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Asia Pacific Career Dev Assoc
August 2017
 
Natalie Kauffman, Editor; Julie Neill, Assistant Editor
IN THIS ISSUE
Message from the President
by Professor N.K. Chadha

Let me start by wishing you all good health and happiness. Next let me thank you for providing me with the opportunity to preside over an organization that gains its name and reputation because of its fellow members and their contributions. I feel a deep gratitude for your trust and at the same time a grave responsibility for our future. To bring APCDA to a platform to make a difference – professionally and personally, regardless of how new or how seasoned we may be, your valuable feedback is a must. I request you all to click here and complete the survey, as it will immensely help us in determining our direction for the coming year.  We want to make sure that the events and all wonderful activities and components that comprise membership of APCDA should be an important part of your professional life journey, and the reason you cannot afford not to return to APCDA every year.

I am glad to share with you that the APCDA has seen an increased number of members in the last two years because of the efforts of a dedicated leadership team. Several newly joined members are students who are quite young and enthusiastic. I always think our organization as a family and want it to grow bigger and stronger every year. APCDA will continue to open arms to welcome new members to join the family, especially student members – the new generation of our family.

Our ongoing agenda will continue to promote APCDA's involvement in career development programming and participation in international seminars and conferences. We will persistently reach out to look for opportunities to extend our network and to connect members with career professionals worldwide who share our common interests.

I am excited about the opportunity to serve APCDA in this capacity and eager to continue to keep in touch with everyone virtually through our newsletter, social media platforms, webinars and NEW professional journal until we can see each other again, in person, at our conference next year in Beijing, China.

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NCDA Awards APCDA Leaders

Dr. Narender Chadha, APCDA President and founder of the Inda Career Development Association (ICDA), received the NCDA President's Award in Orlanda. According to NCDA President Dr. David Reile, "There are people in every profession who are competent in one aspect or another. There are precious few who excel in all facets. Dr. Chadha is just such a professional.

In the academic arena, Dr. Chadha earned graduate degrees in Mathematics, Philosophy, and Psychology, with his highest degree attained being a PhD in Psychology. He rose through the ranks of Delhi University to become professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. During his tenure, he has supervised and mentored hundreds of students with nearly 200 master's and PhD students earning degrees under his guidance.

In research and writing, Dr. Chadha has undertaken a variety of specialized and varied assignments. He is well known for his work on aging and psychological development, but he has also worked on issues of psychological assessment, the status of girls in India, and marital discord. He has been a prolific writer and editor on topics as wide ranging as statistical methods in psychology to criminology, sports, rehabilitation, aging, recruitment and selection of employees, and creativity.

More recently, Dr. Chadha has been involved in career development. He founded the India Career Development Association in 2010 and has been consulting with Mindler on a groundbreaking career assessment tool. In India, Dr. Chadha is a well-respected and trusted advisor in academic, government, and private sector arenas. Yet he is also sought after in Europe, Asia, and the United States for his knowledge and skills. His expertise and his approachable style are unsurpassed."

Andrew Remington, APCDA Treasurer and Immediate Past President of the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), received the International Practitioner of the Year Award at the NCDA Conference in Orlando.

Mr Rimington has more than 25 years of experience in the Employment, Education & Training (EET) program delivery and policy field in Australia and worked for the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry focusing on national policy for EET throughout Australia. He has also served on the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA). He expanded his focus by joining the boards of APCDA, the International Center for Career Development, Planning, and Policy (ICCDPP) and the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG). In these capacities, he opened a window into Australia for the world, providing information on the national goals and planning for career development in Australia. While a change in government thwarted many of the plans for comprehensive career services in Australia, the thoughts and ideas in the Australian documents became models for the rest of the world.

Through Mr. Rimington's wide network of involvement, he has allowed the rest of the world to become more aware of the innovative thinking coming from Australia. Certainly, the CICA is one of the exciting ideas for global mentoring. To learn more about the CICA, read the chapter written by Peter McIlveen and Carolyn Alchin in the new book recently published by NCDA called International Practices of Career Services, Credentialing and Training. His article below on Australian Youth Policy provides a great example of how government policies affect career services. You may notice similarities when comparing Australian history to your own.

