Career education equity and support

Principles and resources to support career practitioners to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse or disadvantaged students.

Students in certain cohorts may need additional support or a modified approach to career education.

This could mean making guidance more relatable in their cultural context, accessing programs to help overcome economic disadvantage or social barriers, or adapting your communication to overcome language barriers.

Principles for meeting student needs

Use these principles to consider how you might adapt your delivery of career education:

  1. Seek information: Find out more about student’s background and needs. If the student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), check with members of their Student Support Group.
  2. Engage with parents and carers: By communicating with and involving parents and carers, you can deepen the students’ engagement in career education and make sure your program meets the student’s needs. For example, you may improve your understanding of cultural expectations or preferences that will influence the student’s career preferences. You may consider accessing interpreting and translation services.
  3. Consider and adjust language: Some students and parents or carers, such as those who are culturally or linguistically diverse or with disability, may need extra help to understand the specific language used to talk about employment. Where it’s not possible to simplify language, you may need to spend additional time explaining relevant words or concepts.
  4. Access support: The department and other organisations provide additional support to assist with delivery of career education to culturally and linguistically diverse or disadvantaged students.

Programs and support

Work-based learning for priority cohorts

For some student groups, work-based learning opportunities can be harder to find or more challenging to participate in successfully.

In 2024, the department will pilot delivery of a targeted program to help students prepare for, find and participate in work-based learning opportunities for:

  • students with disability who experience significant disadvantage
  • students engaged with youth justice
  • Koorie students
  • students in statutory out-of-home care.

Schools will be contacted and invited to participate in the Work-Based Learning for Priority Cohorts (WLPC) program pilot.

For more information, contact the Career Education team:

Students with disability

A modified version of My Career Insights is available to students with disability or additional learning needs in mainstream or specialist schools. For more information, contact the My Career Insights program support team.

A Job Well Done is a suite of resources to help students with disability prepare for work experience and understand their responsibilities, and build educator capacity to support these students.

The department has developed additional resources to support strengthened career education for students with disability, available on Arc Learning.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Inclusive Careers Benchmarking Tool is supported by the Australian Centre for Career Education and may help you evaluate your approach to career education for students with disability.

Koorie students

To ensure your career education program is appropriate to the needs of Koorie Students, make sure you are familiar with the Koorie Education policy.

The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association (VAEAI) recommends that all non-indigenous people working with Indigenous youth undertake cultural awareness training.

Marrung education scholarships support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to complete years 11 and 12. They recognise students who demonstrate a high potential to succeed in their chosen pathway.

The Aurora Education Foundation’s Indigenous Pathways Portal is a database of scholarships, and the foundation also delivers an internship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Employment opportunities specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are listed on these websites:

Young refugees

Young refugees may have additional concerns relating to their circumstances in leaving their country. They may have experienced:

  • violence, persecution or oppression
  • death of family and friends
  • interrupted or no schooling
  • leaving their country at short notice under adverse conditions
  • inability to return home
  • uncertainty about maintaining links with home and family
  • other negative life experiences.

In delivering career counselling and other career education activities, be sensitive to these experiences and the impact they will have.

Foundation House, with support from the department, provides guidance for young refugee career and pathway support. To learn more, see:

Additional scholarships

Scholarships are available that may help students complete secondary school or undertake further education and training. For more information, see: