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.

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 access and transition to post-secondary 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) for CAMET and will be completed in 2019.

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.

2018 Atlantic Canada Career Week

Under the theme, Experiential Learning: Real World Learning, the 2018 Atlantic Canada Career week was held November 5th-9th.  The 2018 Atlantic Canada Career Week served to launch the resources developed to promote careers and experiential learning in public schools, universities, and community colleges throughout the year. The resources are available at realworldlearning.ca.

The 2018 Atlantic Canada Career Week focused on interdisciplinary active learning experiences that reflect real world learning. 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. 

The Atlantic Canada Career Week focused on experiential learning will:

  • Provide motivation through contextual learning
  • Create opportunities for success in learning for all students who may not fully understand and thrive in traditional instructional approaches 
  • Help in understanding and developing transferable “essential” skills and competencies that can be applied and enhanced in the workplace
  • Assist students integrate and practice concepts and theories learned in the classroom, deepening their understanding of what they have learned and allowing them to transfer this knowledge to the workplace or other contexts
  • Lead students to reflect on career options and explore potential career pathways in a low-risk environment

2017 Atlantic Canada Career Week

The 2017 ACCW was held from October 30th – November 3rd and the theme was Strengthening Students to Strengthen Communities by Empowering Our Students Through Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

The focus of ACCW 2017 was to support personal growth and empowerment by providing students with opportunities to create a connection between themselves, their interests and strengths, and the entrepreneurial mindset. From the perspective of social enterprise or a social entrepreneurship approach, was about helping students make connections between themselves and needs in their community. It should be noted that in defining community, different meanings will exist for students (student bodies) enabling them to identify and make connections to their culture, school, post-secondary institution, local organizations, neighbourhoods, towns/cities/campuses, or even a national or international context. Through an entrepreneurial lens, all activities developed for this week were student centred and supported career development. 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 specific goals outlined in Future in Focus—Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015–2020.

MYBLUEPRINT

In 2017, CAMET signed an 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.