Northern Industry Student Placement Program (NISPP)

Employers – let a tertiary student complete a workplace project for you

NISPP connects local businesses with tertiary students from leading higher education providers so that businesses benefit from their expertise and students gain valuable workplace experience.

The service is easy, flexible and available to businesses of all sizes to:

  • Draw on temporary talent for a specific workplace project
  • Bring new skills and ideas into your organisation
  • Get a fresh perspective on your business
  • Attract potential full-time or part-time employees
  • Build links with local tertiary institutions

Benefits to your business

  • Motivated, knowledgeable students
  • Access to the latest ideas and practices
  • Flexible timeframes
  • Short or longer-term projects
  • Broad range of study areas
  • Suitable for businesses of all sizes
  • Low-risk way to assess future employees
  • Productive people with the latest skills

Quick link: (Click to submit your student placement opportunity)

Steps to engaging student skills in your business

1. List your opportunity for a student placement click to submit your student placement opportunity. This should take less than 10 minutes.
2. You will be sent resumes of students interested in your placement opportunity. You can then speak to the students and choose the right student for your business needs.
3. The placement agreement is negotiated between you, the student and the education provider.
4. You’ll be supported by the education providers to streamline administration, and the team from NORTH Link will follow up to ensure the process is successful.

More information

For more information email or call Karen Stephens on 0409 458 290.

  • See the FAQs about utilising student skills in your business. Click here.

    What exactly is a student placement?
    Placements are programs where a university or TAFE student works for an organisation before completing their studies. These placements provide students with valuable work experience and employability skills. In some cases, students need to undertake a placement before they can complete their course and graduate.

    Do I pay the student?
    Student placements can be paid or unpaid, as defined by the Fair Work Act 2009. Some students must undertake a paid placement as part of their course (usually at Award wage), while others are able to take an unpaid placement. You can nominate if you're willing to consider a paid placement when you submit your placement opportunity.
    Note that a number of placement opportunities are advertised and students will generally choose a paid placement over one that is unpaid. For unpaid placements, we ask that you pay students a small daily amount to cover their food and transport.

    It’s also important to note that, for some undergraduate students to be able to work on an unpaid placement, your business must have a person who is degree-qualified in that field to supervise the work.

    Who covers the student's insurance?
    Usually the education provider can cover the student's insurance. When you and the student agree to a placement, the provider will ensure that the placement meets their insurance requirements. To be covered by the education provider’s insurance, it is essential that you complete an agreement form that is signed by the provider, the student and you. This must be signed before the student commences work.

    How do I know if my project/work fits academic requirements?
    Each education provider and course has different requirements, so there is no single answer.

    As a general guide, university students on an individual unpaid placement must work on site at your workplace. They need to be supervised by a person with a degree in the relevant field. And the placement must be a defined project that adds value to your business, not just completion of daily duties. In some cases, these placements will also be for a set number of hours.

    Other placements can take place off-site and do not always need to be project based. There are also some opportunities for groups of students to work on a single project, either in the classroom or on site.
    After you submit your placement opportunity to NISPP, education providers will contact you to discuss and if necessary work with you to see if your placement request can be modified to fit with their course requirements.

    How long is a placement for?
    Placements can range in length, depending on course requirements and student availability. You can talk to the education provider and student to decide on a time frame that suits everyone. Some courses require students to complete a minimum number of hours in their placement.

    What time of year are students available?
    Generally, students are available for placement at different times throughout the year. This can be negotiated with the tertiary institution and the student.

    Do placements have to fit with school terms?
    No. Most placements can begin at any time and students can work during their breaks. You can negotiate this with the student and the education provider.

    Some placements may be best aligned with:
    • semesters: March – June / July – November
    • holiday breaks: June – July / December – February.

    How does the process work?
    • You send us your expression of interest through our online form.
    • We include your information on a placement summary, speaking with you if necessary to get further details.
    • We circulate the placement summary to all 4 NISPP tertiary institution partners – La Trobe University, RMIT University, Kangan Institute and Melbourne Polytechnic.
    • University/TAFE staff may contact you to clarify some points.
    • They advertise your placement to suitable students by a range of methods.
    • Student applications are shortlisted by the university/TAFE.
    • Up to 3 resumes from each institution will be sent to you.
    • You conduct interviews and select the student who best suits your needs.
    • You notify the institution and NISPP of your choice.
    • You negotiate hours and days with the student.
    • You, the student and the institution sign a work placement agreement and insurance form.
    • At the end of the placement, NISPP will contact you to find out how the process worked for you and if it could be improved.
    • You keep NISPP informed of any future dealings you have or plan to have with the institution.

    Can students work off site?
    Sometimes – it depends on the course requirements. Most unpaid undergraduate placements will need to be on site at your workplace.

    After I submit a placement, how long will it be before a student starts with us?
    It varies. Placements will generally be subject to student availability, the responsiveness of education providers and your own selection process. The more notice you give us, the better the result will be for you and for the student.

    What can I do to make sure the placement is successful?
    As this is part of their studies, students have a real incentive to do well. You can help them by:
    • clearly communicating the aims and expectations of their tasks
    • creating a position description
    • appointing a staff member who will be available for questions
    • providing students with feedback on their work.

    Who are the students available for placement?
    Students are undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate degrees, associate degrees, diplomas and certificate courses. You’ll find that the students are keen to put into practice what they have learned through their studies so far and to acquire new skills.

    What industry areas does NISPP cover?
    Following are examples of the industry areas covered by NISPP:
    accounting, biomedical sciences, building, business, childcare, commerce, communications, community services, computing, construction, design, digital media, engineering, environment and sustainability, events, food technology, health, IT, tourism and science.

    How does a student placement benefit business?
    Having a tertiary student on placement can benefit your business in a number of ways. You can draw on temporary talent with current knowledge and skills for a specific workplace project. They will bring fresh ideas and new perspectives into your organisation. A placement gives you the opportunity to ‘try out’ potential employees. You’ll also build links with local tertiary institutions, which could offer you other opportunities, such as R&D links, for the future.

    How does a student placement benefit the student?
    Students gain real-world workplace experience, adding to their resume and their employability. They can apply the theory and practice gained during their academic studies in a working context, providing additional benefits. And they gain valuable skills relating to teamwork, management and organisational skills.

    How does a student placement benefit our region?
    Melbourne’s North benefits from a student placement program because it ensures that learning meets business needs and that the region has skilled and work-ready employees for the future.