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What is the National Careers Institute?
The National Careers Institute (NCI) is Australia’s front door to careers information and support. The role of the NCI is to ensure people have access to authoritative and accurate information about education, training and employment pathways irrespective of their age or career stage.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment formally established the NCI on 9 June 2020.
The NCI’s objectives are to:
- Inform – strengthen careers data, information and support to enable individuals to more effectively manage and develop their career.
- Connect – foster partnerships between individuals, industry, employers, schools, career advisors and career influencers to encourage information sharing, collaboration and best practice across the careers sector.
- Promote – promote careers and skills development by driving awareness of career information and services, learning and working pathways so that individuals are informed to better navigate their career options.
Why is career information and guidance important?
Career information and guidance benefit individuals in many ways. It improves short-term learning outcomes, participation in education and training, and probability of employment.
These benefits are evident in people at all ages and stages of their career. This includes school leavers, to the long term unemployed, to those planning to reskill or upskill (OECD, Career Guidance for Adults in a Changing World of Work, 2021).
Career journeys are non-linear. They are specific to the individual. These journeys often contain periods in education and training, jobs in a range of industries, and time in and out of the workforce.
People need to be able to access accurate and authoritative career information and guidance, tailored to their unique characteristics and circumstances.
Why is reform needed?
Although there are many government-funded career-related websites, people who are seeking career information find it difficult to know where to start and what information they can trust to make decisions.
Personalised and in-person career guidance can be difficult to access outside of schools. Within schools it is often focused on university, with VET seen as a second-rate option.
Many reviews and industry reports have identified limitations in Australia’s career information and services, including:
- Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System, led by the Hon Steven Joyce
- Looking to the future: Report of the Review of senior secondary pathways into work, further education and training, led by Professor Peter Shergold AC
- the Productivity Commission’s National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development Review .
What is being done?
The Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform acknowledges a key priority area for reform is to work with the NCI to make it easier to find career information and support. This will enable people to make informed decisions about their learning, training and employment pathways.
This work includes better connecting state and territory career-related websites with the NCI’s digital platforms. It also includes using the NCI’s digital platforms to promote local career information and services.