Printer Friendly

At my desk.

A policy shift in Australia will result in broader provision of and access to lifelong career development services.

The recent Department of Education, Science and Training-funded review of career services in universities, TAFE colleges and registered training organisations is a healthy step to take. It will provide a clearer understanding of how adults gain access to career services through their education and training. To date, governments have all but ignored career services for adults; however, skills shortages, a slowing in the growth of the labour force and a need to encourage mature-age workers all add weight to the argument for an expansion.

In addition, the Productivity Commission's recent findings in its examination of potential benefits of a National Reform Agenda are positive. The commission found that programs that increase the proportion of young people making effective transitions from school to work or further study could increase participation by 8 ,000 and productivity by 0.45%. This is significant and yet, it does not take into account productivity gains that would accrue from a broadening of transition services across the lifespan. Implicit in any human capita reform agenda is a robust range of career services.

The delay by governments to support and fund a national institute for career development or at least a national research centre is not good policy; the government should provide significant input into further quality improvements in the national career development system through national research. A policy shift remains a matter of time, and, to borrow from Primo Levi, its arrival will be an 'elegant moment'.


Scholarships for tertiary staff

At the recent AACC conference it was announced that up to 32 new Study Scholarships and Industry Placement Scholarships would be available to career practitioners from Australian TAFE institutes and Australian universities. To be eligible, practitioners must be currently employed at an Australian TAFE institute or Australian university and must have been working as a career adviser for a minimum of six months within the past 24 months.


Did you know that myfuture had 90,000,000 hits in 2006? Funding has recently been provided to increase its interactivity and visual appeal.

ACCI supports career development

In its recent report outlining a blueprint for education over the next decade, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry argues for stronger mechanisms for providing lifelong access to career guidance. It concludes that 'the growth in [Vocational Education and Training] pathways has been at the expense of other career programs'. It also recognises that greater coordination between state and Commonwealth programs are required to ensure that target groups are served effectively. The report is available at CareersAdvice.pdf

Pathway planning

Back in 200, the Prime Minister's Youth Pathways Action Plan Taskforce recommended that for young people to achieve independence they require among other things 'the development of learning pathway plans for each young person, transition follow-up mechanisms and transition indicators, and the development of a comprehensive career and transition support system'. This report, and others since, found that young people leaving school early, without career paths, are likely to face long-term disadvantage by having higher levels of unemployment and part-time and casual work, shorter working lives, lowered incomes and the increased probability of finding themselves in jobs with poorer working conditions and fewer opportunities for advancement.

Programs that assist students to develop useful pathway plans for their learning and future direction are now a significant component of career management skill building in Australia. In Tasmania, all Years 8 to 0 students in government schools are undertaking pathway planning. In Victoria, all students 5 years and older in government schools have an individual pathway plan to support successful transitions. In South Australia students from Year 8 develop web-based individual learning plans. In the ACT the process is undertaken in Year 9. In NSW more than 200,000 students use school-to-work planning logbooks to record evidence of their individual learning and related experience.

Productivity Commission supports transition Programs

In February 2007 the Productivity Commission released its report on the potential benefits of the National Reform agenda. The report indicates a strong economic benefit from the implementation of effective transition programs. The report found that the two factors that play a critical role in transitions are educational attainment and labour market experience. In terms of educational attainment Australia needs to increase the proportion of students with at least secondary education completion rates.

It is estimated that an additional year of schooling increases the workforce participation rate by around 0.5% for males and 4% for females. The benefits of additional schooling, training or work experience accrue not only to the country and the state but to the individual. The commission report notes that 'for every additional year of education, the earnings of an Australian worker increase by between 5.5% and .0%'. Improvements in transitions from school are likely to improve participation rates in the labour market by 0.37% and productivity increases of around 0.45%. This equates nationally to increase in productivity of around one billion dollars.

Attract, acquire, grow, engage

The Australian Association of Graduate Employers Graduate Recruitment Conference will be held in Sydney, 2 to 4 November, 2007 at the Four Seasons Hotel, 199 George Street, Sydney. For further information please visit or email

Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first flat-bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesiser, and the first music synthesiser capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments. If you are interested in a different perspective on the world he has now developed the concept of 'singularity', the merger between human intelligence and machine intelligence resulting in something bigger than itself. See

National Career Development Week

Congratulations to everyone involved in Australia's first National Career Development Week. It has been a great effort and it now has a strong foundation to build on over the next few years.

CONTACT Peter Tatham with news entries for this section by 1 August for the Spring Issue at Peter. Entries should be no longer than 100 words, and may be edited for space reasons.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Australian Council for Educational Research
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Tatham, Peter
Publication:Australian Journal of Career Development
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Previous Article:Editorial.
Next Article:Interview with Professor Audrey Collin.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters