May 30, 2017

Equipping the Next Generation in an Increasingly Complex Environment

The environment that Young Australians today face when completing their schooling, is increasingly complex. There are no shortages of career or further educational opportunities they could explore, however navigating these pathways have also become more complex than ever, highlighting the necessity for increased support and guidance.

Research released today by the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) and McCrindle shows that the time allocation of school based career advisors only seems to be decreasing despite an increasing need for their expertise, guidance and support.

Career practitioners’ time cut short 

Research shows that more than half of career practitioners in Australian schools only undertake their role on a part time basis, juggling the responsibilities of other roles at the same time. More than three in five (64%) balance their time with other classroom teaching, 22% are in middle management and 7% are in senior management. 7% allocate the rest of their time to counselling within the school in which they work.

One in 4 career practitioners have less than $1,000 to spend on career development across their entire school year. This causes further resource limitations. Further to this, those who have had their time allocation decreased in the last three years are the most likely to have significant budget limitations. Career practitioners whose time allocation has decreased in the last 3 years are 1.7 times more likely—than those who have not had decreases in their timing allocations—to have less than $1,000 to spend on career development throughout the year.

Executive Director of CICA, David Carney said “Quality career guidance can motivate students toward successful further education, training or employment and enables them to make well informed career decisions. It gives them invaluable insight into the world of work and what education and training paths they need to undertake to achieve their career goals. Contact with career and industry professionals is critical when educating students how to network and open up their options for the future”. 

Time is what career practitioners need most to assist our young people in an increasingly complex environment 

Additional time with students is what school based career practitioners most need in order to be more effective in their roles. Whilst those who have had their time allocation reduced in the last three years are most likely to suggest they need additional time (90%), almost three quarters (73%) of those who haven’t had their time reduced still indicate that they are in need or more time to be more effective in their role.

Research shows that despite this, career practitioners’ time allowance for their position is decreasing. One in four (24%) career practitioners have had their time allowance for their position decreased in the last 3 years. 58% of these career practitioners work part time, 61% work in Government schools and 65% are already juggling this role with other roles.

“Australia is approaching the biggest intergenerational employment transition ever and what is needed for students about to commence further study or work, in addition to world’s best education is world’s best careers advice,” says Mark McCrindle, principal of McCrindle.

CICA has published a School Career Development Service Benchmark Resource. The resource has been developed for Principals and leadership teams of schools to assist them in achieving the best value and outcomes from their career development services. For a copy of the benchmark visit

This release references the findings from a national survey conducted by CICA of 716 career practitioners working in schools across Australia, visualised in the infographic, ‘Equipping the Next Generation’