Letters to the editor

The IEU has received a number of letters from careers advisors following a story that appeared on page 9 in the previous issue: http://publications.ieu.asn.au/newsmonth-212/news-2/careers-advisers-call-certainty.

Two examples are published here.

I have been a school careers advisor for over 20 years in a Catholic systemic girls high school. When I was first appointed, I had a full time load of Careers, Vocational Education Coordinating and transition pathway planning with special education and no classroom teaching - the three roles worked beautifully together.

Differing opinions and funding cutbacks eroded the transition pathway, introduced a teaching load and cut back my two point paid allowance (after 16 years) to one point paid – I was being paid from the school and the school could no longer afford to pay my allowance.

Work experience was the first to go and really the only thing to go. I no longer had the time to organise this due to my teaching commitments. No career education is being taught. All other parts of the job are still being delivered – the kids ask and therefore we deliver. My lunch and recess is spent with the students and emails and phone calls are taken from parents wanting to access information. I feel that my role is at times a tick a box, moving them onto the next part of their lives without real substance as my time doesn’t allow for any real progress.

I have heard the talk for 20 years that something needs to be done, am waiting to see it.

IEU member 126217

I commenced at my school as a careers adviser with a load of 0.5 FTL. However over the five years I have been at my independent school, my role has grown to such as extent that it was increased to 0.7 this year, and in 2020 it will be a full time load.

For advisers to do a thorough job in a school, we have to be working with students from a younger age. It is not something linked just to Year 12. We have been fortunate enough at my large independent school to have timetabled careers lessons in Year 10.

Within these lessons we manage careers testing, information about subject selection and coordinate these activities with one on one interviews with the advisers for all Year 10 students about subject selection.

Within this program we also organise guest speakers from particular professions, TAFE/ TVET and university visits. In Year 11 we conduct a more thorough Morrisby testing regime before students enter Year 12 when they again meet with the tertiary advisors at least once, but often multiple times, for a 30 minutes session.

In this way students feel better equipped to be able to make good choices for their post school lives.

Parents too may make appointments with me and this is a service they values very much. Many of our parents are from overseas and do not understand how the tertiary system works in Australia and need education and reassurance in this respect. As you can see the position is diverse and wide ranging.

IEU member 122057