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Work Integrated Learning: What’s This All About?

by Morgan Bolnick

If you have heard of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) but find yourself confused by the concept, you have come to the right place.  We are about to investigate to see whether this could be an option for you.

 What is WIL?

 Work-integrated learning (WIL) offers a comprehensive, practical placement within an organisational setting that is related to a specific career field. This is the perfect opportunity for you to apply the knowledge you’ve learned in class to your chosen field of interest. It will also allow you to build your confidence, develop a skill-set for the work-place and have the opportunity to apply the theoretical concepts in practice.  This will enable you to develop the skills required for entry into the workforce upon graduation.

WIL: What’s in it for me?

Work-integrated learning can be an essential element of your training and development to aid you in becoming the best in your field. This type of opportunity gives you the chance to:

  • develop your  professional identity
  • advance your  theoretical knowledge and transferable skills
  • communicate effectively to people in diverse roles
  • engage in teamwork, problem posing and solving, and self-management
  • enhance your  digital literacy skills
  • understand, at a practice level, what ethical practice means

Workplace training: Where are the programmes at?

The main types of professions that require practical experience include:

  • Wholesale and Retail
  • Safety in Society
  • Educare
  • Haircare
  • Cosmetology
  • Hospitality
  • Engineering
  • Trades of any kind – plumbing, electrical etc.

The placement programmes could take the form of the following:

  • Internships: 8-12 months
  • Learnerships: 4 days per week with one day spent at school
  • Apprenticeships:  time period set by the employer and followed by a trade test

 You can register on the Department of Higher Education and Training’s i-WIL website and apply for placements when employers make offers available.

Some of the biggest benefits of a WIL placement include:

  • Negotiating suitable placement positions for students with companies and institutions
  • Providing industry information and preparing students for the world of work through information sessions
  • Assisting with the development of methods and processes for monitoring and assessing student performance
  • Setting up and maintaining databases for potential student placement positions 

[Related article: Finding After School Options]

EduConnect 2Cents

 Whether you are currently studying or have completed your studies, some workplace experience can go a long way. Gone are the days of merely sitting with your nose in the books. It’s experience all the way!

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