Banyule City Council partners with La Trobe to develop talent pipeline

Work-based learning is an opportunity for businesses to engage new talent and upskill current employees eager to build mentorship skills.

La Trobe University’s work-based learning (WBL) program provides Banyule City Council access to the University’s student ecosystem and enables the organisation to strategically foster a talent pipeline.

Through the WBL program, University students – selected from La Trobe’s network of 32,000 – are hosted by a business and complete activities, as devised by the workplace, to help deliver professional tasks.

As well as giving students practical work experience, WBL is equally an opportunity for businesses to engage with new talent and prospective staff and upskill current employees eager to build mentorship and leadership skills.

Banyule City Council connected with La Trobe University to do just that.

“It is a strategic move (for us) in terms of creating a talent pipeline. So, today they're a student – tomorrow they are an employee. Most of the students who are going to come to us are in their second or third year. So, when an opportunity does come up within council – in an area they may have already been exposed to during their workplace learning – it puts us front of mind,” said Banyule City Council Talent Acquisition Team Lead, David Gibilisco.

The organisation reached out to formalise a partnership with La Trobe to implement a pathway to employment program for students. The program would offer work experience and funnel students across multiple areas of the organisation.

Candice Zavattiero, Banyule City Council Diversity and Inclusion Consultant explained “With La Trobe, (the driver) was partially locality. The campus is on the outskirts of Banyule, a lot of the students reside in the area or engage in Banyule in some way. (Additionally), local partnerships are something that we are definitely trying to work towards… within our inclusive local jobs strategy and framework.”

The council signed a five-year Work Based Learning Agreement with the University and has welcomed multiple students from various disciplines of study including hospitality, tourism, law, commerce, human resources and finance.

A testament to La Trobe University’s unique and collaborative approach to WBL, the first cohort of students was given the task of developing a best practice student placement proposal for the council to implement and run as an ongoing program. Setting this initial task eliminated the pressure on the council to create a WBL framework from scratch.

The students set to work developing the pathway program. Staff across all areas of the council were interviewed, and the learnings from both sides were invaluable in the creation of a practical and sustainable framework. An added benefit of this approach was that the student presence socialised the idea of the WBL program.

It was a great start and Banyule City Council now operates a placement program, with the goal of three rounds of intakes per year.

“Working with a partner (like La Trobe), gives us more structure… and the ability to do those regular intakes. Waiting for students to apply directly to us, you can lose the ethos of trying to create inclusive and more options for people.

“With La Trobe, (we have) the ability to promote opportunities that we are identifying internally, but also build them bespoke for students,’ said Ms Zavattiero.

Developing a partnership with La Trobe can give your organisation access to the University ecosystem of research, training and education, co-location, entrepreneurship and innovation too. We can work together to create tailored talent solutions.

Contact our Business Development Education team at

For general industry partnership enquiries, connect with the La Trobe University Industry Engagement team at