It’s free to join the Victorian Chamber Community!

Sign up and receive the latest business news and updates, opportunities to network and shape Advocacy from Victoria’s largest and most influential partner.

It’s free to join the Victorian Chamber Community!

Overcoming careers services challenges in Australia

This year the Victorian Chamber released a careers campaign addressing a lack of adequate career services for students, graduates and workers in Australia.


In our research, the Victorian Chamber found most Victorians do not have sufficient information to make the right choices at the right time in their careers, leading to an ineffective allocation of labour and decreasing productivity. Industry wants to ensure workers are prepared with the information and skills they need.

In response, our Career Services Policy Paper put forward 29 policy recommendations that enable lifelong learning, place-based careers activities, and a system that prepares people to navigate their careers.

The campaign was backed by most employers, with 94 per cent of members agreeing in a Victorian Chamber survey that career services are important.

The Victorian Chamber spoke to a range of stakeholders that supported our position, providing insight on the state of the workforce and careers services in Australia, the challenges employers face, the initiatives they are undertaking to overcome these, and what further support is needed.

Monash University: The education perspective

Monash University, Australia’s largest educational institution, told the Chamber it is “undoubtedly aware” of the significant skills shortages facing the nation and the impact this has on various industries. It results in challenges including slower economic growth, increased competition for talent, and reduced industry competitiveness.

Monash says efforts – such as the Victorian Chamber’s – that address the lack of adequate career services in Victoria are crucial to mitigate potential negative impacts on the labour market.

“Adequate career services support individuals, especially youth and newcomers to the job market, in finding appropriate employment. Career services will enable labour market mobility, allowing people to switch careers or find new opportunities.

“Investment in comprehensive career services that includes career counselling, job matching, skills development programs, and resources for job seekers is essential and this can be achieved through collaboration between governments, educational institutions, and private sector organisations to create a supportive ecosystem for workforce development.”

Monash understands its own role in bridging these shortages. Its initiatives include work-integrated learning and a centralised talent solutions service, Monash Talent.

“Monash incorporates work-integrated learning opportunities into its programs, such as internships, co-op programs, clinical and industry placements. These experiences allow students to gain practical skills and build connections within their chosen industries, making them more attractive candidates to potential employers and often resulting in employment offers.

“Monash Talent offers recruitment services aimed at connecting students, graduates, and alumni with industry opportunities while providing valuable resources and support to both students and employers.”

According to Monash, balancing the need to build the skills of the future while addressing the current needs is a complex challenge beset by constraints and obstacles such as resourcing, time for education, training adaption, access to advanced technologies and tools, resistance to change, outdated curricula, economic pressures and inequality and accessibility.

“To overcome these constraints and effectively balance the needs of today with future skill development, it’s important to adopt a proactive and strategic approach by partnering with Universities.

“This also needs to include collaborating with industry associations, and other organisations to share resources and knowledge, implementing flexible learning models and Governments providing incentives and support for skill development programs and raising awareness about the importance of future skills and the risks of not addressing them.”

SCT Logistics: Tackling demographic challenges

SCT backed the Victorian Chamber’s career campaign because the specialised nature of its work and the demographic challenge it faces require immediate attention.

As a freight company, SCT Logistics plays a critical role in the lives of Australians, delivering 6,000 tonnes of dry and refrigerated food on trains between Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. This task is largely undertaken by an older workforce that is likely to retire in the next decade.

“To be able to continue to deliver to the community, we need to be constantly one step ahead with resourcing our business Australia wide. We need to start identifying the next generation now and providing them with the development needed to make sure there is not loss of support that an essential services industry provides our country.

The next generation needs to know what roles are available, what development is needed and how to start that journey now. This is a critical role the Victorian Chamber plays in supporting this to happen.”

Tackling that challenge alone is difficult for a company like SCT, which faces daily delivery pressures.

“With so many moving parts, SCT Logistics is focused on millions of moving pieces constantly. With so much time invested in doing, it is at times challenging to find the time to do the essential training and personal development activities.”

