The Benefits and Advantages of Work Integrated Learning
If you’re a student, teacher, or business owner, you may have heard about a modern and innovative teaching approach known as work-integrated learning or WIL. Many educational institutions—including high schools and tertiary colleges—are experimenting with this new educational avenue.
Thankfully, whether you’re a student, teacher, or employer, there are plenty of benefits involved in work-integrated learning. This article will briefly discuss what WIL is and list four key benefits.
What is work-integrated learning?
Work-integrated learning is a modern educational approach that focuses on real-world skills and experience. Generally, WIL comprises a combination of practical, on-site learning and traditional theory work.
WIL is largely student-centred, which means students have the freedom to guide their learning path. For example, a student with an interest in animals might pursue a work placement at a veterinary clinic or farm.
WIL activities can include internships and placements, work simulations, and industry projects.
Benefit 1: Students develop job-ready skills
Students who undertake WIL will develop skills and knowledge strongly applicable to their chosen industry. For example, a student who assists with a civil engineering project might learn how to use digital drafting software.
Students will also pick up skills relevant to working life in general, including:
Project management skills
Self-confidence and independence
Employers, then, can enjoy an emerging talent pool of experienced, skilled, and passionate job applicants ready to kickstart their careers.
Benefit 2: Businesses discover fresh perspectives
Work-integrated learning can also help businesses discover new perspectives and fresh ideas. Employees who have worked for an organisation for a long time can get set in their ways, impeding change and progress.
Bringing a new set of eyes onto the team—especially in the form of an eager and passionate student—can unlock intriguing insights and reflections.
Benefit 3: Students meet industry leaders
Not only will students develop job-ready skills during their placement or project, but they’ll also meet industry leaders, role models, and experts.
Forming strong collaborative relationships with these leaders can open many doors for students, helping them refine their skills or find their first position in their chosen industry.
For teaching institutions, integrating WIL activities and projects into the curriculum can boost educational outcomes. With their new skills and industry experience, students are more likely to find consistent work after graduation.
Having a sense of control over their education and career path also inspires students to work harder and achieve better results. Working on projects together can also help students form deeper working relationships with their peers and educators.
Work-integrated learning provides students with real-world experience and highly applicable skills, preparing them for a successful future career. These students can meet industry role models and form lasting collaborative relationships with peers and employers. Some WIL positions may even lead directly to a job.
Educational institutions, employers, and students can all benefit massively from work-integrated learning—so why not get started today?