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Mallard Speech: Career planning goes online

Trevor Mallard Speech: Career planning goes online

Speech to the launch of the online career planning programme Pathfinder, Wellington

Career information, advice and guidance are the bridge between education, the labour market and employment.

They are the vital components people require to make informed decisions regarding their career options. Career advice can help people answer the "where to next?" question - a fairly typical question that most people will be confronted with at some stage in their lives.

As individuals we need to learn to manage our careers to make the maximum use of our capabilities and our interests. Of course this in turn assists society as a whole.

Our government recognises this, and has committed significant taxpayer funding to ensuring all New Zealanders have the chance and are given the assistance to reach their full potential in life and work.

It's a key after all to growing our economy, to driving innovation, to upskilling our workforce, and to building strong communities.

The OECD Career Guidance and Public Policy report outlined the need to diversify the methods and sources of career information, advice and guidance available, and to seek innovative and more streamlined methods of service delivery.

As part of this there is a move worldwide towards self-help approaches, so people develop the skills of managing their own careers.

Career Services is one of the international leaders in this field through the development of their integrated 0800 telephone, face-to-face and internet services.

The addition of this online guidance tool Pathfinder to the existing internet service, KiwiCareers, means that Career Services continues to broaden its ability to deliver career information and advice to all New Zealanders.

It represents a huge leap forward in the provision of career guidance services in New Zealand.

In particular rural communities, caregivers and others who may have difficulty accessing the traditional career information, advice and guidance services will benefit.

Users can customise their exploration by age and/or stage of life. That means Pathfinder is suitable for students, young people making the transition to work and people who are either in employment, without paid work or returning to work. It's suitable for people looking for new careers, or for people who want to retrain or upskill in their current career.

Our government has invested significantly in other initiatives to help people, particularly young people, in their working lives.

Budget 2004 included a $56.9 million package of initiatives to help 15 to 19 year-olds kick-start their careers.
This includes a two-year Designing Careers pilot programme that will take place in 75 schools and will see all Year 10 students preparing an individual learning and career plan with assistance from their parents, careers advisor and form teacher.

Pathfinder will play an important role here as well.

Finally, can I say that Pathfinder is an example of real innovation in career guidance, where technology is effectively and imaginatively used to deliver career services to a much wider group of New Zealanders.

The development of this programme means career guidance is now available free in a secure environment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It now gives me great pleasure to launch this new and exciting programme, KiwiCareers Pathfinder

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