It’s why SCT was one of the first organisations to take part in an innovative internship program run by the Victorian Chamber with Jobs Victoria and Youth Activating Youth, providing six-week internships for diverse, tertiary-educated youth struggling to find employment.

SCT welcomed four participants into its business for six-week internships on standalone projects or ongoing work, which led to permanent opportunities for two participants.

“They are still performing at a very high level. We were thrilled to think that we may have helped in some small way to helping these people find ongoing employment.

“Overall, we as an organisation are far richer for having had this experience as are the members of our team that helped to welcome them into the business and then manage their time with us.”

Glenelg Shire Council: Sector-specific shortage impacts

Glenelg Shire Council is affected by early childhood sector skills shortages. It says employers face difficulties in recruiting qualified professionals, leading to understaffing which then impacts the broader community. This leads to escalating waitlists for children and families, qualifications requirements, quality of service, and service delivery pressures.

The Council submitted a case study to a Productivity Commission inquiry into early childhood education and care in May 2023. The effects from the workforce challenges facing the childrens’ services sector are felt nationwide, it says.

“Time constraints pose a challenge, with many educators experiencing the difficulty of balancing study time alongside responsibilities of being employed in a demanding, high-pressure work environment. Many early childhood educators and teachers are experiencing the sense of ‘burn out’ and for some the additional pressure of studying is a deterrent from taking on upskilling opportunities.”

Glenelg Shire Council has been actively advocating for the children’s services sector and has been pursuing numerous recruitment and training initiatives. These include ongoing and open recruitment opportunities, engagement with the Department of Education, Early Childhood Trainees, supported work placements, promotion at Careers, Jobs, and Skills Expos, participation in the Glenelg Southern Grampians Local Learning Employment Network (LLEN), promotion of the Certificate III and Diploma Course (both free) and offered in Portland and upskilling via Council’s self-study policy.

The Council also supports students pursuing early childhood qualifications by offering placement opportunities in its six services, with more than 20 students accommodated so far this year.

“The innovative concept and implementation of an online student induction process has significantly streamlined administration processes and enhanced the student experience. Council’s innovative online student induction process has gained recognition and been shared more broadly with the Department of Education and MAV.”

To ensure the continued growth and quality of the children’s services sector workforce, Glenelg Shire Council says attention must be given to lifting the profile of the sector while providing effective career services that offer guidance, training, and job placement support to budding educators and teachers.

RACV: Upskilling its workforce

The Victorian Chamber’s Careers Campaign aligns with much of RACV’s own Workforce, Skills and Training policy positions, it says.

In today’s dynamic job market, organisations like RACV face a constant challenge of skill shortages. In response, it is helping its contact centre staff overcome skill gaps and advance their careers and transition into roles in design and digital experience, technology, data and analytics, program management, and marketing.

The initiative is called the Springboard Program. Lasting for 12 months, participants receive comprehensive support, including formal and informal learning opportunities, a designated “buddy” for guidance and assistance, a springboard coach for career development and mentoring, and expert course facilitators to ensure the acquisition of necessary skills.

“This approach ensures participants gain practical experience while also enhancing their skills through training in micro-credentials and coaching,” RACV says.

For those who successfully complete the program, it opens doors to full-time roles within the organisation.

In 2022, there were 12 positions available in the Springboard Program, which transitioned into 10 permanent roles, all based in RACV’s CBD offices with hybrid working options available.

“As skill shortages continue to challenge organisations, programs like Springboard demonstrate a proactive approach to bridging these gaps while nurturing career growth among dedicated employees. The Springboard Program not only benefits RACV to fill entry level roles but also the individuals who seek to thrive in their careers by acquiring new skills and experiences,” RACV says.

Revisit the full paper and recommendations via the Career Services Policy Paper. As part of the campaign, the Victorian Chamber also profiled employers Boeing Aerostructures and Jayco, and Victorian Trainee of the Year Rebecca Hope.

Memberships for wherever you are in business

Hard times. Good times. Crunch time. Growth time. We’re here to support you at all those pivotal times in your business life. We’ve now tailored our range of memberships to fit wherever you are in business – today and well into the future.

Memberships for wherever you are in business

Restricted Page

You are being redirected to our login page!