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You are reading: Provision of equitable careers education in Australia: The case for middle years outreach programmes

Belinda D’Angelo1 and Mollie Dollinger2

Originally published in the Journal for Vocational Education and Training

Published online 30 September 2021

Abstract

Disparity in educational and career outcomes between rural, regional and remote (RRR) students and their metropolitan counterparts persists despite successive federal and state government initiatives. In this paper, we will present a study that highlights one important, yet overlooked, avenue to improve outcomes for RRR students: early-stage careers education. Informed by interviews conducted with RRR principals and deputy principals from Victoria and Queensland (n = 10), we present a new approach to the delivery and content of careers education in RRR contexts. The approach advocates for a purposeful programme from Year 7, which includes the engagement of key influencers such as parents/carers, peers and local industry, as well as tailoring activities to also reflect regional job trends and pathways. The broader implications of our findings to curriculum design are also presented and challenge the prevailing approach of Year 9/10 as the optimal period to immerse careers education.

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1La Trobe University

2Deakin University