Career Conversations

9 Nov 2021

“…secondary school students who explore, experience and think about their futures in work frequently encounter lower levels of unemployment, receive higher wages and are happier in their careers as adults.” *

The OECD Career Readiness Project has been conducting multiple longitudinal studies across eight countries, including Australia. 

Sadly, they found that across the OECD, young people were 2.5 times more likely to be unemployed than older people (2019 figures). 

However, more encouragingly, the research also has found strong evidence that students aged 15 or over will have better employment prospects and career satisfaction if they have:

  • Engaged with people in work through career talks or job fairs 
  • Taken part in workplace visits or job shadowing 
  • Done volunteering in the community
  • Been taught how to apply for jobs and prepare for interviews 
  • Participated in occupationally-focused short programmes within programmes of general education, and 
  • Engaged in career conversations

Career planning is a social process and it is clear that parents, teachers as well as well as ‘outsiders’ shape perceptions of work. Studies such as these begin to point to more deliberate career education from a younger age. 

Schools will need to find greater connections in classroom experiences to assist students to imagine and critically analyse future paths. This year we have seen further shifts in the University sector and workforce disruptions and transitions. Career conversations about this will help students explore genuine opportunities. 

As we emerge from the closed nature of the last two years, this summer I urge students in Year 9 and above to engage with others about careers and/ or search for a part time job to broaden their experience. 

The School will continue to evaluate its careers programmes and to consider how we respond to the changing landscape of post school pathways. 

Together we can work with our young people to ensure they are prepared to leave school and create their own future.  

* Taken from OECD (2021) Indicators of Teenage Career readiness: An Analysis of Longitudinal Data from Eight Countries; p4