We need to develop a simple common transitions framework that works across schools, tertiary education providers and employment opportunities. Too often careers advice is seen as an “add-on” to a student’s learning experience, rather than an integral part of it. Too often it is also an add- on to the workload of a subject teacher.
Good careers advice and educational pathway planning needs to be interwoven with curriculum delivery if we are to ensure that every young New Zealander gets the best possible chance to achieve to their full potential.
The Vocational Pathways5 are a great start, but what will drive them is planned and deliberate programme design that genuinely bridges young people from education to employment, and cultural change to empower parents and employers to have a say about the courses their local schools and polytechs offer. Two things matter: young people seeing the purpose of their learning and someone caring about their learning.
We need to revisit the current model that ties careers advice to school staffing. Careers happen beyond the school gate, and we know from ERO reports that the current quality of careers advice is “variable”. Technology provides new answers to this but there has been an unwillingness to look fundamentally at the model. There is also an entrenched culture and behaviours that see careers as something separate from curriculum.
What should the Government do to improve careers advice for learners?
What role can business, tertiary institutions and other training providers play to support the provision of good quality careers advice?
5 Vocational Pathways helps direct students through the appropriate NCEA standards and training for work in six industries: Primary Industries, Service Industries, Social & Community Services, Manufacturing & Technology, Construction & Infrastructure, and Creative Industries: http:// youthguarantee.net.nz/vocational-pathways/