Millions of dollars have been spent over the past decade by the Australian government on industry assistance packages to help business address economic impacts from global competition. Far less support is available to assist ordinary working Australians to adjust to a restructuring of work itself.
As more Australians are faced with managing their career in a difficult labour market, the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) argues that the upcoming Federal Budget is an opportunity to address this issue - by ensuring that all Australians have access to good careers advice when and where they need it.
“We believe that Australia should adopt an all ages approach to the delivery of career services similar to the UK and New Zealand. The government should make it a priority to ensure that publicly funded career services are consistently delivered Australia-wide by professionally qualified career development practitioners,” said Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) President, Bernadette Gigliotti.
“Why isn’t quality careers advice a tax deduction? Australians are working longer, some into their 70’s, and making many more work and learning transitions throughout life. Women re-entering the workforce would benefit from quality career support provided by a qualified careers adviser. Similarly, people with a disability are often getting a raw deal when it comes to careers advice,” said Ms Gigliotti.
The Career Industry Council considers it crucial to national policy that better access is provided to career development programs and services in Australia. The potential benefit of many government initiatives assumes that Australian Citizens have all the information they need to make effective decisions about their work and learning choices. However, in many instances this is clearly not the case. More resources are urgently required to support mature age workers, VET students, and people with a disability.
“The Council welcomes the introduction of a disability insurance scheme because it is critical to provide a safety net but Career Industry Council research shows that Australia can do much more in providing better career development services in the sector,” Ms. Gigliotti said.
“We would also like to see funding for improving career development service delivery across the VET sector. The introduction by government of a demand driven education system simply highlights a need to equip all students and potential students with the skills to manage their career effectively,” Ms Gigliotti added.
CICA recently launched the Professional Standards for Australian Career Development Practitioners and continues to encourage governments to recognise the importance of implementing an effective national career development strategy encompassing Australians of all ages.