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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 more formal cadetship or internship
  • participation in government programs
  • volunteer work.

Find work experience

You can find information about work experience opportunities online through websites like:

  • jobactive– the Australian Government's employment service
  •—for cadetships, scholarships and work experience opportunities.
  • Myfuture—offers work experience links.

Do 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 Queensland Government 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).


Are you an employer ready to offer work experience to someone looking to start in your industry?

Find out more about offering work experience opportunities.

Last updated
4 September 2017
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