Outcome of the careers system review

Following a review of the New Zealand careers system, the Government is proposing to transfer Careers New Zealand’s functions to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). This will require a legislative change.

The transfer will consolidate all of the information that users need in one place, enable better integration of the online careers planning tools that are currently offered by government, and establish clear lines of accountability for the delivery of careers services.

It will also make use of the TEC’s ability to work with tertiary providers and employers so they provide better careers information to schools, and coordinate with schools on the skill needs of the labour market.

Schools play a key role in providing careers advice and education. As part of the changes, we are exploring how to make it easier for the schooling sector to share careers resources and expertise across schools and Communities of Learning. This is a long-term change and the Ministry will work with the sector on how it can be achieved.

Further information

Review documents

Copies of documents that informed the Government’s proposed changes to the New Zealand Careers System are available below.

Some information in these documents has been withheld under the following sections of the Official Information Act 1982 as noted in the documents:

  • section 9(2)(f)(iv) – to maintain the constitutional conventions for the time being which protect...the confidentially of advice tendered by Ministers of the Crown and officials
  • section 9(2)(g)(i) – to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions 
  • section 9(2)(j) – to enable a Minister of the Crown or any department or organisation holding the information to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations) 
  • section 9(2)(a) – to protect the privacy of a natural person.

Please note that Document 2, ‘Overview of the Performance of the New Zealand Careers System’ states that advice on the funding of schools’ careers education and guidance role will be considered through the wider review of school funding. This is no longer the case. Advice on the funding of careers services in schools will occur independently of the review of school funding.

Please also note that some of these documents contain options for change that were considered as part of the policy process, but are no longer under consideration.


Review of the careers system

In November 2014, the Ministry of Education was asked to lead a review of Careers New Zealand. Ministers agreed to extend the scope of the review beyond Careers New Zealand to look at the system as a whole.

The Ministry’s review of the New Zealand careers system built on previous work looking at careers information, advice and guidance, and its delivery, across the education system as a whole.

Importance of an effective careers system

An effective careers system is vitally important to help New Zealanders, especially young people, make good educational choices, make successful transitions to employment, and develop and achieve career goals.

The careers system is particularly critical for young people at the interfaces between schooling, tertiary education, and employment, since they have less knowledge and experience of career pathways and the world of work.

Making sure young people have clear pathways to employment are key priorities for both the education and tertiary education portfolios, and the boosting skills and employment Better Public Services results.

The way that New Zealanders use technology to access and use information is changing; changes are underway in the education system to ensure young people can access a range of pathways from school to further education and employment; the world of work is also changing. It is timely, therefore, to make changes to the New Zealand careers system so that government can more effectively support individuals and organisations to access high quality and fit-for-purpose careers information, advice and guidance, and education.

The focus of the review

The review considered the outcomes government expects from the careers system, the strengths and weaknesses of the system, the role of government in supporting the system and the roles and responsibilities of government agencies, education providers and the private sector.

It identified the characteristics of an effective careers system as follows:

  • All New Zealanders have access to high quality, accurate and objective careers information, to support them to make well-informed career, education, training and vocational choices.
  • All students get high quality and timely careers education in schools, which makes clear links between teaching and learning in the classroom and the application of skills, knowledge and competencies in the labour-market.
  • Students who need extra assistance to make well-informed and considered education and career choices have access to effective careers advice and guidance services, which provide individualised counselling and support.
  • The careers system facilitates strong connections between education providers and employers.

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