Students need support for career planning

Back in 2014 the state government controversially axed the pathway planners from high schools.

The Guaranteeing Futures program was canned causing 59 jobs to disappear. The cut saved $3 million a year.

At the time, The Examiner reported that pathway planner figures revealed that the program had helped to enrol 86 per cent of the state’s 2013 grade 10 students into college.

The program was scrapped in favour of My Education, an online resource for kindergarten through to grade 12. 

A small amount of funds were also allocated to the Beacon Foundation. Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff, at the time, denied the Beacon funding was a replacement for the pathway planners.

This week a national study highlighted the ongoing unemployment issues young Australians face. The Brotherhood of St Laurence study released on Monday showed 50,500 young people aged 15-24 had been out of work for more than 12 months.

The report also showed the unemployment rate in the labour market sits at 12.4 per cent nationally and 16.4 per cent in Northern Tasmania. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent.

A 19-year-old student from Launceston told The Examiner he spent two years searching for a job to supplement his studies.

He said programs were needed in schools to help with resumes and provide a link to experience in order to help secure employment. This is the role pathway planners used to fill.

It could be argued that the extension of all high schools to grade 12 would help to bridge this gap.  However there is more than one pathway for all students. The right pathway is also different for various students. 

Organisations like Beacon should be an addition, a value add. Not covering the basics. 

Teachers should be focused on delivering the best education and support staff should be offering those connections between education and career.

Something as fundamental as the pathway planners cannot easily be replaced. Education is designed to set up the next generation for life. 

It’s important the current actions to improve education, through the extension of schools to grade 12, also includes an action plan for the students to use their knowledge and increase employability.