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Successfully manage life, learning, and work

The ultimate aim of career education and guidance is to equip students to develop their careers throughout their lives. People continue to learn to do this long after they leave school, but what they learn at school is a crucial start.

At school students need to learn to make considered decisions and act accordingly. They need to learn how to become resilient career managers. This is an essential part of gaining the competencies that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives and contribute to a sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Recent international research and practice has identified a set of career management competencies (1) that provide a framework for designing career education and guidance programmes in schools. Each competency involves a set of understandings, skills and attitudes required to successfully manage life, learning and work.

Using the competencies

These competencies are the basis for the suggested learning outcomes for career education in these guidelines.

Schools can use the competencies and their knowledge of students’ acquisition of them to design learning programmes that are appropriate to the developmental stages of their students and inclusive of their cultural identities, values, and contexts.

Career management competencies are grouped as follows:

Developing self awareness

Competencies that enable young people to understand themselves and the influences on them.

Exploring opportunities

Competencies that enable young people to investigate opportunities in learning and work, and relate them to themselves.

Deciding and acting

Competencies that enable young people to make and adjust their plans, to manage change and transition, and to take appropriate action.


  1. (1) Australia, Canada, the USA and England have adopted similar aims and outcomes for career education. The competencies adopted in these guidelines were adapted from the Australian Blueprint for Career Development (2009).

Published on: 04 Aug 2009