The National Careers Institute (the Institute) was established on 1 July 2019 within the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. On 1 February 2020, it transferred to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment through machinery of government changes.

The Institute was announced as part of the 2019-20 Federal Budget measure, ‘Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow’ which lays the foundation for the Government’s commitment to strengthening and modernising the skills and careers sectors.

The Institute was established to ensure Australians have access to high quality career information and support regardless of their age and stage. Based on the recommendations of the Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System, the Institute will provide a single authoritative government source of careers information, with a particular focus on marketing and promoting vocational careers. The ongoing role and functions of the Institute will be informed by research and collaboration with governments, industry, employers and education and training providers.

The Australian Government has defined immediate priorities for the Institute’s work in 2019–20, including:

  • Undertaking research and stakeholder engagement to map the careers sector and identify the needs, priorities and experiences of those who support, administer and deliver career information across Australia, and the people who benefit from it.
  • Appointing a National Careers Ambassador to support the work of the Institute and report to the Australian Government on the progress of the Institute 12 months after its establishment.
  • Designing and delivering a digital platform, based on user research, which will assist people to find accurate and authoritative careers information and advice on learning, training and work pathways. This platform will provide people with simpler navigation to address the inconsistency of information provided across the careers sector.
  • Establishing a grants program in 2020 to support innovative education and training pathways aligned to employer needs. Funding will support projects that enhance careers information and address service gaps by enhancing partnerships between industry, employers, schools and tertiary providers.

The Institute will also deliver the following in-market projects from July 2019:

  • Phase two of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Information Strategy to elevate the status of VET as a career pathway. This includes communications and stakeholder engagement activities underpinned by a universal tagline for the sector, real skills for real careers.
  • The Employer Engagement Program, a component of the VET Information Strategy, which will support businesses to promote their participation in the sector and the value of VET graduates.
  • The Australian Training Awards which are held annually in November, celebrating the achievements and excellence of individuals, registered training organisations and employers.
  • The Australian VET Alumni (AVA) program and its supporting information portal, bringing together a national community of over 450 VET graduates, registered training organisations, VET practitioners and businesses dedicated to encouraging greater participation and best practice in VET. The AVA includes Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors initiative, which was recognised for its work in promoting apprenticeships in Australia by UNESCO UNEVOC as a ‘promising practice’ in international VET in 2017.
  • Future Ready: A student focused National Career Education Strategy focuses on the importance of building skills and general capabilities; strengthening school and employer collaboration; and developing students' career management and navigation skills so they can make informed choices about post school study and manage multiple careers in their lifetime. To bring Future Ready to life, there are a number of projects undertaken in partnership with state and territory education departments, business and industry, and career education groups. These include resources highlighting best practice case studies that show innovative career education in practice and tool kits to support the development of school and industry partnerships.

In addition to Strengthening Skills and The National Career Education Strategy, below are existing Australian Government careers policy initiatives the Institute will draw on in its work: