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Australia Country Information

Australian Country Director:
Agnes Banyasz
Careers & Intercultural Communication Consulting
Director

Australia@AsiaPacificCDA.org


News from Australia by Agnes Banyasz

Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA)'s Career Conversations are designed to support the connectivity amongst its rural, regional and urban members. They employ an online environment of respectful and robust discussion and share practice. Although offered since late 2016, they are clearly gaining support from members across the country. Current plans are in the works to increase their frequency and vary their topics. Some topics have specific sector focus, e.g. school, post-secondary, while others are general.

I joined the July Career Conversation, A Mid-Year Review - Let's Catch up and Discuss Moving Forward in 2018. This session was facilitated by CDAA Vice-President Carolyn Alchin. Thirteen members from different Australian states and territories logged in via a Zoom meeting platform and we spent an hour sharing information and knowledge.

We all agreed that the recent news released from the State of Victoria is a positive one, whereby every Victorian student will receive careers guidance from the age of 12 as part of a state government overhaul of careers education backed by an AU$109 million investment in the state budget. The changes will be rolled out next year after a review commissioned by the Education Department found careers education started too late in government schools, varied in quantity and quality, and did not provide enough meaningful work experience.

The Victorian plan states "Career education must begin earlier than Years 10 to 12, and it must reflect the fact that students' needs evolve as school progresses." Next year, Year 7 and 8 students will take part in mandatory "career self-exploration workshops" assessing their strengths, setting goals and discussing different jobs. These changes also will increase the number of school-based career practitioners. The government has promised to provide training for 400 advisors.

Session facilitator, Carolyn Alchin, then shared some of the most relevant slides from the latest Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) report titled The New Work Reality. It follows the journeys of 14,000 young people over a decade. The report identifies the four most significant factors that can accelerate the transition from full-time education to full-time work, including an education that builds enterprise skills, being able to undertake relevant paid work experience, finding paid employment in a sector which is growing, and an optimistic mindset. Launched in 2015, the FYA New Work Order research series, with six extensive reports so far, has analysed how disruption to the world of work has serious implications for young Australians. Please visit https://www.fya.org.au/our-research/.

By the close of the July CDAA Career Conversation, I felt that the productive hour was spent in a well-moderated, dynamic, peer-to-peer environment. I definitely will plan to join the conversation again later in the year. Perhaps I'll meet you there, too!?!

"Employability in a Global Context: Evolving Policy and Practice in Employability, Work-Integrated Learning, and Career Development Learning" This research project was activated to explore trends emerging in the intersecting domains of employability, work-integrated learning, and career development learning. In late 2015, researchers, academics, and career practitioners from Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada gathered to attend an Employability Masterclass at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. Attendees explored questions around employability in vocationally specific and non-vocationally specific degrees. The language and conversations highlighted the influence of global contexts on strategies and practices in transnational settings – specifically, how employability is defined and supported across the breadth of university activity. Graduate Careers Australia funding in 2017 enabled the project team to progress the study with the aim of identifying critical learnings for Australian practice. The following report contains 20 pages of clear concepts, findings, and recommendations on this highly discussed and relevant topic, and will prove to be a rewarding read for practitioners across the globe: https://cica.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Employability-in-a-Global-Context.pdf.

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Australia Country Report by Agnes Banyasz

Government Level

In the State of Victoria there is a currently an ongoing 'Inquiry into Career Advice Activities in Schools.' The question being asked of students, recent school leavers, teachers, career advisors and parents is, 'Is career advice in Victorian schools hitting the mark?' Their shared views and experiences are being captured via a survey. The reporting date for this inquiry is 30 September 2018. Once the report is tabled in Parliament, an electronic copy will be available for download. Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Education Association of Victoria (CEAV), together with many schools, vocational education providers and businesses have already submitted their contributions. www.parliament.vic.gov.au/eejsc/inquiries/article/3882

CDAA News

Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) News

CICA again lists significant local and international reports and studies on its News page: https://cica.org.au/category/news/

  • VET qualifications: who is more likely to complete and why?
  • Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation
  • Crunching the numbers: Exploring the use and usefulness of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)
  • What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages
  • The evidence base for careers websites. What works?

APCDA Conference - Beijing

Last week I attended and presented at my first APCDA conference which was a very positive experience both professionally and personally. The pre-conference events allowed us to get to know each other in a relaxed setting while learning about how our colleagues at Tsinghua University Career Center work or visit the New Elite Development Program, which is a major provider of career planning services in China. The conference opened with Professor Hong Li's eloquent and evocative presentation on Taoist Philosophy and Decision-Making, highlighting some direct application to career decision-making and counseling. The following 2.5 days offered more keynotes and a feast of concurrent sessions with a huge diversity of topics and presenters, representing many countries and industry sectors of at least four continents. In the spirit of open dialogue, we learned about each other's practice, exchanged ideas and discussed opportunities for cooperation in research and best practice development. We had all the secret ingredients of a good conference: great location, precise organization, enthusiastic participants and warm collegiality!

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Current Focus on Life Beyond School and University in Australia by Agnes Banyasz

A bit over a year ago the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills started a national conversation on preparing students for life beyond the classroom. Educators, parents, government, industry and career representatives held a roundtable discussion on the development of a new National Career Education Strategy. CDAA was also part of this roundtable working group which produced recommendations to the Commonwealth Department of Education regarding the development of this National Career Education Strategy. Continuing the Government’s focus on career education in schools, the Career education self-assessment tool for schools was also launched. Developed by the Australian Government with support from the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA), the new online tool is to assist schools to evaluate and improve their career education strategies towards creating a highly skilled 21st century workforce. It adds to a suite of resources developed with government support to implement the Preparing secondary students for work framework.

Early this year the national 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey got published, where more than 4000 employers across Australia outline employer impressions of the skills and knowledge of our higher education graduates. The Minister for Education and Training said the 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey results were encouraging but also reinforce the need to ensure that higher education institutions are focused on the work readiness of graduates and place student outcomes at the forefront of their considerations to meet the needs of the economy, employers and ultimately, boost the employment prospects of graduates. The survey highlighted satisfaction levels for vocationally oriented courses, such as engineering and health. Satisfaction levels for vocationally-oriented courses were almost 10 per cent higher than from generalist courses such as management and commerce.

The 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey also highlighted satisfaction with graduates, as rated by their direct supervisors, as 84 per cent. Employer satisfaction with other graduate attributes was as follows:

  • 93% satisfaction with foundation skills – general literacy, numeracy and communication skills and the ability to investigate and integrate knowledge.
  • 90% satisfaction with adaptive skills – the ability to adapt and apply skills/knowledge and work independently.
  • 86% satisfaction with collaborative skills – teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • 93% satisfaction with technical skills – application of professional and technical knowledge and standards.
  • 85% satisfaction with employability skills – the ability to perform and innovate in the workplace.

Overall, the 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey results suggest employers remain highly satisfied with graduates from Australia’s higher education system. The employer satisfaction survey is a key part of the Federal Government’s drive to ensure greater transparency in the information students can access to make informed decisions about what and where to study. Students are also able to compare satisfaction rates across a broader range of Australian higher education institutions and also how courses are viewed by employers.

News from Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA)

CICA again lists a large number of significant local and international reports and studies on its News page: https://cica.org.au/category/news/

  • The evidence base for career websites. What works?
  • Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All
  • Eight Futures of Work Scenarios and their Implications
  • Employer Engagement in Education – Insights from international evidence for effective practice and future research
  • Improving the Employment Potential of University Graduates
  • Australian apprenticeships: trends, challenges and future opportunities for dealing with Industry
  • New Victoria University report on increasing female participation in trades

News from Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA)

  • The 2018 Excellence Awards Program has been launched.
  • Discussions were held with both SEEK and LinkedIn regarding CDAA support for their career services programs.
  • The Australian Career Practitioner journal (ACP) has been moved to a digital platform.
  • For the first time, the 2018 Annual General Meeting was held via Zoom web conferencing, to ensure members can attend from across the country and help shape the future of the association.

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Made in Australia, Usable across the Pacific

By: Agnes Banyasz

This article focuses on two recent Australian publications that have strong relevance for career practitioners in other continents and countries as well.

