of the youth work sector to further understand industry practice.

The second year placement outcomes can be achieved via multiple placement experiences.

Past placements in second year have included the following types of work:

  • development of anti-bullying initiatives
  • developing and facilitating youth summits 
  • playing a key role in organising and attending camps
  • delivering recreational / sporting activities
  • organising youth week events
  • supporting student welfare initiatives
  • being involved with homework clubs.

In third year, students enhance the skills and knowledge previously developed, requiring them to exercise a higher degree of autonomy and responsibility.

In this industry placement students complete 200 hours in the one organisation.

The priority is to have students involved in a placement that further develops their professional practice and engagement within the sector. This is a final year placement and, as such, the work completed will reflect the level of expertise that students are rapidly developing within their academic studies.

There is a wide variety of work / projects that students can be involved in while on placement, in negotiation with their agency supervisor.

Past placements in third year have included the following types of work:

  • community consultation / youth needs analysis
  • evaluation of program model and its impact on the participants
  • development and implementation of peer education programs
  • case management
  • volunteer support and development.

International industry placement

Youth Work students also have the opportunity to achieve one of their industry placement experiences overseas.

VU offers a variety of funding options to support experiences abroad.

Previous international placement experiences have included:

  • study tours (VU and external providers)
  • exchange programs
  • international youth work / education providers.

To explore the options students can talk with their placement partnerships officer.

 Community Development students on placement overseas.

Industry placement process

Student selection

The Youth Work Partnerships Officer will work to pre-select and match students with organisations based on the student’s interests, unit learning outcomes and partner organisation requirements. Once a match has been identified, the student is informed and will be expected to contact the host organisation and arrange a placement interview.

Placement interview

The placement interview is a chance for the host organisation’s supervisor to meet with student candidates and discuss details about the organisation and the placement opportunity. The interview might include discussion of the organisation’s services, programs and service users; project ideas or research topics; placement expectations; and commencement dates and suitable days and times for the placement.

Students are expected to view this as a professional job interview and present their current resume and Working with Children Check or National Police Check (where applicable).

"I was able to build industry connections that I benefit from to this day."

Ashay Baget, Bachelor of Youth Work/Bachelor of Sport Management

Contact us

For more information about professional practice and industry placements within the youth work courses in the College of Arts, Business, Law, Education and IT, please contact:

Tanya Nacarov
Senior Partnerships Officer | Youth and Community Programs
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 5730