Tiarna Parker is working as a life guard at the YMCA in Wonthaggi after completing a Structured
Workplace Learning (SWL) placement with the YMCA in 2017. Tiarna attended Wonthaggi Secondary
College where she completed a Vocational Education and Training (VET) Certificate 3 in sport &
recreation. As part of her studies Tiarna choose to undertake a 1 day a week SWL placement with the
YMCA where she put her VET learnings into place, gaining practical experience and further
developing her employability skills.
Glenn Marsham YMCA Centre Manager, said “ it is important for businesses to support student
placements as it gives students an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in a particular
industry. Having Tiarna working at the YMCA not only gave her the industry experience she required
for her studies but gave us the opportunity to see her develop in the work place. On completion of her
year 12 we were able to offer her a position as a life guard as we knew her capabilities and work
Tiarna said “ she enjoyed her SWL placement at the YMCA as she developed new skills and it gave
her the chance to show the YMCA her capabilities. Tiarna recommends other students undertaking
VET to do an SWL as it not only compliments your VET but gives you a taste of a particular industry
which is important if you are unsure what you want to do post school.”
The SWL programme facilitates engagement between schools and employers, to support schools to
source local placements for difficult to place industries whilst identifying local needs and industry
An online state wide SWL placement portal has been in operation since 2016 and has streamlined the
placement process. Businesses can access the portal to create SWL placements, students can
access placements from the portal and schools then have a reduced amount of administration.
If you are a student, parent, from business or the community and require further information regarding
SWL or VET please contact Karena Kerr South Gippsland Bass Coast Local Learning Employment
Network 5662 5500.