PwC (one of Australia's leading professional services firms) is working to align with vocational education reform initiatives, including the recently announced Skilling Australians Fund and Industry Specialist Mentoring program, as well as the National Career Development Strategy. The report states that career support in Australia exists, but is inadequate and people experience multiple roadblocks and hurdles. It further asserts the need to transition to a single support model that works for all people, no matter what their life stage and circumstance, and can be offered through multiple channels, including an online portal, telephone, online chat and text messaging service. The identification of seven core elements that are key to a future whole-of-system career support model began with the simple question, 'How might we enhance careers and pathways support for all Australians?' The seven core elements include the following:

  • Lifelong takes into consideration the whole of the person, and grows with the person to accommodate new learnings and experiences
  • Connected to government, industry, local communities, and educational institutions; and is connecting – to the right people and networks as needed
  • Accessible to all people, relevant and understandable, available via multiple support channels
  • High quality, reliable, and delivered by qualified and trained professionals
  • Tailored to the individual and their niche needs
  • Enabling people to be work-ready and supporting people to acquire work-related experience
  • Empowering the person to manage their career and navigate the uncertain and complex future of work

The full report can be accessed on the CICA website.

The second publication is 'Hard focus on soft skills' and is written by Dr Phil Lambert, lead curriculum expert to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s Education 2030 project. The paper was commissioned by the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Education under the EDUCATION: FUTURE FRONTIERS initiative, exploring the implications of developments in AI and automation for education. As part of this initiative, the Department has commissioned background reports on future skills needs. The report states that the term "soft skills" has been applied to many of the competencies now being prioritised by countries in their curriculum reform. This term, often used to profile the capabilities of employees and also given prominence in recruitment processes, refers to skills and dispositions, many of which have also been described as 21st century skills. These skills are no longer seen as "soft" or of secondary importance to other conventional and well-entrenched curriculum content owing to changing economic, social and environmental conditions in and across countries.

Though terminology differs across the globe, the competencies most countries include or are looking to include in their curricula are:

  • communication (multi-literacies)
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills/digital literacy
  • innovation and enterprise
  • intercultural understanding/global mindset
  • problem solving/critical thinking/creative thinking
  • resilience
  • respectful relationships
  • self and social awareness
  • self-efficacy
  • social skills and teamwork

"There is clear recognition across the globe that the acquisition of technical knowledge and know-how (mastery and techniques), though valued, are not sufficient for young people to navigate life and work in a world that is complex and characterised by ambiguities and uncertainty." LinkedIn economist, Guy Berger's (2016) observation further supports this: "Hard skills vary based on the job, but soft skills are required for every job." The full report can be accessed on the CICA website.

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Australian Panorama - Activities in the Career Field
by Agnes Banyasz

As the 2017 academic and calendar year is heading to the end, it is timely to share with our APCDA member colleagues the highlights and main activities behind and ahead of us in Australia. In May, a very successful Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) National Conference was held in Brisbane, Queensland. 'Inspiring Excellence in Career Development: Responding Locally to Global Challenges' focused on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals 2013 and how the career development profession can contribute to achieving them at a local level. Through a range of high level keynote speeches and more than 25 concurrent presentations, discussion centred around the quest for a healthy life, the pursuit of equity, access to education and training, and access to sustainable work opportunities.

The 2018 CDAA National Conference will be held in Hobart, Tasmania from 2-4 May, with the title "Inspiring excellence in career development: 2020 Vision - Career Adaptability and Meaningful Futures." The positioning key question for the conference is: In the current environment of unpredictable and constantly evolving work futures, how can we empower our clients to develop appropriate skills which will enable them to adapt successfully to change throughout their careers?

The call for abstracts for the 2018 National Conference is open now. For aspiring presenters, please consider submitting your ideas by 27th October.

In addition to the once a year conference, CDAA members across the nation have been very actively working on keeping up to date with professional issues via an increasing number of webinars, as well as new format breakfasts held in all states. Here are some examples of the new breakfast format:

Links to three recently published reports on the state of work in Australia:

  1. 2017 Australian Communities Forum Recap took place on September 19th and was presented by McCrindle and AlphaSys. It provided a snapshot of the key factors influencing Australian communities and some surprising findings from the just-completed Australian Communities Report
  2. The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) in partnership with AlphaBeta, a strategy and economic advisory business, produced, The New Work Smarts - Thriving in the New Work Order
  3. New South Wales' Youth Action's Policy Paper, Career Guidance - The Missing Link in School to Work Transitions

CDAA Victoria is very excited to launch our new Roundtable facilitated networking discussion events to replace the former breakfasts - 5 sessions available!

The discussion question for this Roundtable is: How do we manage unrealistic expectations in the Career Development space?

