Career Planning and Effective Career Transitioning

BACKGROUND

In June 2015, ministers of education and training released Future in Focus: Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education 2015–2020. The framework outlined a strategic approach to career planning and development for public education students in Atlantic Canada. It delineated the regional direction and specific goals that provinces are currently pursuing to provide students with the necessary tools to make informed decisions relating to career choices and to transition smoothly from public to post-secondary education and training.

In September 2016, recognizing important changes and investments made by each province in regard to quality career education and transitioning programs and resources, as well as diverse approaches to the delivery of career education services in each Atlantic province, ministers announced three major initiatives:

  • development of a framework of competencies to effectively manage career transitions through the lifespan
  • a research study on the transition of students from public to post-secondary education
  • the annual Atlantic Canada Career Week

Collectively, these initiatives are designed to assist students in making educational, career, and employment choices and effectively managing transitions from high school to post-secondary education and training and from post-secondary institutions to the labour force.

CAMET will also continue the management of the contract with Career Cruising for bilingual career planning software.

DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPETENCIES FRAMEWORK

Given the current labour market climate, it is increasingly critical to our region’s social and economic prosperity that Atlantic Canadians are able to manage their own learning and work transitions. Unemployment remains high for youth and young adults, and underemployment and part-time work continue to grow in Canada. The timing is right for developing competencies for Atlantic Canadians to effectively manage career transitions through the lifespan.

The framework will articulate competencies that school and post-secondary education students should develop to navigate and propel learning, work, and transition in today’s labour market and in the future. These competencies will be used to demonstrate the skills needed to transition effectively from studies to work.

Related support documents will include materials tailored to meet the needs of students, educators, career development practitioners, families, post-secondary, and business. A set of performance indicators for each developmental level will also be developed.

A collaborative, unified focus by all stakeholders is necessary to determine the set of competencies that will ensure Atlantic Canadians are prepared to participate in a world of rapid and complex change. This initiative will engage stakeholders in the collaborative development ofthe framework and consultation on supporting documents.

It is anticipated that these resources will be made available for 2018-19.

TRANSITIONS

As part of its ongoing commitment to solidify career transitioning in the region, CAMET has undertaken an analysis of the strengths and gaps in the transition of students from public to post-secondary education and from post-secondary education/training to the labour market.

This initiative addresses two goals:

  • to increase the proportion of youth who continue to pursue formal education after public school so that they can participate in the job market in Atlantic Canada in a more engaged way and make a greater contribution to their region, province, community, and family
  • to build a better educated population and workforce within Atlantic Canada with skill sets relevant to the career market today and in the future

The study will provide evidence-based information and concrete recommendations on how to

  • engage more high school graduates in pursuing post-secondary education and training programs
  • facilitate their accessand transition to postsecondary education and training
  • maximize the number of students who complete post-secondary education and training programs
  • provide more opportunities for graduating students to find work in their fields of study

The study is being conducted by the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) http://www.ccdf.ca/, and will be completed in the fall of 2017.

ATLANTIC CANADA CAREER WEEK

Atlantic Canada Career Week promotes and supports career development in public and post-secondary education.Public schools use a whole school approach as an integral component of student learning, including age-appropriate career development activities to support students in their specific grade levels. Activities are also provided for post-secondary education students to assist them in their career development pathways.

In fall 2016, students in all schools and post-secondary education institutions in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island were invited to participate in CAMET’s first Atlantic Canada Career Week, the theme of which was Create Your Own Future. A specific theme was featured for each day of the week (October 31–November 4), with resources provided for corresponding student activities tied to curriculum outcomes in a variety of subject areas.

Students engaged in activities relating to self-assessment and self-exploration, the development of entrepreneurial skills, career experience and workplace experience, networking and making connections, and planning for the future. These activities can be downloaded at www.atlanticcanadacareerweek.ca.

Atlantic Canada Career Week complements existing and planned provincial initiatives to assist students in effectively managing career choices as part of their ongoing learning in public and post-secondary education. It builds on the Canadian Career Month sponsored by the Canadian Council for Career Development (http://cccda.org/cccda/) and recommendations in Future in Focus - Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015–2020.

CAMET will sponsor the second annual Atlantic Canada Career Weekin November2017.

CAREER CRUISING

CAMET continues the management of a three-year license agreement with Career Cruising (https://www.careercruising.com) to provide bilingual software - an innovative interactive self-exploration and career pathways planning tool - for all students in Atlantic Canada and a comprehensive package of support services for schools.