Mr. Rimington has been an active, strong, and valuable member of our Board for many years, serving as Australia Country Director for several years, then for two years as our Treasurer. As he slips into retirement, we will miss his wise and gentle leadership.

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Live Webinars by Dr. Jim Bright and Dr. Rich Feller

We have just begun scheduling webinars for the fall, but you won't want to miss our November and December webinars. In November, Dr. Jim Bright will share his keynote speech from the 2017 APCDA Conference called The Chaos Theory of Careers. His keynote was rated very highly so we are very happy to provide this rare opportunity for those who missed the conference to learn from the master about one of the most exciting new theories of our time. Dr Bright has developed a chaos and complexity-based theory that provides an account of the complexity of influences on career development, the nature of change and unplanned events, as well as the limiting factors and emerging patterns in individual careers. Data shows clients who receive CTC counseling report higher levels of career self-efficacy and greater satisfaction with the outcomes of the process compared to traditional approaches.

The webinar will be held Tuesday, November 21 in the Americas and Wednesday November 22 in Asia and the Pacific. Click here for a flyer.

In December, motivational speaker Dr. Rich Feller will share with us his webinar called The HEROIC Mindset: Navigating a Lifetime of Transitions. The HEROIC acronym stands for six behaviors which can help you and your clients to stay focused on what really matters. Large audiences around the world have enjoyed this presentation, but now you can listen and interact within a small group via your own computer.

The webinar will be held Tuesday, December 12 in the Americas and Wednesday, December 13, in Asia and the Pacific. Click here for a flyer.

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TCDCA Invites University Career Services Providers to an International Conference
by Dr. Hsiu-Lan (Shelley) Tien

The Taiwan Career Development & Consulting Association (TCDCA) will hold an international conference on Evaluation of Career Services in College on November 11, 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. The conference will feature original research, reviews, and short communication articles in the field of Career Guidance and Counseling Systems at Universities. It is co-sponsored by the "Aim for the Top" Program at National Taiwan University and the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at National Taiwan Normal University. Professionals in all areas of career services are invited to submit a paper or poster. The submission deadline is September 25, 2017. Click here for a flyer with more details.

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Honoring an Icon in Our Field
by Soonhoon Ahn

The memorial service for Richard Nelson Bolles was held on June 17, 2017 at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. People travelled long distances to San Francisco from Alaska and Washington, DC, to celebrate his life and remember his love and passion for helping people in need. Some of Dick's life roles included ordained Episcopal Clergyman, author, trained physicist, career counselor, researcher, public speaker and international traveler. His service provided the opportunity for many of his colleagues and friends to reconnect and share stories about his many roles. Myself, Roberta Floyd, and Richard Knowdell attended the service on behalf of APCDA and APCDA provided flowers. We shared how Richard Bolles had honored APCDA as its Keynote Speaker for our 2013 Inaugural Conference in Seoul, S. Korea.

Richard Nelson Bolles was born on March 19, 1927 in Milwaukee and served in the Navy. Following two years of study in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he earned his Bachelor's degree cum laude in Physics at Harvard. Through many career transitions in his life, he authored the best-selling job-hunter's manual, What Color is Your Parachute? Initially published in 1970, the book has since been updated and printed yearly and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. In 1979, the manual made the NY Times Best-Seller list; maintaining this status across subsequent updates and publications. Dick's motivation for writing this blockbuster was to try to help people be better prepared than he was when he was fired and needed to look for a job. He wanted to help people "figure out what they really liked doing so that they could find the job that would let them do it." To find out more about Dick's legacy, you can connect to http://www.jobhuntersbible.com.

Dick Bolles is survived by his beloved wife, Marci Mendoza Bolles, three children: Gary, Stephen and Sharon, and 10 grandchildren.

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Sharing Thoughts on the ICCDPP 2017 Symposium
by Sing Chee Wong

The International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) 2017 Symposium was held in Seoul from June 18-21, 2017. The theme was "Career Development: At the Crossroads towards Relevance and Impact."

The event was attended by 107 delegates representing 21 countries, mainly from Europe, as well as from United Kingdom and United States of America. Teams from Philippines, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand also presented their country papers. APCDA was represented by Shelley Tien (Taiwan), Sungsik Ahn and Woongtae Kim (Korea), Raza Abbas (Pakistan) and myself (Singapore).

The presentations included three Keynote addresses and presentations by catalyst speakers and synthesizers of country papers on the four main themes of the Symposium. Representatives of international organizations, like Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD: http://www.oecd.org) commented on their organizations' contributions towards the field of career development. Importantly, at the end of the Symposium, participants were given opportunities to discuss and make recommendations suitable for their respective countries, on issues related to the Symposium themes.

The keynote addresses were:

  1. Responding to the Changing Labour Market by Tom Zizys
  2. Working with Employers and Employees by Wendy Hirsh
  3. Skill is the 'Global Currency' by Deborah Roseveare

The four main themes were:

  1. Understanding How Work Opportunity is Changing
  2. Ensuring that the Content and Delivery of Career Development Programs and Services are Relevant
  3. Improving Career Practitioner Training and Practice
  4. Reforming Career Services in Education and Labour to focus on Career Competencies and Successful Transitions

It was an enriching experience to discuss and network with other Career Development Professionals and policy makers working in this field. In many of the countries, career development is an established profession; but in several others, especially the Asian countries, it is at a nascent stage. During the Symposium, best practices were shared, as well as challenges. Networking among the participants was encouraged for continuous exchange of knowledge and sharing of best practices post Symposium.

There were so much to learn and discuss at this Symposium that the duration of 2.5 days was inadequate. Nevertheless, main takeaways include:

  • Whilst we try to equip career professionals with knowledge and skills so that they can better serve their clients ("Supply" side), we may not have given adequate attention to understand employers (and users of our services), their perceptions of career development, and how it aligns with their expectations of career services ("Demand" side).
  • The challenge, then, is to ascertain what the profession has done to facilitate better understanding and congruency between the "demand" and "supply" sides of career development. How informed are the policy makers/government authorities on career development? How can the profession work and contribute towards the country's development (and economy) so that it can be more impactful, and also acknowledged?
  • Career Development scope of assistance is frequently associated with helping the unemployed to find employment, and to equip school leavers for entry into the labour market. What career development assistance is available to those currently in employment, but at the crossroad of wanting to know how to cope with the 4th Industrial Revolution, or how to develop, or change their careers? Should career practitioners be more proactive in assisting individuals currently in employment, and not wait till they are unemployed? How equipped are career practitioners with skills useful for different types of transition (employment-to-employment, unemployment-to-employment, school-to-work)? If line managers and Human Resource personnel want to learn these skills, would career practitioners be able to train them?
  • Career development terminology is often used interchangeably, sometimes confusing even the career practitioners themselves. Such confusion undermines the professional image it presents to the stakeholders who may be unclear about the different terms and concepts. Could there be more standardized understanding and use of the terminology locally, and even internationally so that the profession can communicate more effectively and coherently between practitioners and stakeholders?
  • Earlier, APCDA had proposed the compilation of glossary of terms used in career development in member countries. Could this project be revived?

The format and structure of the Symposium was also interesting, and stimulated thinking and discussion among the participants. Prior to coming to the Symposium, participants were required to review the career development programs and services in their respective countries. The information was then synthesized and shared during the Symposium. This format facilitated sharing of best practices (and understanding of possible challenges) which could be taken back for implementation in home countries by other participants. Learning was supplemented by keynote addresses, sharing by experts in related fields and, finally, by sharing among the participants. This structure of reviewing, sharing and learning would be interesting for the Asia-Pacific countries whose career development programmes and services are generally at about the same stage of development (with some exceptions), hence learning from each other, and sharing similar challenges and solutions, would be helpful. This is especially important among Asian countries whose culture and value systems are more related. Thus importation of programmes, services and best practices from these countries may be more suitable, compared to those from a different cultural background and in a more advanced stage of development. Nevertheless, the more advanced practices and services could serve as possible milestones for others to emulate.

I am grateful to APCDA for giving me this opportunity to attend the ICCDPP 2017 Symposium which inspired me with a lot of ideas to share with fellow Career Development Professionals, and hopefully implement them to further the Career Development profession in in Singapore. When successful, we would be happy to share them with our fellow APCDA colleagues!

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Effective Career Development through Recruitment Strategies: The Brain Pundit's Pedagogy
Dr. Vandana Gambhir Chopra

Currently, there are changes in the corporate recruitment strategies in India through emerging analytics start up — The Brain Pundits — that hold a promising future. India is undergoing a shift in the hiring and recruitment process followed across various organizations. The present recruitment system faces serious issues in hiring the right candidate for the right job. With increase in the fluidity of career, it is necessary to place the candidate in a job which suits his/her temperament, choice and abilities, thus decreasing job attrition and increasing workforce productivity.

In today's fast-paced world, we want quick-fix solutions to our problems in the most objective and systematic manner. Brain Pundits offers a clear and comprehensive answer to resolve the war of talent by providing online testing methodologies. The organization is engaged in providing a multi-stakeholder ecosystem for end-to-end exploration, understanding and development of youth and young minds through a variety of psychometric evaluation and development tools. It is connecting youth with matching job opportunities based on their individual profile, career objectives and interests. Their team is comprised of Psychologists, Therapists, Career Counselors, Universities and Colleges, High Schools and senior secondary schools, Coaching institutions, and Corporations.

Brain Pundits offers a network for organizations and also enables and uplifts the future workforce by measuring and managing the talent correctively through a SAAS platform.

The 3D Psychometric Assessment assesses the candidates on different tests, namely, Nirvanic Insight Quest (NIQ- Personality), Core-Cognition Test (Unconventional Aptitude Testing), and Intelligence Test.

  • Nirvanic Insight Quest: Assesses the candidates' personality on 22 elements divided into three competencies, namely Fundamental, Work-Style, and Social Competencies, which helps to understand complex behavior through a Situational Response Test.
  • Core-Cognition Test: Assesses students' aptitude on three levels of intellect — Rationale, Critical, and Lingual — through unconventional questions to decrease the practice effect on the test.
  • Intelligence Test: Evaluates the candidate on abstract intelligence. The questions are designed with increasing difficulty level to assess the intelligence of a candidate.

In the conventional hiring process followed across industries it has been seen that focus is laid on the rejection of the candidate. The conventional testing methodology favours candidates who earned better scores only through practice. With an aim to challenge the current practices followed in recruitment, the Brain Pundits dares these unconventional methods by bringing in a unique way of hiring which is scientifically tested and verified. With this shift, the industry will be better able to meet the diverse recruitment needs of the organization along with the career growth of employees. This will help deal with the existing redundant scenario of recruiting through traditional methods, and offer career guidance through self-assessment, testing, development of self-marketing skills, and career counseling.


Brain Pundits Pedagogy

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APCDA at NCDA Orlando Conference through a US Lens
Dr. Rich Feller

The Joy of Working was not only the June 28-30, 2017 NCDA Conference Theme, it appeared to be driving the energy of the many APCDA members who attended the APCDA member session. APCDA ideas were evident and encouraged as members shared how they're creating career development opportunities worldwide.

Within the NCDA Camera Lens

Jose Domene (Canada Country Director) sat next to Carry Shen from PAC Management Consulting, Taiwan, as she actively took notes during the APCDA member meeting. Executive Director, Marilyn Maze, asked for feedback from others about future relationships and trends. APCDA President-Elect Brian Hutchison (University of Missouri, St. Louis) continued to provide great encouragement to APCDA as NCDA Treasurer and Board Member. Brian Hutchison also addressed questions about our new APCDA Journal.

Personally, I was thrilled to finally meet Henry Nsubuga from Makerere University in Uganda. Henry is a great example of how one person can make a big difference in delivering career development programs. Henry's NCDA attendance demonstrated how professional connections can lead to collaboration between countries through ACPDA meetings.

A similar story can be said about Pei Chun Hou from Taiwan. Pei Chun, with great courage, came to Colorado State University to complete her Counseling and Career Development Master's Degree. A former guidance teacher, she exemplified all that is possible when we stretch beyond geographical and personal boundaries to learn and share. Fortunate to be her advisor, I eagerly encouraged her to complete doctoral training at Florida State University under Dr. Jim Sampson. Pei Chun, having attended NCDA for the last couple of years, is off to Purdue University to complete her year-long clinical internship. I can't wait to see what she does to expand international career development relationships.

APCDA Leaders Win Awards in Orlando

It's great to see APCDA members and international leaders like Andrew Rimington from Australia, and Dr. Narender Chadha from the University of Delhi, India, receive acknowledgement from the over 1100 NCDA conference goers in attendance from 22 different countries.

The United States Connection

News about career programs within the United States were shared within many NCDA programs. The opening keynote featured a panel of Dr. Michael Hall, Dr. Nancy Schlossberg and Dr. Kevin Glavin. Their individual case study presentations shared three prevalent career theories increasingly practiced worldwide. Integrative Life Planning (drawing upon Sunny Hansen's work), Transition theory (see Nancy Schlossbuerg's new book Too Young to Be Old: Love, Learn, and Play as You Age), and Narrative Constructive Approaches (see Mark Savickas' Career Counseling) were well explained by the highly respected panelists.

Dr. Schlossberg's NCDA attendance was special as she inspired us to evaluate how we interpret and live out our age. Dr. Schlossberg greatly influenced my work with AARP, see www.lifereimagined.org. Her book release at NCDA, Too Young to Be Old was a great addition to the work being created by adult development leaders worldwide who recognize the longevity trend across the globe.

International career specialists were thrilled to see Dr. Carole Minor (Northern Illinois University) receive the 2017 Eminent Career Award. Dr. Minor's work in the early years of curriculum-based career resource centers helped the profession connect resources to just-in-time career practices.

NCDA Credentials Connect Professional Development to Competencies

The five new NCDA Credentials are primed to become the must have credential in the US and around the world as career counselors and specialists connect lifelong professional development, competency based credentials, and higher levels of consumer confidence:

  • Certified Career Services Provider™ (CCSP) -- a credential for individuals from an array of backgrounds, to deliver services and demonstrate core competency in the field of career services
  • Certified Master of Career Services™ (CMCS) – a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of non-counselors who have mastered a variety of roles within the field of career services
  • Certified Career Counselor ™ (CCC) – the new standard of professional excellence for individuals trained as counselors, who will specialize in the delivery of career counseling services
  • Certified Clinical Supervisor of Career Counseling™ (CCSCC) – a new professional credential to recognize the contributions of individuals who serve as clinical supervisors to career counselors and other practitioners who provide career services
  • Certified Career Counselor Educator™ (CCCE) – a new professional credential intended to recognize the contributions of individuals whose primary focus is on the training of new counselors who will specialize in the field of career counseling


Bolles and Garry Walz Video Tributes

Dick Bolles, author of the all-time top career book What Color is Your Parachute? passed in March 2017. All APCDA members will remember his great work as it shaped the career development field and brought lifework planning to consumers. Dick was paid a special tribute in this video.

Garry Walz, a giant of a thinker and futurist, led the ERIC system in all efforts to make research and practitioner programs available online. Garry famously helped many first-time authors and senior scholars to share their wisdom as explored in this tribute video.

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Securing a 1st Job in Asia: How Asians Navigate the College-to-Work Transition
by Jose Domene, Hsui-Lan (Shelley) tien, and Narender Chadha

At the NCDA Conference, a panel of APCDA leaders presented on college-to-work issues in Asia. Dr. Jose Domene, the Canada Country Director for APCDA and a Professor in the School of Education at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, spoke about the needs of students from Asia who attend universities in Canada and intend to return to their Asian home country after graduation. Dr. Hsiu-Lan (Shelley) Tien, Chair of the Educational Psychology & Counseling Department at the National Taiwan Normal University, spoke about Taiwanese students who seek employment after graduation. Dr. Narender Chadha, Professor & Chair of Research & Doctoral Programs at Manav Rachna International University, University of Delhi in India, spoke about university students in India who seek employment. The following information was provided by Dr. Domene and Dr. Tien. Dr. Chadha was unavailable during the preparation of this newsletter.

Working with Asian International Students in Canada

The choice to pursue post-secondary education in the West has become an option for an increasing number of students from Asia. Although some of these students intend to use their time studying in another country as a stepping-stone to immigration, most international students return to their home countries after completing their education. Moreover, obtaining employment in Asia can be very different than in the West. Consequently, it is important for campus-based career development practitioners to adapt their services to international students from Asia. Three important adaptations that can be made to better serve Asian international students are:

  • addressing non-engagement in career counseling
  • connecting clients with relevant labour market information
  • and being aware of socio-cultural contexts that influence this population's career development process.

