Australian Country Director:
Careers & Intercultural Communication Consulting
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:
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:
"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.
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:
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:
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:
CICA is comprised of 10 membership based associations, each with their own industry segment focus.
State and Territory Associations:
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
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.
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.
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:
"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.
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/.
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.
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!