Are you looking for a Work Placement or Work Experience?

Are you undertaking a VET program as part of your VCE or VCAL studies? You may be required to work with a host employer to complete a mandatory number of hours of Structured Workplace Learning (SWL). Or are you independently seeking work experience, to gain a better understanding of an industry or career?

It can be overwhelming and daunting to call a workplace. However, it is very important to personally call your chosen workplace as it conveys confidence, maturity and self-reliance to your potential employer. This strengthens your chances of successfully securing a work placement, as opposed to having a teacher or parent speaking for you.

So, if you are a student that is feeling nervous about calling for a work placement, don’t panic! We’ve got you covered! By following a few easy steps and being prepared, you’ll be making phone calls with confidence, in no time.

SWL provides students with the opportunity to integrate practical, on-the-job experience with course theory. This allows students to learn more about the relevant sector and further develop the skills learnt in the classroom.

Here are 4 easy steps to help you make these all-important phone calls to potential workplaces:

Step 1. Do Your Research

The first step is to simply write down a list of workplaces you would like for your work placement. Google businesses and check out their website to gain some knowledge of the business. You may find they already have information available regarding work experience/intern programs or that they don’t take work experience placements.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training has also established an SWL State-wide Portal. This website helps students and teachers find work placements with employers across Victoria. It’s easy to navigate with information of opportunities offered by a diverse range of employers. You can search by location, industry or VET certificate. Click here to check out the portal:  http://www.workplacements.education.vic.gov.au/

Step 2. Write Down Your Call Script

Be prepared and clear on what you are going to say before you make your first call. Write down your call script so you know what you need to say. Practice it by yourself or with someone to ensure you feel confident in what you are saying. It will also help to make sure you don’t forget any important information or requirements.

Be calm and take your time when speaking. In a clear voice, introduce yourself, explain where you are from, and the reason for your call. There is a chance you will have to leave a voicemail. It is important to speak clearly; include only the important points and let them know how they can contact you.

Here is an example of a phone call script and a voice mail script:

Phone Call Script Example
Hello, my name is Mary Smith, how are you? I’m a student from XYZ Secondary School and I was wondering if you can please help me? I’m currently studying a Certificate XYZ in [Field of Study] and I’m looking for a placement to complete my Structured Workplace Learning. Can you tell me if you have any placements available or can I speak with the appropriate person, please?… Thank you for your time and help, I really appreciate it.

Phone Call Script -Voice mail
Hello, my name is Mary Smith. I’m a student from XYZ Secondary School. I am studying a Certificate XYZ in [Field of Study]  and I’m looking for a placement to complete my Structured Workplace Learning. I would really appreciate if you could please call me back so I can discuss this further with you or the appropriate person. My phone number is:  [Your Primary Contact Number]. Thank you.

Step 3. Listen and Take Notes

Have a pen and paper handy so you can write down notes. They may give you a phone number, email address or the name of the person you need to speak to. If it’s a big workplace, you may be put through to several people before you speak with the right person.  If that’s the case, and you need to speak with someone else from the same organisation, start again with your call script.

See an example of how to record notes :

If you are studying, for example, a Cert III in Allied Health Assistance, and seeking a placement in a hospital or Aged Care facility, Google and write down the facilities in your surrounding area, along with the contact phone number so you have a list to work from.

TIP: Being organised is key. We suggest ruling three columns, outlining each business you intend to call, their phone number, and leave room for notes you need to write down.

Business Phone no Notes
XY Hospital (Parkville) (03) 1234 5678 I spoke with Lily and Helena . Email exampleemail@xyz.com with dates and times
ABC Hospital (St Albans) (03) 1234 5678 They do not take work experience. Suggested to call ABC Medical Clinic as they take students

Step 4. Maintain your motivation and positive attitude

It’s important to smile and enjoy every call. Don’t take things personally, and don’t let rejection affect your confidence.  Always be polite and thank them for their assistance.

It may take a few (or more) phone calls before you find anything. Liaise with your teacher and let them know how you are going.

To work more on your telephone techniques, and how to sell yourself over the phone with confidence, download the “Employer Engagement Program”. This is an online crash course with practical tips and advice to help you get job-ready!  Or, if you would like to speak with someone about the short course, you can call our friendly team members at Keyba Careers on 1300 4 ADVICE.