International students have historically had lower rates of access to student services than domestic students. There are a variety of reasons for this situation, including lack of awareness of these services and a misunderstanding and stigma associated with anything labelled "counseling," including career counseling. It will be beneficial for career development practitioners to address all of these potential barriers for Asian international students to access services. One useful strategy that can address the first two reasons is to connect with the university's International Student Office (ISO). ISO staff work with international students on an ongoing basis and are well placed to inform international students about career services that are relevant to them. ISO staff are also more likely to have developed relationships of trust with international students; this means that recommendations for a student to attend career counseling are more likely to be followed when made by an ISO staff member. Of course, it is also important for campus-based career development practitioners to provide services that are relevant to international students who will be returning to Asia after their degree.

One key aspect of providing relevant services for international students is to provide labour market information that is relevant for the location that they intend to work in after completing their studies. It would be an error to assume that the labour market is the same between the West and Asia, or even between different countries in Asia. Given the country-specific nature of labour market information it is probably unrealistic for practitioners to become familiar with the information for every country in Asia. If we have many clients who come from particular countries, then it may be possible to familiarize ourselves with the labour market in those countries. However, a more sustainable strategy may be to discuss the importance of attending to labour market information with our clients and then put the onus on them to seek and obtain that information (e.g., through homework assignments) and bring what they have found back to a subsequent session for discussion.

Finally, when providing career services to Asian international students, including those who intend to work in Asia, it is important to remember that the socio-cultural factors that influence their career planning and transition into the workforce may be very different than for domestic students (e.g., family expectations, obligations to government funders, potentially precarious financial circumstances associated with the cost of international study). Consequently, it is important to assess for and attend to these contexts in career practice. This may involve adopting culturally sensitive approaches to career counseling and recognizing the need to let the client describe their specific life circumstances rather than working from stereotypical assumptions about students from Asia.

This discussion is only a starting place for campus-based career development practitioners who are working with Asian international students who intend to return to their home country after graduation. Nonetheless reflecting on the issues that have been raised and thinking about how to implement the suggestions that have been made has strong potential to improve our work with students who will eventually be seeking employment in Asia.

Securing a First Job in Taiwan

Taiwan is continously looking for ways to help recent graduates enter the workforce. Some people may think of the unemployment rate in Taiwan (3.8% in 2017) as low. The overall unemployment rate in the USA in 2017 was 4.8%. However, compared to neighboring countries, such as Hong Kong (3.3%), Japan (3.0%) and South Korea (3.6%), Taiwan's unemployment rate is not so good. Unemployment for people with a college degree or above was 4.2%, with male college graduates at 4.5%. Taiwanese are eager to improve this situation, and the Workforce Development Agency (http://www.wda.gov.tw/index.jsp) offers a wide variety of programs to help people find jobs.

There are two innovative programs that might interest other countries. One is called the Youth Education and Vocation Bank Account Program. This program provides assistance to youth who are choosing between university and vocational programs, encouraging them to think about the cost of training as a bank account which must be paid back. They can "shop" for the best deal, and the one that is most likely to allow them to pay back the funds they have received to cover their educational expenses.

Another is called The Youth's Starting a Business Project. This program provides funding, advice, and loans to youth who wish to start their own business. Similar to start-up incubators in other countries, the program focuses on providing the tools and training needed for youth to succeed in their own business ventures.

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Australian Youth Policy Then and Now
by Andrew Rimington

Australia has long been renowned as an international leader in public policy and program delivery in employment, education and training (EET), but in the current context Australia is still facing record levels of Youth Unemployment. The Youth Unemployment Rate in Australia averaged 13.5% from 1978 until 2017. However, over the last five decades youth unemployment reached an all time high of 20.2% in October of 1992 and a record low of 7.6% in August of 2008. The challenge is that the current level is almost double that of the record low of 2008.

History can be a great instruction and learning tool in addressing current problems, so it is usdeful to examine where labour market program interventions have varied. Whilst Australia experienced full employment during the 1960's by the 1970's, Australia's economy was being exposed to global trade impacts and the removal of tariffs on textile, clothing, and footwear under the Whitlam Labour Government (1972-1975) resulted in hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs and the unemployment rate commenced a long-term upward cycle.