Come along to listen and share techniques to manage unrealistic expectations from:

  • clients
  • parents and significant others
  • clients with intellectual disability and their significant others
  • employers
  • other colleagues eg: teachers in schools who have limited knowledge of the career development space and future predictions.
Webinar:
NAGCAS

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Australian Perspective on the Career Industry by Agnes Banyasz

With this being my first newsletter article as incoming country director for Australia, I would like to say a warm "Hello" to everyone and provide an overview of the Australian career industry structure. The Australian career industry is diverse and segmented, especially if we take into consideration that it caters to a much smaller population than many other more populous countries we benchmark ourselves against. In 2003, after a few years of intra-industry dialogue and planning, the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) was incorporated as a national peak body. It is a focal point for government and other stakeholders concerned for and interested in promoting quality career development services in Australia.

CICA's mission is to:

  • Consult and collaborate with relevant stakeholders
  • Enhance collegiality within the career industry to achieve agreed goals
  • Facilitate strategic liaisons with stakeholders and policy makers
  • Develop community awareness of the concept, benefit and value of career development
  • Promote professional standards and practice within the career industry
  • Enhance relationships within the international career development community

CICA is comprised of 10 membership based associations, each with their own industry segment focus.

National Associations:

  • Australian Centre for Career Education (ACCE or CEAV) – secondary school education
  • Australian Institute of Sport: Personal Excellence (AISPE) – elite athletes' career development
  • Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) – broad based membership
  • National Association of Graduate Career Advisory Services (NAGCAS) – post secondary education
  • Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia Inc (RCAA) – rehabilitation

State and Territory Associations:

  • Career Advisers Association of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (CAANSW/ACT)
  • Career Education Association of Western Australia (CEAWA)
  • Career Education Association of Northern Territory (CEANT)
  • Queensland Association of Student Advisors (QASA)
  • Queensland Guidance and Counselling Association (QGCA)

CICA and its member associations are working hard on multiple projects – e.g., "How to improve career advice to school students" and "How to improve career advice to all Australians beyond the school system both at national and regional levels and advocate on behalf of career practitioners towards achieving a career development culture where individuals are empowered to make informed career decisions and manage their life-long career development." CICA is now an invited party to debates on career development issues. It has already gained recognition for its willingness to contribute to discussion papers, seminars and workshops. The development of an excellent working relationship with Governments facilitates cross-fertilization of ideas and frank exchanges about issues that impact the profession. There is a strongly developing relationship between policy makers, researchers and career practitioners in Australia, and CICA will continue to encourage this interactive and constructive relationship. The impact on individual members of career associations will be cumulative. As the realization that quality career interventions impact on the economic as well as social benefits for all Australians, and as we are more able to promote the advantages of these interventions, the profile of the career industry will be raised and the opportunities for practitioners will expand.

APCDA welcomes new Australian Country Director, Agnes Banyasz. After living the first 25 years of her life in Hungary, the rest in Australia, and experiencing both personal career dislocation and relocation, Agnes naturally gravitated towards specializing in intercultural career development. She has been working as a career strategist and intercultural communications coach for more than 25 years and her experience spans industries and continents. For 10 years, Agnes managed the first faculty based careers centre at The University of Melbourne, which offered a full range of customized career programs and services for business students and alumni. She is a Certified Leading Professional through the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) and maintains professional membership to key local and international associations (CDAA and APCDA). Agnes is delighted to have participated in conferences all over world. This connectedness to local and international best practice principles allows her to build strong and rewarding relationships with clients and colleagues. When not working, Agnes likes to swim, walk, spend time with family and listen to jazz. She can be contacted through www.corpreach.com.au

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Australia Country Report, May 2016 by Carole Brown

The Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), https://www.cdaa.org.au/, is delighted to share that they have just hired a new National Manager, Peter Mansfield. He formerly was General Manager Member Services of the Printing Industries Association of Australia. Since March, Peter has been working with the National Executive Committee and association personnel on association policy, strategy, finances and operations on plans to grow both CDAA membership and services.

In September 2015, the Career Development Association of Australia wrote to the newly appointed Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the new Education Minister, Senator Birmingham, to advocate on key issues of concern. A meeting was finally secured with the senior adviser to Education Minister Birmingham in early April. The meeting confirmed that the Minister and Governments’ view was that responsibility for career development rested with State & territory governments as they ran schools and career development. A counter argument that the issue was a life long and included workforce issues. The CDAA will develop a survey for members that will lead to the development of a Policy paper to be released as part of the election campaign in July.

