Academic journal article Australian Journal of Career Development

Response to the National Career Development Strategy Green Paper: Career Industry Council of Australia

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Career Development

Response to the National Career Development Strategy Green Paper: Career Industry Council of Australia

Article excerpt

Summary

This paper proposes a strategy that is committed to these principles:

* quality through Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) benchmarking, quality frameworks and processes and as a risk management strategy

* lifetime access to career development services

* development of career self-management skills and opportunity awareness

* integration through the establishment of a national career services, well marketed to achieve wide public appeal. There are four elements to this:

--the creation of a single brand for career development services

--access for all and wide public appeal

--high-quality, personalised and impartial career services

--labour market and course information through state-of-the-art, online, real-time resources backed up with professional advice.

* research- and evidence-based service delivery and the establishment of a research agenda

* a national leadership role for the Australian Government and repositioning of responsibility for career development under the Minister for Employment

* national career management skills curricula including regular review and update of the Australian Blueprint for Career Development

* a taskforce rather than a leadership body focused on implementing a national careers service

* a strong relationship with the career industry

* links to our region and to our third largest industry--that is, Australia as a major regional education provider.

The Career Industry Council of Australia is the national peak body for the career industry and has a vital interest in a successful outcome of an effective national strategy that results in a stronger national career development system that is good for individuals of all ages and good for the country.

The Green Paper provides a useful summary of many of the issues that have been evident since the completion of the OECD review of career policy and programs more than a decade ago. The timing of this paper is particularly important because commitment to career development by the Australian Commonwealth Government has reached a low point, particularly since its location under the umbrella of the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transition.

We believe that the Australian Government has an important leadership role to ensure that career development initiatives are able to deal with a broader range of national priorities than might occur with the narrower (albeit important) confines of a national partnership agreement. Accordingly, it is our view that career development would be better placed in the employment area of the national Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

We note that several countries are taking quite different approaches to dealing with the changing economic circumstances of their citizens and we believe that a national strategy can articulate a way forward that builds on past initiatives and sets out a vision for governments of all persuasions.

The case for doing things differently is compelling. The requirements of an effective career development strategy are shifting in Australia and elsewhere. Career services are focusing on issues affecting a range of age groups, including the retention of older workers, transitions from welfare to work, disability services and apprenticeship completion. In short, by default we are moving service provision across the lifespan.

Assisting individuals to make informed learning and work choices is becoming more complex and of economic necessity for Australia. This country is investing significantly in upgrading the skills of individuals but the investment in quality career services is not keeping pace with what is required of them. In particular, the mismatch between unemployment in some areas and a need to import labour to meet skills shortages in other areas is persisting. …

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