One of the points of education is eventually finding gainful employment and the process should begin in high school but there is unevenness in how schools broach the topic.
Victoria’s government has recommended schools employ qualified career professionals and that careers content is embedded by subject teachers into the Year 7–12 curriculum.
The Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) National President Wanda Hayes agrees that career development should be front and centre and said that in a world where access to meaningful work is increasingly seen as a basic human right, career development needs to be a core focus of education at all levels.
“This means that learning at school is not just about results and scores. It is about preparation for adult life, in all of its complexity,” she said.
“A critical component of this preparation is learning how to identify career opportunities, evaluate career options, make career decisions, and plan and manage career transitions.”
The Vic government's inquiry’s committee on the subject found that there is a significant inconsistency in careers resourcing between schools and that students wanted more time with their school career practitioner.
“Resourcing is a major issue for career practitioners in schools. It makes it extremely difficult for school career practitioners to move beyond a narrow focus with their students,” Hayes said.
She said integration of career development into the curriculum is an essential element of successful delivery of career programs and services.
“Everyone wins when schools position career development as a core school responsibility shared by all.
“Teachers and students all benefit when the links between learning, skills development and enhanced career options and opportunities are made explicit in every classroom and learning environment.
“Career practitioners play an essential role in facilitating these connections, by providing specialist information, resources and expert advice to teachers.”
Qualified career practitioners keep up-to-date with rapidly changing landscapes in further education and training and maintain current knowledge of labour market trends and emerging industries.