Off to Work We Go
The Commissioner for Children and Young People in South Australia has recently released a series of reports on what young people need to successfully transition from school to the world of work, and who needs to support them get there.
Much of our society and schooling system focuses on preparing children and young people for their futures. From a young age, children are asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ As they get older this question changes to ‘what are you going to do when you finish school?’ or ‘what are you studying to become?’
The major report is the first in a series of three reports on the subject with the second and third smaller reports designed to work as companion pieces to this major report.
The first companion report – ‘Spotlight on Parent/Carer Careers Advice’ – presents insights provided by parents and carers who would like to be better supported to help prepare their children for the world beyond school. This includes meeting the challenges they face in finding current, reliable and easy to access information about future employment opportunities and career pathways.
The second companion report – ‘Spotlight on Work Experience’ – asks for the relationship between schools and businesses to be redefined, so that better outcomes for both young people and employers can be achieved through work experience. The report argues that co-designing work experience opportunities with input from all stakeholders, including young people, in particular, has the potential to alleviate the casual nature of current arrangements and help build a more robust and regulated work experience system that could benefit all.
This report brings these two companion reports into focus through a deep dive into survey responses received from 745 South Australian young people aged 12 to 18 years who were asked what they think needs to be done to ensure they are future work-ready. It includes recommendations on what changes they would make to the education system to ensure it is more capable of meeting their career development needs, beginning in primary school.