Bridging education to employment through virtual experience placement




Work-integrated learning, Transition to work, Virtual placement, Skills development


The transition from education to employment is a pivotal point for students. Workplace experience can play a key role in a student’s transition to full-time work. Despite the important role in bridging the gap between education and employment, students’ participation in work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences varies significantly across disciplines. Through participant surveys, we examined students’ reasons for, and benefits of, undertaking WIL opportunities online through Forage: a platform facilitating access to virtual and simulated placements in partnership with employer organisations. Virtual and simulated WIL experiences have gained interest, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings show that virtual or simulated WIL experiences are inclusive opportunities that can assist students, including those studying in areas with a historically low prevalence of WIL, in both career and organisation exploration.