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.

The Atlantic provinces adopted myBlueprint for a 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 of the framework and consultation on supporting documents.

The competency framework will be available for 2021.

TRANSITIONS

The Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) engaged the Canadian Career Development Foundation to work with CAMET’s Post-secondary Transitions Committee to conduct targeted research on the role of post-secondary education (PSE) in supporting school-to-PSE transitions. The goal of this project was to deepen the overall understanding of the challenges faced by students undertaking the transition to PSE and to distil evidence-based recommendations for supporting students in persisting to PSE graduation.

The research for the project had three components:

  • An Environmental Scan of the state of public-to-PSE transitions in Atlantic Canada – The Scan examined policy, programming and provision for youth and young adults in the region, reviewing issues of access and retention. It also examined national and international promising practices in supporting school-to-PSE transitions.
  • A survey of over 1,000 youth and young adults focused on their pathways after high school graduation – The survey focused on six student pathways: those who went directly to PSE after high school, those who took at least a year off before attending PSE, those who did not go to PSE, those who switched PSE programs, those who left PSE before graduation, and those who persisted through to PSE graduation.
  • Interviews with administrators, student support and career centre staff at 23 Atlantic post-secondary institutions – These interviews focused on the institutions’ current programs and activities intended to support students at the pre-entry, induction and attending phases of transitioning to PSE.

The study report is available at Transitioning from Public School to Post-Secondary Education in the Atlantic Region.

ATLANTIC CANADA CAREER WEEK

Atlantic Canada Career Week (ACCW) 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.

2021 Atlantic Canada Career Week

The 2021 Atlantic Canada Career Week will serve as the backdrop to promote/launch the proposed website to operationalize labour market information for students, teachers, and families. The website will represent a call to action for public and post-secondary education students, teachers, families, and career service providers on how to access and use provincial labour market information more effectively and strengthen its relevance to career planning.

The website will encourage and promote the effective use of labour market information that is relevant to students, teachers, and families and career influencers. The website will demonstrate the regional labour market needs and how this information can be used to benefit/facilitate career planning.

The primary outcomes of the 2020 career week and the website are to make labour market information more readily available, and to assist the provinces in their on-going efforts to keep students and employees in the Atlantic provinces and contribute to the overall prosperity of the region.

2020 Atlantic Canada Career Week

The 2020 Atlantic Canada Career Week served as the backdrop to promote/launch the proposed website to operationalize labour market information for students, teachers, and families. The website represents a call to action for public and post-secondary education students, teachers, families, and career service providers on how to access and use provincial labour market information more effectively and strengthen its relevance to career planning.

The purpose of the proposed website is to encourage and promote the effective use of labour market information that is relevant to students, teachers, and  families and career influencers. The website demonstrates the regional labour market needs and how this information can be used to benefit/facilitate career planning. The ultimate outcome of making labour market information more readily available is to assist the provinces in their on-going efforts to keep students and employees in the Atlantic provinces and contribute to the overall prosperity of the region.

2019 Atlantic Canada Career Week

The 2019 Atlantic Canada Career Week ran from November 4th to 8th. The theme for the 2019 career week was Experiential Learning in Atlantic Canada. Building on the success of CAMET’s 2018 Career Week, the Atlantic provinces showcased the activities and exemplars developed for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 career weeks. All these activities and exemplars are showcased in a new website www.experientiallearning.ca.

The 2019 Atlantic Canada Career Week served to launch the noted website and assisted the Atlantic provinces to promote careers and experiential learning in public schools, universities, and community colleges throughout the year.

All the activities and exemplars contained on the website are focused on interdisciplinary learning experiences. These experiences can happen either within the classroom or school/post-secondary education institution, within the community or within the workplace. The value of experiential learning lies in its integration of theory and practice to engage students in purposeful and carefully chosen, authentic tasks that require the use of key concepts or skills. Not only does experiential learning require students to meaningfully engage in the experience/activity, but it also requires them to reflect upon their learning and how the competencies through their academic studies can be enhanced through and applied to real life experiences.

MYBLUEPRINT

In 2020, CAMET renewed its agreement with myBlueprint to provide bilingual software—an innovative interactive self-exploration and career pathways planning tool—for students in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, and a comprehensive package of support services for schools.