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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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The Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework

Careers and Transition Support Team DEECD

In December 2010, the Victorian DEECD convened a forum to allow careers practitioners in schools, adult education and TAFE to learn about and discuss the draft Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework. The Framework was developed under the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions, a joint initiative of the state and territory and Australian governments. This article describes the Framework. An accompanying article in this edition outlines the rationale for attention to career development and for its inclusion in the curriculum.

Recently launched, the Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework provides a scaffold for educators and school leaders to develop a localised and customised career development program for young people.

The Framework suggests relevant classroom activities and resources that deliver the career education learning outcomes for students in years 7–12, ACE and TAFE. It also provides sample advice on career education assessment for young people in years 7–10. This material is delivered via the web and accompanied by information on labour market trends.

It also provides additional guidelines to help teachers, trainers and careers practitioners tailor the Framework to meet the needs of diverse cohorts, including young people from ESL backgrounds or from low SES communities, young Koories (Australian Aborigines in Victoria), and young people with disabilities.

The Framework is best delivered within a whole-school or organisational approach to career education. This holistic approach will give all partners in the process an opportunity to provide input. The Framework allows careers education to be embedded in different subject areas.

The Framework can be used by teachers, trainers, careers practitioners, team leaders, curriculum coordinators and leaders in school, ACE and TAFE. However, the career development of young people does not happen in isolation. There are many partners in the process. Career development involves young people, past students, parents, employers, community, teachers, trainers, careers practitioners and leadership teams. It is closely linked to other initiatives, including Managed Individual Pathways (MIPs), Career Action Plans, Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs), and the Youth Connections program for young people at risk.

Policy context

The Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework has been developed under the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions. The National Partnership aims to increase the participation of young people in education and training, increase attainment levels nationally and improve successful transitions from school.

The Framework is complemented by three other initiatives designed to improve career development services for young people. Regional career development officers will drive long-term systemic change in improved career development service delivery to young people. Study grants are available for careers practitioners to gain specialised qualifications in career development. The Careers Mentoring Network Initiative is a pilot to enhance the lifelong learning and employment prospects of young people from three targeted cohorts.

Based on the 11 competencies identified in the Australian Blueprint for Career Development, the Framework will be updated as the new Australian Curriculum is implemented in Victoria.

Stages of career development

Career development starts in the early years of schooling and allows young people to discover their potential, explore their career interests and link their learning to future success in life.

The goals of the Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework are organised into three stages of career development. During the stage of Self Development, young people understand themselves and the influences on them, build on their experiences and achievements and develop their capabilities. At the Career Exploration stage, young people locate, investigate and consider opportunities in learning and future work options. The Career Management stage involves young people making and adjusting career action plans as a way to manage their life choices, changes and transitions.

These stages are reflected through six steps in a young person's acquisition of skills for career development, and form the structure of the Framework. Young people complete all six steps at each year level. Young people (i) discover their strengths and talents, (ii) explore the world of work and their place in it, (iii) focus on their values and interests, (iv) use decision-making skills to plan their learning and career programs, (v) decide on their best options and opportunities, and (vi) apply their skills and knowledge to their learning and career planning. These steps provide the skills and knowledge for lifelong career self-management.

The Framework and VELS

The Framework links to the existing dimensions of learning in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) Strands and Domains. It has been referenced against the VELS domains of Health and Physical Education, Interpersonal Development, Personal Learning, Civics and Citizenship, The Arts, English, The Humanities, Economics, Geography, History, Science, Communication, Information and Communication, Technology and Thinking Processes.

The Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework provides a set of learning outcomes for each year level that demonstrates career development learning progression from years 7 to 10 and can be mapped within the VELS learning domains at Level 5 and 6.

The Framework in years 11 and 12

The learning outcomes for years 11 and 12 are mapped to the Australian Blueprint for Career Development at Phases II, III and IV. Where possible, the Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework will make suggestions as to where the learning outcomes can be mapped to existing subjects within certificates at VCE, VCAL and VET level.

At the senior level, the Framework does not provide sample advice on assessment tasks, but links directly to documents that outline possible alignment to the Framework for the subject or program. The Framework would also be useful for schools wishing to design their own stand-alone career education program for young people in the senior years of schooling. Examples are available

Helping young Victorians to navigate career pathways

Rapid changes to learning and work in today's world make it essential that young people take a more active role in their career development. However, young people need support to understand the options and navigate the pathways from compulsory schooling to further education, training and employment. The Framework will help to prepare young Victorians for the diverse pathway choices they face in senior secondary qualifications and throughout their working lives.


Subject Headings

Career education
Educational planning
Education policy