A Dunedin careers adviser is encouraging secondary school
pupils to visit a new career-finding website before school
starts this year in a bid to reduce the number of pupils
scratching heads over career options when they leave school.
Kaikorai Valley College careers adviser Judith Shields said
it was essential for all secondary school pupils to explore
careers now, because the choices made at school influenced
their career options.
She said when secondary school pupils picked subjects without
a job or career in mind, or without thinking about their own
skills and dreams for the future, they made their own
transition to a job much harder and longer.
She has recommended pupils look at Career Checker (www.careers.govt.nz/tools/career-checker)
- an interactive online quiz that anyone can do - as a first
step towards working out a personal career path.
The quiz has 12 picture-based questions that rate answers on
a scale of 1 to 5, starting with a dull or frustrated image
to a photo illustrating vibrancy and confidence.
Based on these answers, the quiz taker is guided to relevant
resources to help them take proactive steps to making
informed career decisions.
It could also stimulate career conversations for families and
career professionals, she said.
It is believed the internet tool may help address the level
of underachievement in NCEA at New Zealand schools.
Kaikorai Valley College pupils were introduced to Career
Checker late last year and found it easy to use and a good
step towards discovering their personal career pathway.
Careers New Zealand chief operating officer Jay Lamburn said
choosing the right subjects at school could make the
difference between moving quickly through into a job and a
career with a future, or having to spend time and money
casting around to find where their future lies.
''The right subjects are the ones that are both a good fit
for the individual's skills and aspirations, and ones that
lead to occupations where there are jobs available.
''They could be doing subjects that nurture their interests
and thus make the transition to further training and a job
''When a student has had some careers support and puts in
some personal thought into their subject choices with a view
to the future, it is then a matter of refining as they go
along rather than scratching heads and starting from the
beginning at say 17 or 18, when they leave school.''
She said young people could also go on to tertiary training
chosen rather randomly or on a whim, and again this was time
and money wasted if no proper thought had gone into matching
their skills to jobs.