The period of 1975 to 1983 saw a Labour Government elected in 1972 for the first time since the war years, and then Liberal Government from 1975 until 1983. This period saw the Special Youth Employment & Training Program, introduced as a wage subsidy program, which had some positive research outcomes but was subsequently abolished in 1985.

The Employment Program for Unemployed Youth (EPUY) was introduced as a community-based support and personal development program providing general support, access to youth welfare officers, and skills development through project activities including bush camping, abseiling, canoeing, leadership development, and also project maintenance of community assets. However, it was strongly criticised for being a drop-in centre for hanging around and participants were seen as being idle. The Community Youth Support Scheme was a similarly based program to EPUY but had a stronger educational focus and personalized support to achieve job outcomes.

The year of 1983 resulted in the surprise election of a Labour Government under the Prime Ministership of Bob Hawke, a former Union movement leader. This coincided in a very turbulent economic period through to the recession of the 1990's when the Treasurer, Paul Keating, replaced Hawke as the PM until his electoral defeat in 1996. This period saw unemployment rise from 6%, with an average duration of unemployment of around 30 weeks at the time of the '83 election, rise to over 10% unemployment by the time the 1990's decade, with an average duration of unemployment rise to nearly a year.

The worsening labour market conditions resulted in further changes in the first term of the Hawke Government and The "Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Labour Market Programs," which was known as the Kirby Report, was released in January 1985. The centerpiece reform was to introduce the Australian Traineeship System. The key features included:

  • Targetted at 16 and 17 year olds as an option to Apprenticeships and paid a training wage based on 4 days work and 1 day of training to gain a qualification.
  • Target of 10,000 commencements not met for 3 years as the introduction was based on an award-by-award variation to formalize the model as well as develop and accredit new qualifications.
  • A System of training that is now well established and open to all ages.

The Community Youth Support Scheme was also abolished in 1987 and replaced by the community-based Skillshare Program as a more sophisticated skill development initiative for long term unemployed youth, and again delivered by community based organizations.

By the late 1980's there was considerable concern over growing unemployment and a Green/White Paper process on "Employment in Australia" led to further significant reforms and introduction of a range of new Labour Market Programs (LMP). This was implemented in the early 1990's under the Working Nation initiatives.

The Commonwealth Employment Service was radically restructured in 1989 to introduce new units to focus on Specialist Servicing, Industry Servicing, and an LMP unit. The existing Youth Access Centres had an expanded role to undertake case management under the revised Job Compact as well as outreach activities targeting disengaged and unemployed youth.

The range of programs became extensive with a budget allocation in excess of $4 billion, which was a historic high in terms of commitment to address labour market imbalances. However, Post Program Monitoring data show that 36% of Youth Training Initiative (YTI) clients who participated in labour market programs in 1995 were in unsubsidised employment three months after cessation. And a further 12% were in non-Departmental education or training programs (a total of 48% with a positive outcome).

By comparison, 27% of non-YTI clients who participated in a labour market program were in unsubsidised employment with another 8% in non-Departmental education or training (35% with a positive outcome). By any measure, this was a tremendous outcome rate, particularly for youth clients. Although it should be noted that YTI clients had much shorter durations of unemployment than non-YTI clients, there were few differences in outcomes for case managed and non-case managed YTI clients. Also by comparison, Job Clubs (based on a Canadian Job Search Support model) had achieved a consistent 60-70% outcome rate even where Clubs were specifically delivered for young people.

However, by 1996 there was considerable disenchantment with the Government that led to the election of the Howard Liberal Government in March 1996. The Government aabolished all LMP's under the Working Nation initiative within 6 months of election. This also led to the continued outsourcing of the case management role of CES leading to eventual privatization and closure in 1998.

  • Priority for school-to-work programs such as Jobs Pathway and enterprise education;
  • An increase in funding for government schools from $1.4 billion to $3.5 billion in 2007/08;
  • The introduction of the Work for the Dole program, helping to get long-term unemployed back into the workforce;
  • The creation of the Career Industry Council of Australia in 2002.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry developed a discussion paper (the author was a member of project team) that recommended initiatives that the Government adopted and implemented in 2004 as Career Advice Australia, which included:

  • Regional Industry Career Advisers to build employer engagement and industry links with schools to develop transition programs such as school based traineeships.
  • A network of 11 National Industry Committees to research, develop and distribute careers-related material to schools.
  • Networks were contracted for 3 years.

