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Much has changed in the six years since the publication of the previous edition of Career Education and Guidance in New Zealand Schools.

Predictions about participation in the 21st century workforce are being proven accurate every day. It does demand lifelong learning and an enduring capacity to manage change. Globalisation has created even more challenges as well as opportunities for everyone. Young people are entering a more complex and dynamic environment where the interface between work and other facets of life is constantly being reappraised.

International interest in career education and guidance is increasing as governments acknowledge the personal, social and economic benefits of equipping school students with the attitudes, knowledge and transferable skills they will need to become self-reliant career managers and lead positive and fulfilled lives.

In New Zealand, successful transition from secondary schooling into tertiary education and the workforce is a government priority. Tertiary education organisations have a renewed focus on lifelong learning and maintaining strong connections with the communities they serve.

Internationally, career specialists have refined an agreed set of career management competencies and these have been adopted in various forms by many governments. This update of Career Education and Guidance in New Zealand Schools has benefited from those developments and from recent career education programmes in New Zealand, such as Creating Pathways and Building Lives and Designing Careers.

The New Zealand Curriculum, to be implemented in schools from 2010, provides a fresh context for career education programmes in schools. The curriculum is future-focused and the key competencies are closely related to the career management competencies.

With the help of these guidelines, all schools can make career education and guidance an integral and essential part of the education they provide. School programmes can address the needs of all students while also paying special attention to those most likely to have difficulty finding their way on leaving school. Career education and guidance is an ideal context for recognising the particular role and aspirations of Māori communities.

We know that students become more engaged with learning if they are thinking about and preparing for the next steps in their lives. Young people who have learned to manage their own journeys through life are equipped to seize and create opportunities and participate fully in society and the economy.

Career Education and Guidance in New Zealand Schools offers advice and support that will empower all schools as they seek to establish and enhance whole-school career education and guidance. It requires planning and collaboration, from the school charter through to the classroom, and the active involvement of trustees, senior managers, teachers, parents, business, industry and the community.

I acknowledge the expertise and commitment of Career Services rapuara and the many school leaders, teachers and other individuals who have given their time and advice in the development of these guidelines.

Karen Sewell
Secretary for Education

Published on: 04 Aug 2009


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