National Work Experience Programme

Information for businesses about the National Work Experience Programme and how they can find out more information about accessing the programme.

jobactive is the Australian Government’s way to get more Australians into work.

The National Work Experience Programme is part of jobactive. It is a work experience programme which places job seekers in real life work experience placements. It helps jobseekers gain experience and confidence, while demonstrating skills to potential employers.

The National Work Experience Programme will offer 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 who offer participants ongoing employment after the placement may be eligible for a wage subsidy.

What are the benefits for businesses?

Being a National Work Experience Programme employer provides an opportunity to give a job seeker the chance to show they could be the right fit for your business.

Businesses who offer job seekers ongoing employment after the placement may 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 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 provider, visit

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.

Your jobactive 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 will involve:

  • providing a work experience placement for up to 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 jobactive 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.

You will also need to confirm there is the potential for 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 jobactive provider during their National Work Experience Programme placement.

Will the placement be covered under the Fair Work Act?

Job seekers on income support will undertake National Work Experience Programme placements as an Approved Programme 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.

Will the placement be covered for insurance?

As job seekers are not employees they are not eligible for workers’ compensation.

The Australian Government 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 jobactive 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 jobactive 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 jobactive 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 jobactive provider can also advise if you could be eligible for a wage subsidy for hiring and retaining the job seeker.

Want more information?

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