The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. National Work Experience Programme


NWEP aims to create more opportunities for job seekers to enhance their vocational skills and to experience a work-like environment.

Activity placements under NWEP are voluntary short-term placements with a host organisation and should have a likelihood of an outcome of sustainable paid employment. However, an NWEP placement can be utilised as an effective tool to assist job seekers to build skills and gain valuable experience in a workplace without there being a guaranteed paid job with the host organisation at the end of the placement. NWEP is not employment or training, an apprenticeship or other similar scheme.

Job seekers may undertake an NWEP placement as part of their mutual obligation requirements, provided they meet the qualifying criteria, that they are:

  • aged 17 years or over
  • registered with Workforce Australia, Workforce Australia - Transition to Work or DES
  • subject to mutual obligation requirements.

NWEP placements are allowable in for-profit and not-for-profit organisations. All NWEP placements should be additional to the existing work requirements of the host organisation and must not reduce or replace any existing paid workers, including casual or part-time workers. In addition, NWEP placements must not reduce existing paid workers hours of work including casual or part-time workers.

NWEP placements are limited to a maximum of 4 weeks, for up to a maximum of 25 hours per week. The actual number of hours the job seeker will participate in a placement on any given day is based on the job seeker's capacity at the time of the NWEP placement, and the host organisation's requirements.

Note: Because NWEP is an approved program of work, job seekers cannot be required to participate in NWEP if they are under 18 years of age, aged 60 or over or not receiving the full rate income support. However, NWEP is a voluntary program so it would not be placed as a compulsory term in a Job Plan for any job seeker, regardless of their age or income support status.

Payment of APWS

Eligible job seekers participating in the NWEP will be paid an APWS of $20.80 per fortnight to assist with the additional costs of participating. The supplement is taxable, but is exempt from the income test. The full payment is made for the fortnights in which the activity begins and ends, regardless of the actual number of participation hours completed in those fortnights. If a job seeker leaves a placement without good reason, the supplement will cease to be paid from the first payday after the job seeker ends participation on the activity.

Act reference: SSAct section 28 Approved programs of work for income support payment

SS(Admin)Act section 40J Employment pathway plans not to contain requirements to participate in an approved program of work, section 40F Employment pathway plan matters

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