However, in terms of the electoral cycle, the Australian people were jaded with the current Government and in 2007 elected Labour Government under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The Rudd government inherited one of the best-performing labour markets in the world; in 2007 the unemployment rate reached a 33-year national low of 4.3 per cent, and in some states and territories, unemployment rates of approximately 2 per cent were recorded.

The major economic focus on the Rudd government had been on its handling of the economy during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) as it unfolded in 2008/2009. The second focus was on the taxation of resources and the introduction of an Environment Trading Scheme. With the economy facing a recession, an economic stimulus package worth $10.4 billion was announced in October 2008. This included payments to seniors, carers, and families. A second, even larger economic stimulus package was announced by the Australian government in February 2009, with $47 billion allocated to help boost the economy: schools, housing, insulation for domestic dwellings (resulting in 4 deaths with untrained workers), roads, small business tax breaks, and cash bonuses. However, although the economy did not formally move to recession (i.e. two quarters of negative growth) the unemployment rate rose by nearly two percentage points to around 5¾% by November 2009.

The evaluation of the impact of the stimulus package on jobs and growth is unlikely to be settled empirically and, as with many debates in economics, views will, to a large extent, depend upon political leanings and opinion of economic doctrine. It is generally conceded that GFC initiatives were poorly managed, wasteful and computers for every student and school halls were seen to be extravagant initiatives. In terms of impact on labour market policy the Government announced the following:

  • The Career Advice Australia initiative was abolished and a range of initiatives under the Youth Connections Program was introduced.
  • Minister Garratt launched the National Career Development Strategy at the CDAA conference in 2013.

However, the period of Labour Government from 2007 to the election in 2013 had been quite tumultuous with Rudd replaced by Julia Gillard in 2010 and then Rudd returned prior to the 2013 election. The political instability and the level of accrued Government debt of more than $60 billion led to the return of a Liberal Government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The Abbott Government focus was budget repair and this included removal of funding for around 10 areas of LMP including Youth Connections and Industry Partnerships Brokers. The National Career Development Strategy was also eliminated. Indeed successive Education Ministers proffered the view that Career Development was the responsibility of State and Territory Governments as "they run schools." So the outlook for LMP and career development initiatives looked very dim.

However, Community based lobbying by national provider networks led to the creation of the Transition to Work initiative. The Program commenced in 2016 and some commentary from the Brotherhood of St Laurence, as a national coordinator and provider, include:

  • Take up of places is exceeding targets.
  • Youth clients are referred by Centrelink, Job Active Employment Service Providers, or self-referrals where they are disengaged and not on income support for at least 6 months.
  • However, it is too early for outcome data.
  • Service provision includes: assessing individual capability and identifying opportunities, fleshing out hopes and dreams, as well as identifying steps to achieve goals.
  • Assessment included a Work Readiness tool as well as identifying literacy skills and identifying options for further education and training.
  • Options include a work taster experience, as well as work experience placements.
  • Provide Employer Engagement Support and Post Placement Support.

In conclusion, the features of successful youth transition programs and support should include:

  • A Program that is not competitive as there should only be one provider in a region compared with current Job Active where there may be 2 or 3 providers competing for outcomes.
  • Delivered by a community-based organization with established broad-based connections and working relationships with schools, local employers, clubs, industry groups and providers.
  • A Collaborative approach and sharing best practices between providers.
  • Key features must be localism and being embedded in the community.
  • Develop networks that link to the national agenda discussion and policy development opportunities with government.

These ingredients will lead to successful outcome for the individual, the community, local employers and society at large. It is now up to future policy makers, industry and community based organizations to ensure that the needs and requirements for the current and future disengaged youth are met. Not to do so would be an indictment and abrogation of responsibility and the condemnation of a substantial number of young people to a lifetime of welfare dependence and budget outlay that cannot be afforded. Strong outcome performance from historic LMP delivery models show that economic benefits can be gained for both society and Government.

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