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The Why

Peer Supported Training and Why it Works


For many years, increasing student engagement and course completion has been a challenge for both training organisations and host employers alike.
Students and Trainees are often very excited at the commencement of their training, however, without the right framework and supports their motivation can easily decrea
se with many students dropping out within a few months.

So what is the answer?
Students who undertake a placement based traineeship or study a Certificate with their local training provider are more likely to remain engaged and complete their qualifications with Peer Support.

What is Peer Support?
Peer support is when people give or receive support based on shared experiences.
For example, a group of peers may share the same culture, age, gender, location or i
Peer-to-peer learning also enables knowledge sharing among participants in a comfortable setting. For example, in a classroom, rather than students preparing a
nd delivering a presentation in class, sharing knowledge among peers is less intimidating. There is a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them from this collaborative setting.
Peer support provides benefits through empathy, acceptance, and skill-sharing that comes from dealing with similar lived experiences.   

Here are five benefits of undertaking training with Peer Support:

  1. It creates a safe environment to learn

    • ​​A peer support group fosters a safe learning environment for participants.

    • It is like the old saying “safety in numbers”. When you are a member of a group of people who share a commonality, it provides a feeling of belonging and security.

  2. Provides support and encouragement

    • Peers provide support and encouragement to other students, particularly where the commonality is culture or language.

    • When completing a task or assignment, students can discuss the requirements or answers in their own language or relate it to their own culture, traditions or situation.

    • When studying or on placement, having the peer support of another student is very beneficial and prevents individual students from feeling isolated.

  3. Improved attendance and completion

    • Students are more likely to attend and keep attending in a peer supported training program.

    • The social interaction that students in a peer supported training program enjoy is an important factor that contributes to improved attendance.

    • The encouragement from peers is also great way to keep students engaged and working towards the completion of their study.

  4. Students enjoy a higher level of self-efficacy.

    • Students who feel a sense of belonging in an educational environment are more engaged in classroom activities, are more motivated and report a greater sense of academic self-efficacy.

  5. Opportunities for social connection and friendship.

    • Peer support groups are a great opportunity for social connection and a way to make friends.

    • Being brought together to study a particular topic is the catalyst to uncovering
      other shared interests and similarities. Many students who study together
      become life long friends, or work colleagues.


The Placement Circle facilitated by WomenCAN Australia

WomenCAN Australia is a registered charity who helps women reskill, and rebuild their confidence, connections, and work capability. In turn, this enables women to re-engage with the workforce and develop their financial independence.

Their program, The Placement Circle (TPC), provides a peer supported transition to vocational training and onto employment for women who have disconnected from the workforce.

Women are supported to reskill, and rebuild their confidence, connections, and work capability. In turn, this enables women to re-engage with the workforce and develop their financial independence.

By working together with a structured peer-supported community of women who have a shared lived experience, the possibility of re-educating, finding sustainable employment and rebuilding confidence becomes much more likely.


What makes The Placement Circle unique?

The Placement Circle program is unique as it is not available to men – this is a program only offered to people who identify as women. 


In addition, having the support of your peers, other women who are finding their wayback into paid employment, provides a sense of belonging.


Together, the team at WomenCAN Australia help participants rebuild their confidence and make new friends. The program creates a sense of connection and belonging.


The support provided by The Placement Circle is at no cost to participating women.

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