Work experience

Work experience is often associated with high school students getting a feel for working life, but different types of people at all stages of life can become involved—university students, people looking for work and people wanting to change careers.

It tends to be unpaid, although some programs (like graduate programs or internships) may involve some payment.

Work experience might include:

  • observing or helping out in the workplace
  • work shadowing
  • a work placement
  • a formal cadetship or internship
  • participating in government programs—for example, the Australian Government's Work for the Dole program
  • taking part in volunteer work.

Find work experience

You can find information about work experience opportunities online, including:

Complete your own online search and see what work experience opportunities may be offered in your local area.

Graduates can also look for opportunities to work within the Queensland Government through the Graduate Portal.


Work experience helps you to learn about a job or industry first hand. You get on-the-job skills and a chance to develop your skills. Some of the other benefits include:

  • gaining experience in a variety of work areas, and building on your existing job skills
  • getting references
  • enhancing your employability
  • networking with people in the industry, and becoming involved
  • demonstrating your work capabilities (sometimes to potential employers).