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Heightened role of career planning in knowledge so

Pushing the boundaries: The heightened role of career planning in knowledge societies

International conference for the careers industry, 28 - 30 November 2002, Duxton Hotel, Wakefield Street, Wellington


Welcome to the 430 delegates attending this conference, and a special welcome to the 62 delegates from overseas (Europe, North America, Asia and Australia).

The last time a career industry conference of this magnitude and scale was held in New Zealand was nearly four years ago – just 230 delegates attended the last conference in 1999, compared with 430 today.

Since then the careers industry has undergone a lot of change, which has resulted in major growth here in New Zealand.

This conference is convened and supported by major career associations both within New Zealand and internationally.

The conference theme is highly aligned with Government’s view of people being able to extend their own capabilities.

This is achieved through individuals increasing their own level of training and skill acquisition and making informed decisions based on independent advice, which enables them to fill knowledge-based jobs in our workforce.

Coming from a variety of backgrounds, the delegates at this conference are involved in guidance counselling, careers advice or personnel and human relations within the community the secondary or tertiary educational system, psychological services, private companies and government agencies.

A total of 75 people will deliver presentations, with just over 50% of the presenters including keynotes from overseas.

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Nearly four years ago the careers industry was turning a corner at what had been the end of quite a challenging spell for the careers industry.

Since then the industry has continued to build on the foundations that were laid nearly four years ago.

This has been aided by the growing acceptance of the importance of the role of careers information, advice and guidance in our wider lives and particularly in the way that it is being reflected in Government policies.

The international view

Globally, New Zealand’s careers industry is viewed very positively. This is due to:

the core suite of services offered to all through a single specialist Government agency - Career Services (this isn’t prevalent in a number of countries);

established and developed links between Career Services, policy makers and other arms of Government around the policy decisions that are being made;

particular interest in our services to Maori.

Areas to focus on

Be prepared to evaluate and research what wider benefits the industry offers, so the industry can support Government in its policies and illustrate that what the industry does do makes a difference.

Professional staff in the industry having the credentials to give people coming into the service the confidence that those they are dealing with have certain levels of skills and over site by a professional body.

The industry needs to keep evolving the way it delivers it services and to constantly look at the range of ways it can offer various services to various groups of people:

by using the different types of channels available eg. the web, face-to-face and telephone;

how these channels can be used for as many different services as possible.

Therefore ensuring that the industry is doing as much as it can to put itself within reach of the wider public.

Growth within the industry

The number of number of people entering into the careers profession has grown. This is evident in the increased:

number of practicing staff within Career Services;

membership of professional associations such as the Career Practitioners Association of New Zealand (membership figures: November 2001=339 versus 4360 today);

number of people attending this conference (430 versus 230 at last conference).

The conference

Three keynote presentations will be delivered during the conference. These keynotes have been chosen to give a balance and perspective both in terms of geography and viewpoint.

Professor Mason Durie, Massey University – ‘Career Opportunities in Te Ao Mâori Professor Durie comes from perspective of careers and structures for Mâori and as Professor of Mâori Research and Development at Massey University.

Lynne Bezanson, Canadian Career Development Foundation – ‘Vital Myth: finding the signposts on your career journey’ A highly able leader in the Canadian career industry, whose presentation, explores the magical world of storytelling and ways in which myth can illuminate and enrich the career journey.

Professor Tony Watts, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – ‘Career Guidance and Public Policy: Global Issues and Challenges’ Professor Watts is one of the leaders in the careers world, who has worked to highlight the importance and value of the links between policy makers and practitioners and the need to be able to demonstrate in practical terms the benefits which career guidance delivers. Recently, Professor Watts was one of the co-project managers in the OECD investigation into the career information, advice and guidance over 14 countries.

What is the conference to achieve

Undertaking such an event enhances the profile of the industry as a whole.

People go away from it more equipped to give a better service to their clients than when they came.

That interrelationship between the key players of the industry continues to increase.

That from bringing people together to physically meet and talk, the bonds that develop will last well beyond the conference. So that people are able to continue to share ideas, develop and grow their own skills and abilities to deliver through the connections they have made.



The New Zealand labour market has been performing particularly strongly in the past three years: employment growth has been strong, benefiting all sectors of the community, and unemployment fell to 14-year lows in mid-2002.

With strong growth and high performance some employers have experienced increasing difficulty in finding the staff they want.

Reported skill shortages are at historically high levels.

Skill shortages can be seen as a sign of a healthy and dynamic labour market that is growing and creating new jobs.

However, they are also a concern if they persist because they may lead to lower output and lower incomes.

There is also a longer term concern that we must ensure that the New Zealand labour force has the skills necessary to meet the demands of the future in terms of New Zealand’s transformation into a knowledge economy.

Skills Action Plan

Earlier this year the government announced a package of measures aimed at relieving skill shortages, the Skills Action Plan. This plan comprises a dozen separate projects, some of which are new, some of which are extensions of existing work.

The overall aim of the Plan is to provide better quality and more accessible information to help people make decision about their involvement in the labour market.

workINSIGHT is one of those new initiatives.


workINSIGHT aims to provide information on labour market trends (including the outlook for the labour market) and information on the availability of and demand for skills in New Zealand.

workINSIGHT is aimed at enabling New Zealanders to choose the education and training that is most likely to lead to job opportunities, and to assist education and training providers to better anticipate the areas of study and courses that will be in demand in the future.

workINSIGHT provides information about broad labour market trends and information about the demand for and supply of skills in the labour market, and where possible a forward-looking orientation.

The first issue of the six-monthly report provides information from a personal, educational, best practice and regional point of view, as well as developments in the fields of research and policy.

A feature of the first issue of workINSIGHT is the inclusion of a pull-out A1 wall chart giving a breakdown of the whole of the labour market in New Zealand, showing the number of people employed and unemployed and the number of people who moved from one group to another in the past year. workINSIGHT will be distributed to labour market influencers and intermediaries such as career advisers and counsellors, education providers, Work and Income work brokers, Career Services career consultants and Immigration Service regional staff. Copies will also be sent to a wide range of employer groups, economic development and local government agencies.

Copies of workINSIGHT will be made available to all delegates during the conference and the Labour Market Policy Group of the Department of Labour will present a session on “Improving labour market information” this afternoon. I trust all delegates and all in the careers industry will find workINSIGHT a valuable resource that assists them to help individual New Zealanders to undertake better career planning.


I would now like to formally open New Zealand’s 2002 career industry conference – ‘Pushing the Boundaries: The heightened role of career planning in knowledge societies’.

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