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Tool to increase secondary students' prospects for employment

author:Careeers New Zealand

Tool to increase secondary students' prospects for employment

Careers New Zealand has launched the country?s first Career Education Benchmarks. Revisit some of the essentials of this new initiative with Careers New Zealand?s Dale Bailey.

The Career Education Benchmarks were unveiled by Education Minister Anne Tolley at Christchurch?s Hornby High School in October 2011, ushering in a new era for career development in this country.

What are they all about?

The benchmarks are a self-review tool designed to assist secondary schools around the country to develop effective practice and deliver high quality career education. This is done by:

  • identifying strengths and development areas
  • measuring their performance so far
  • promoting continual improvement.

As benchmarks project executive Dale Bailey explained, each school has a responsibility for making decisions about career education, and the benchmarks will help guide their thinking.

?Trustees, senior managers and careers leaders in schools each have a role to play in making career education successful. Our school system is diverse, and the benchmarks are designed to inform, not prescribe. Consequently, each school will need to determine the process they will follow,? said Mr Bailey.

?We will make support materials available to help guide the self-review process and to assist schools to plan their career education programmes and services so they meet the needs of their students and communities.?

The benchmarks have been the culmination of extensive work and development by Careers New Zealand staff, with expert input from the Careers and Transition Education Association (CATE), and the education and research sectors.

Why is career education important?

With a backdrop of record levels of youth unemployment, and continuing economic uncertainty, Mr Bailey said the benchmarks were a priority for Careers New Zealand. ?Career education is vital to the future of our young people and the economy of New Zealand. We are all responsible for improving the quality of career education so our young people have the competences to manage their own careers.?

The importance of career development has also been highlighted in recent months by independent thinktank the New Zealand Institute, following the release of its report on reducing youth disadvantage in July 2011 ? 'More Ladders, Fewer Snakes: Two Proposals to Reduce Youth Disadvantage'.

The report found career planning was essential and recommended schools ?provide better career guidance and transition support to students as they leave school and enter study, training or the workplace?.

When will the benchmarks be available?

Mr Bailey said the new benchmarks, as well as supporting resources and services, would be available for use country-wide from Term 1 in 2012.

?We intend to review the benchmarks each year to ensure they are up to date and informed by school practice and future research.? 2012