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Online careers planning tool launched

Online careers planning tool launched


The launch of New Zealand's free comprehensive online career planning tool, KiwiCareers Pathfinder, is a groundbreaking step for careers advice, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"The introduction of Career Services’ online career guidance programme represents a huge leap forward in the provision of career guidance services in New Zealand," Trevor Mallard said at the official launch of KiwiCareers Pathfinder in Wellington today.

"In particular rural communities, caregivers and others who may have difficulty accessing the traditional career information, advice and guidance services will benefit. KiwiCareers Pathfinder will also be a helpful and easily accessible tool for people considering a career change.

"Our government is committed to ensuring all New Zealanders have the chance and are given the assistance to reach their full potential in life and work as we believe this is a key to growing our economy and building strong communities.

"Pathfinder will be of real assistance in this. It has been developed to be useful for a wide range of New Zealanders.

"The fact that users can customise their exploration by age and/or stage of life means that Pathfinder is suitable for students, young people making the transition to work, people who are in employment, without paid work or returning to work, and people interested in further training or education to upskill themselves."

Trevor Mallard said the government had invested significantly in other initiatives to help people, particularly young people, in their working lives.

"For instance, Budget 2004 included a $56.9 million package of initiatives to help 15 to 19 year-olds kick start their careers.

"This package includes the establishment of a new transitions service for young people leaving school which will provide customised support and career planning, working with local employers, training and education providers. It also includes a two-year Designing Careers pilot programme in 75 schools which will see all Year 10 students preparing an individual learning and career plan with assistance from their parents, careers advisor and form teacher."

Pathfinder can be accessed by logging onto www.kiwicareers.govt.nz. Questions and answers are attached.

Contact: Astrid Smeele (press secretary) 04 4719080 or 0274 664438. Email:astrid.smeele@parliament.govt.nz Questions and Answers

How does Pathfinder work? Pathfinder has been adapted from the successful Australian online career planning tool, My Guide produced by education.au, to suit New Zealand requirements.

KiwiCareers Pathfinder guides the user through steps in the career decision-making process with supportive and informative articles. The user completes a range of activities about themselves, from which potentially suitable career options are generated. Detailed information on options is available, as is a planning exercise to enable the user to explore their next steps.

Users can regard Pathfinder as their personal career development kit. A great feature of the programme is that users can create their own individualised profile – a profile that can be saved, reviewed and changed over time. People can re-enter Pathfinder at any time to access and update their profiles as their skills develop or interests change.

The accessibility of Pathfinder means it will undoubtedly play a key role in both meeting and creating new demand for guidance services.

While some users will be able to use Pathfinder independently, others will need some form of assistance in the interpretation and application of their results. In addition to accessing a help facility as part of the programme, the user will have the option of contacting the CareerPoint telephone contact centre for further advice and, if need be, will then be linked to a career consultant for face-to-face guidance services.

What other career planning services are available from Career Services? Career Services has received $13 million in government funding for 2004/05. Its work includes: KiwiCareers website (www.kiwicareers.govt.nz) is New Zealand’s primary window to career information, giving a comprehensive source of impartial, up-to-date career and labour market information. CareerCentres in 16 centres around the country provide face-to-face help. CareerCentres provide a variety of services to individuals, schools and groups and promote the importance of career planning. Experienced career consultants can help people develop a career plan, write a CV and prepare for interviews. Tel 0800 109 901 to find the CareerCentre nearest to you. CareerPoint - an 0800 contact centre where trained advisors provide free information on careers, on courses, training options and job profiles.

Tel 0800 222 733, Email: careerpoint@careers.govt.nz, Fax: (04) 801 2731. CareerPoint is open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 10am-2pm.

What services does Career Services provide specifically for schools? Advice and support to schools for their career education programmes, including professional development help. Customised career workshops for those with particular needs. Provisions of paper and electronic resources for teachers and students. Training of career educators. Support schools which will participate in the Designing Careers pilot, aimed at year 10 students, and those at risk of not making a successful transition from school into further work or training.

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