The Australian Blueprint for Career Development has already had a long and rich history.
The need for a unifying career development framework was identified by the Prime Minister’s Youth Action Plan Taskforce in its report Footprints to the Future (2001). The Taskforce found that career and transition services were inconsistent in quality and availability around Australia. This need was again raised by a large number of respondents to the 2002 OECD review on career development services and information, which urged for improved co-ordination and integration of services across jurisdictions and between States, Territories and the Commonwealth.
It was unsurprising that the OECD (2002), in its country note to Australia, recommended that there was an urgent need for a quality framework and that Australia should pursue its intention, which had been endorsed by Ministers in July 2001, to develop a unifying career development framework, based on the Canadian Blueprint for Life/Work Designs.
The then Career and Transition Services Working Group of the Ministerial Council for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) acted by recommending to Ministers (through the Transition from Schools Taskforce) that a national framework for career development be developed and that the Canadian Blueprint for Life/Work Designs should be used as its starting point. Following MCEETYA approval in 2003, Miles Morgan Australia was commissioned to develop the new quality framework.
Involving the Australian Career Development Community
Miles Morgan Australia invited Dr Mary McMahon, Dr Wendy Patton and Mr Peter Tatham to contribute to the development of the Australian Blueprint for Career Development. They applied their substantial academic and practical expertise to the creation of an issues paper, Managing Life, Learning and Work in the 21st Century. The purpose of the paper was to establish the context in which the Australian Blueprint was written; provide a rationale for using a lifespan career development framework to guide career policy and practice; and raise awareness about the need for and usefulness of a career development framework for Australia.
The paper has guided the development of the Blueprint and helped to infuse the framework with current career development thought. Importantly, their work has also furthered the growing partnership between policy makers, academics and practitioners in the career development field.
Career associations, career practitioners, academics, state and territory agency personnel and others with an interest in developing a stronger career development culture in Australia have also willingly offered their ideas and rallied their networks to support the development of the Australian Blueprint for Career Development. People in all states and territories willingly provided written feedback, and attended forums where their expertise shaped the development of the Australian prototype, and later the final version of the Blueprint.
The Trial of the Blueprint
MCEETYA commissioned the trial of the Australian Blueprint for Career Development to test the draft prototype in a number of Australian jurisdictions, with a wide variety of service providers and client groups. In 2005, at 26 trial sites throughout Australia, public and private sector organisations, including schools, universities, training organisations and companies, many of them with multiple partners, worked with Miles Morgan staff to test the Blueprint’s utility for creating effective career and transition programs and products for both young people and adults. Their dedicated exploration of the usefulness of the Blueprint for the research purposes of the trial was greatly appreciated.
Refinement of the Blueprint
In 2008, MCEETYA commissioned the refinement and roll out of the Blueprint. Miles Morgan Australia staff refined the Blueprint and its appendices,informed by the experiences and advice of trial participants and those who had used the prototype over the preceding five years.
This is a joint initiative of the Federal, State and Territory Governments, and throughout the development phase all have played an important role in providing oversight and guidance.
2012 Review of the Blueprint
The 2012 review of the Australian Blueprint for Career Development (the Blueprint) was undertaken by Atelier Learning Solutions to examine the effectiveness of the Blueprint, its relevance to users and whether it is delivering the intended outcomes. The review included extensive consultation with states and territories, including policy and curriculum areas in the government, Catholic and Independent schooling sectors, as well as key stakeholders in the career development industry. Data informing the review report, Report of the Review of the Australian Blueprint for Career Development [PDF 1.49MB], was gathered through an online survey and targeted interviews with identified stakeholders.