Industry-based learning (IBL) is when undergraduate students do a full-time paid work placement in an industry relevant to their studies. It is sometimes called a professional placement. The placement is usually for three, six or 12 months. You will get credit towards your degree for doing an IBL placement.
IBL is also sometimes called work-integrated learning.
How to find an IBL position
The best place to start is by finding your university’s IBL program. Do an internet search for ‘industry-based learning’ and your university’s name. Most universities have an IBL program.
Some courses might offer IBL placements as part of your degree. For other IBL positions, you might have to apply through your university’s IBL program. Many IBL programs have online application forms.
IBL placements can be highly competitive. Usually you’ll need a good academic record to get an IBL position.
How much will I get paid?
IBL salaries are approximately 70 per cent of a graduate wage. There are some exceptions to this in some circumstances.
How long is the placement?
IBL placements are usually for three, six or 12 months.
Can international students get an IBL placement?
Yes. IBL placements are considered part of your study. Because they are credited towards your degree, they don’t count towards the number of hours you can legally work each week in Australia. (This limit is usually 20 hours per week if you’re on a higher-education sector visa.)
Can I do an IBL placement overseas?
Overseas placements are becoming more popular. Check with your university about IBL exchange opportunities.
Where are placements offered?
IBL placements can be done in a wide range of locations and industries. IBL is offered in both in the government and non-government sectors.
Small to large companies and local and international companies also offer IBL.
Placements are offered in metropolitan Melbourne and country Victoria areas. You may also be able to secure a place interstate.
The advantages of IBL
Here are some advantages of doing an IBL program:
- You get paid, and you get to experience the discipline of going to work every day for an extended period – sometimes for up to a year.
- You learn firsthand what it’s like to work in your chosen field and industry.
- You earn credit towards your degree.
- Your employer might offer you ongoing work at the end of your IBL placement.
- IBL can also lead to other work opportunities when you graduate. Some graduate recruitment programs prefer graduates who have done an IBL year.
- An IBL placement is also a great way to develop your networks.