By contrast the Australian Government Minister for Human Services, which has responsibility for government funded Disability Employment, established a Taskforce a year ago to review the Employment Framework. CDAA submitted its support to the Taskforce to consider individualised career development models as well as use of professionally qualified practitioners. A meeting with the Taskforce Departmental coordinator also reinforced CDAA input and acknowledgement that the Government will positively consider these issues in its final response to a new framework.

The International Association for Education and Vocational guidance (IAEVG) confirmed that a proposal by CDAA to host an international conference in Brisbane for May 10-12 has been accepted. The conference theme will be finalized over the next month or so but will consider global workforce implications and disruptive technologies on career development practice across the life stream. Further detail will be provided for APCDA member organizations and members. Participation is enthusiastically encouraged.

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Australian Government Changes Impact Career Services by Andrew Rimington

A May 2014 Australian Government budget decision, which came into effect at the end of the year, removed $2.4 million of labor market transition program funding to disadvantaged groups such as youth. Since this late spring decision, the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry convened a Career Development Stakeholder Forum, which included industry representatives, senior Departmental decision makers from Education, Employment and Industry portfolios, as well as key stakeholders such as Career Development Association of Australia, other Career Industry Council of Australia members and other peak bodies, to develop sustainable models for State and Territory Governments to consider for co-investment. The outcome is a working group to review current career services activities, identify gaps in service and provide recommendations to government.

A late December 2014 Ministerial reshuffle in the Australian Government included portfolio functions being reallocated across Departments as well as appointments of new Ministers and reallocation of portfolio responsibilities. Specifics and details as to how the Australian career development sector will be affected will be shared in future newsletters.


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CDAA: Inspiring Excellence in an Environment of Chaos by Greg Parker

The Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) chose this theme for its 2015 National Conference in Perth, Western Australia, on April 8 through 10. Australia is caught in a period of general chaos — economic strains are evidenced by government actions and direction; the proposed government changes receive widespread opposition from large proportions of the electorate; the response of financial restructure is evident, with funding of career development initiatives and baseline support being reduced and even withdrawn. At the same time, the Australian workforce faces general chaotic change as Australia begins to find its way from its historical manufacturing base. For the current and future workforce it means a new landscape:

  • What career opportunities exist now and into the future?
  • What transition arrangements are needed for the Australian workforce?
  • What should students of today be considering when the future is so chaotic?

"All great changes are preceded by chaos" — Deepak Chopra

Does this sound familiar for many other parts of the world? Are other countries at different stages of the continuum? All is not lost! CDAA has brought together an impressive field of Keynote speakers to help all of us get ahead of the chaos.

  • Richard Knowdell — delivering perspectives on yesterday, today & tomorrow — get an insight, and a head start
  • Professor Tristram Hooley — leveraging the internet — a new context for career building
  • Professor Jim Bright — practical approaches to the challenge of change, chance and transition
  • Kate Sommerville and Michelle Cowan — two different perspectives on the diversity factor affecting women in male dominated careers

In addition, the program is filled with great concurrent presentations across streams of Leadership, Research and Practice.

CDAA's conference presents an excellent opportunity for all to work their way through this maze. To learn more, and to register, go to http://www.gemsevents.com.au/cdaa2015/.


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CDAA's President

Andrew Rimington has been working for both Commonwealth and State governments in senior management roles in the employment, education & training (EET) program delivery and policy areas for more than 25 years. Andrew also managed a University Careers Advisory service, had a senior management role with a private training provider, and maintained a consulting and private practice working primarily in career transition and rehabilitation. His current role as a Senior Policy Manager with the Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) brings a focus across EET policy nationally through Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry Committees and Working Groups. Andrew has been involved in many committees, reference groups, Industry Training Advisory Boards as well as Ministerial appointments to advisory boards in employment and education. Current Board appointments include Director of the Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council and President of the CDAA National Committee.


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Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) by Andrew Rimington

Where CDAA is at now:

2014 is an extremely busy year for the Career Development Association of Australia. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Association is gearing up to host its annual national conference in its spiritual 'home' state of South Australia from May 14 – 16. The conference theme of 'Leading Career Development — Stories of Change' reflects on how the continuous advancement in technology and changing jobs and workplaces impact on career transitions through the life span of an individual and give focus to the use of social media and technology in career development practice.

