The New South Wales government on Wednesday launched a new online service to provide students and jobseekers with better career advice following warnings the guidance on offer has been “patchy and often poor”.
Known as Careers NSW and launched by Premier Dominic Perrottet, the service will connect jobseekers with volunteer industry experts in “emerging and critical industries” for one-on-one advice.
A pilot program will run in four areas with 40 industry volunteers from six well established industries, ahead of a full roll out next year.
Careers NSW was a recommendation of a review of the state’s vocational education and training sector led by high profile university chancellors David Gonski and Peter Shergold.
The review, released in March, found an inadequacy of career information and guidance, describing it as “patchy and often poor” for students and “very difficult to access” for employees looking to change jobs.
The Gonski Shergold review recommended Careers NSW be established as the cornerstone of a comprehensive state-based career information and guidance ecosystem, and be offered to students and employees as well as job-seekers.
The state government allocated $24.6 million to implement the Gonski Shergold review reforms in the June budget. On Wednesday it revealed nearly half will go to the Careers NSW initiative.
“Careers NSW will supercharge our pandemic recovery by ensuring every jobseeker in NSW has online access to career advice regardless of their experience or education, so they can take advantage of the jobs of the future,” New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
The pilot program will target four “priority” regional areas: Western Sydney, South Western Sydney, the Mid North Coast and the state’s North West.
Advice will be on offer through a self-service portal from volunteers in the construction, disability and aged care services, energy and utilities, hospitality, tourism and recreation, information technology, and manufacturing industries.
The pilot is designed for 10,000 job-seekers and will be expanded to school students in the full roll out in 2022.
Currently the Careers NSW site contains some basic advice on career suitability, job seeking, a personality quiz, and links to federal career guidance and tertiary education comparison tools. There is also information available on the state’s vocational education training options.
Users can also make appointments for free phone advice from the New South Wales Skills Hub, independent career advisors and the industry experts, each requiring a Service NSW account to book.
“People want to make informed decisions about their career path, which is why we’re making it easier to explore the industries and occupations they are interested in and the opportunities they present,” Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said Careers NSW.
“This includes the ability for customers to compare courses and academic providers and find the study option that suits their learning preferences and location.”
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