With unemployment rising and economic instability continuing in Australia due to the loss of the local car manufacturing industry by 2017 and the gradual downturn of the mining and resources sector, it is important for our Career Development practitioners to be prepared for what is to come and to be able to navigate the changing landscape. Our 25th anniversary conference will provide plenty of opportunity to discuss these challenges, opportunities that the future will bring, as well as offer a chance to reflect on the original vision of the Association, where we have done well and where we can make improvements in the next 25 years. With a range of well-regarded keynote speakers joining us — including Boston College's Professor David Blustein, Professor Wendy Patton from the Queensland University of Technology, and business leader and former Aid worker Andrew MacLeod — we are superbly placed to address some of these important issues.

We are also looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the Association and its members! If you are planning on making the trip over to Australia, maybe en route to Hawaii for the APCDA conference, we would be delighted to welcome you to CDAA's birthplace. We look forward to helping you experience some of South Australia's unique natural beauty, award-winning food and wine, and eclectic arts scene.

2014 will also see the CDAA deliver another round of workshops under the 'Where the Jobs Are' initiative. Last year, the Association was contracted by the Australian Federal Government to deliver 100 workshops all around the country to improve the ability of career development professionals, and representatives from local government, parent associations and regional industry to locate, identify and interpret high-quality labour market information to assist others with career planning decisions. Contracting with 15 of our members to facilitate the workshops, more than 40 have now been delivered, with great success. High demand has constantly seen workshops at full capacity and in several cases, additional workshops have been scheduled to cope with high demand of individuals wanting to participate. The remaining workshops will all be delivered before the end of the year, and the Association is expecting to easily exceed the target of 2000 participants. The workshops give practitioners important tools to assist their clients more effectively. As the job market continues to grow tighter, having a sound understanding on how to access and use relevant labour market information will become more and more important. For more information on the 'Where the Jobs Are' project, please visit our website via this link: http://www.cdaa.org.au/default.aspx?Page=Where+the+Jobs+Are

And Where Career Development has come from ...

In the late 1940's, the Australian Government established the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) as a labour exchange to assist Australia's growing workforce with employment and to help employers access the skills they needed. Australia's migration program in the 1950's saw rapid population growth and major national infrastructure projects were built. The CES played an expanding role in providing careers advice to job seekers and were the first government managed and established specialist provider. Roles such as youth contact officers were established to work with Careers teachers in schools and to deliver structured programs around careers information and advice. Other sectors such as Universities also had established Careers Advisory Services.

As the Australian labour market deteriorated in the early 1980's and recession gripped the country, the CES was restructured and Youth Access Centres were established to complement the network of Careers Reference Centres in each capital city. The Youth Access Centres were to play a role in providing information and advice as well as developing outreach programs to disengaged young people. In fact, while working in a Youth Access Centre in Adelaide in 1988, Chris Summers arranged a meeting of careers providers from schools and universities. Participants at this 1989 meeting formed the Career Development Association of Australia. Chris is a special guest at this year's conference to see how well the Association has worked over the last 25 years and if we are meeting our objectives as a professional member organisation.

The CES function was terminated in 1998 and contracted services were then delivered by community and private organisations and have a contracted responsibility to provide careers related services. With the disbanding of the Youth Access Centres, however, a gap was created that contracted services have not been able to completely fill. Schools still play a crucial role in careers service delivery but there is no national standard of delivery and teaching staff are often burdened with other responsibilities which detract from their role as careers specialists. In an effort to address this gap, the Commonwealth Government established My Future as a national careers web portal. The portal is currently being reviewed.

Over the last decade the Career Industry Council of Australia has developed and promoted national Standards for Career Development practitioners and these standards are the basis for which Careers professional bodies assess their members against their Continuing Professional Development. There is a network of State based Careers Associations for careers teachers, a national body for practitioners in Universities, as well as specialist peak bodies in rehabilitation, employment service delivery and recruitment. A network of Industry Skills Councils develops training packages and qualifications in Australia, and the training qualifications covering career development, employment and disability services are managed by the Community Services and Health Skills Council. These qualifications are at Certificate and Diploma level and complement a range of University post-graduate qualifications.

The Career Development Association of Australia has around 1500 members and is the largest professional member association. Our members work in private practice as well as schools, universities, employment services, disability and rehabilitation as well as in Government and industry. The recent change of national Government in Australia now provides a range of challenges for Careers Associations and professional bodies. The main issue is to ensure that the Government in its quest to manage the national budget in difficult circumstances does not lose sight of the important role that career development practice plays in meeting workforce development needs and contributing to overall economic productivity. The challenge also is to ensure that the Association meets the needs of its members and plays a role both on the national and international stage. We look forward to providing APCDA members with further updates.

Best wishes from down-under!


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