New research explores career-related learning in Canadian elementary schools

The first phase of a CERIC-funded research project has now produced three literature reviews that examine what is happening in elementary education across Canada related to introducing and building career-related foundational skills. These newly available documents include: a review of scholarly literature; a curriculum and policy review; and a review of business and industry partnerships. 

The project, Career Development in Children: Identifying Critical Success Conditions and Strategies, is being undertaken by an international team of academic researchers led by Dr. Lorraine Godden of Ironwood Consulting and Carleton University. The research seeks to understand how foundational concepts and skills that are introduced and developed by teachers in Grades 4 to 6 connect to career-related learning in Canadian classrooms. 

The reviews have found that across Canada, provinces and territories have implemented a variety of educational strategies, initiatives, policies and programs to help young people achieve productive and fulfilling lives. Ministries, school boards and schools have a range of proactive frameworks and policies. However, several challenges impact their successful implementation. For example, many elementary schools have limited resources beyond the classroom teacher to support students’ career and life planning, and many teachers are not aware they are developing critical career skills in their students. 

Supporting Career Development in Children: A Literature Review 

This document contains a review of literature which investigates the practices to support the development of career-related foundational skills in children aged 9-11 in Canadian elementary schools. The review explores the scholarly literature related to career development terminology, career development frameworks and theoretical understandings, and empirical work that examines the ways teachers introduce and develop foundational career skills (e.g., healthy habits of mind and being, social and emotional skills, self-confidence, self-efficacy). This literature review recognizes that career vocabulary and terminology are the building blocks on which all career interventions are built. 

The literature review includes: 

  • An extensive exploration of career-related terminology that educators might encounter in the career-related work in schools;  
  • An exploration of how work is linked to career development;  
  • A detailed overview of typical expected outcomes of career development;  
  • An overview of empirical career-related learning and career development theoretical frameworks;  
  • An outline of typical career-related learning outcomes seen in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom;  
  • An examination of what career-related learning looks like in elementary schools; and  
  • A summary of contemporary issues related to career.  

Supporting Career Development in Children: Curriculum and Policy Review 

This curriculum and policy review examines provincial and territorial policy, reporting and curriculum documents for career-related learning, including relevant social studies, health and wellness, and social and emotional learning documents. This pan-Canadian exploration provides insight into what is happening in career education in Grades 4, 5 and 6, showing differences across the country. This review has involved developing a greater understanding of the role that geographic context plays in influencing practice related to delivering career-related learning.  

Findings include: 

  • Some provinces and territories, such as Ontario, British Columbia and Yukon, have embraced a Kindergarten to Grade 12 approach to career education.  
  • In other areas of the country, career education begins to emerge in Grades 5 and 6 (e.g., Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces).  
  • Still other regions do not appear to have any formal career education currently in place at the elementary level (e.g., Nunavut). 

Supporting Career Development in Children: A Review of Business and Industry Partnerships 

This review examines partnerships between elementary schools and business and industry. It reports on industry perspectives regarding the importance of developing foundational skills and investigates formal partnerships between business/industry and schools or school districts. It also establishes where and how the wider business and industry community are providing services, programming, training, resources or partnerships to and with elementary schools across Canada. This exploration provides some important insights into these partnerships and confirmed that some elementary schools do partner with business and industry through various agreements and specialist councils. However, the research revealed partnerships to be more widespread for secondary schools. 

The review answers: 

  • Which provinces and territories have business and industry partnerships?   
  • What partnerships and programs currently exist between business and industry and elementary schools?   
  • Which provinces and territories have Industry Education Councils?   
  • What connections with elementary schools do Industry Education Councils have with elementary schools? 

 These three literature reviews are intended for and can benefit: 

  • Teachers – in elementary and secondary schools who are supporting their students with career-related learning;  
  • Guidance counsellors – who are delivering and managing career-related knowledge, information and services across their schools;   
  • School leaders and district school board administrators – who are determining the scope of career-related learning across their schools;   
  • Curriculum developers – who are looking for worthwhile practices to incorporate into career-related programming and development;  
  • Policymakers – who are directing courses of action across the policy life cycle, and are evaluating the role of different policy actors within career-related policy in schools;  
  • Government – who are making decisions as to what career-related learning should look like in schools; and   
  • Business and industry partners – who are making decisions to form or undertake strategies that support career-related learning in their local and broader community schools.   

Research for this project is ongoing with data being collected from educators, parents and grade 4-6 students in public school settings across Canada. This has involved ensuring the inclusion of diverse perspectives: Indigenous communities, immigrant communities, francophone communities, special needs educators, and urban, rural and remote communities.  

The next phase of this project is focused on the development of a teacher’s toolkit, including strategies and interventions teachers can use to develop critical career-related foundational skills with students. On Monday, January 23 at Cannexus, Canada’s Career Development Conference, Dr. Godden and fellow researchers will be leading a virtual research circle entitled Teaching Careers to Grades 4-6? Pilot Our Toolkit! In this interactive community consultation, participants can review the evidence gathered to support toolkit development, sample different class-based activities and provide feedback to help shape the final toolkit. 

Report cover page: National Business Survey2022

Analysis of CERIC National Business Survey now available by employer size, location and region

Has employee retention since the pandemic been more difficult for large employers or small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? Is employee mental health more of a challenge for rural or urban employers? In which region of the country do employers put the most effort into recruiting from underrepresented groups? The answers can be found in newly released data from CERIC’s Career Development in the Canadian Workplace: National Business Survey.

On CERIC’s behalf, Environics surveyed 500 Canadian executives in more than 11 industries including service, retail, hospitality, construction and manufacturing. The survey explored Canadian organizations’ views on skills gaps in the labour market; hiring as part of equity, diversity and inclusion strategies; and investing in employee career development. The national findings were released earlier this year at the Cannexus conference. Further survey findings are now available by employer size, location and region.

Employer size

A shortage of skilled workers is being experienced more sharply by larger employers with 100% of employers with 50+ employees reporting a shortage. Meanwhile, a shortage is still cited as the biggest challenged faced by employers with <10 staff as well as those with 10-49 employees.

The survey showed that larger employers have a greater number of employees working from home or hybrid at 52% compared to 33% (<10) and 31% (10-49). Larger employers are also better equipped in terms of the career management and mental health support offered to employees working from home.

The struggle to recruit is felt by employers of all sizes. Larger employers are more likely to have experimented with new recruitment policies and practices in the past two years (50% vs. 21% <10, 37% 10-49). In particular, SMEs put less effort into reaching members of underrepresented groups.

The impact of the pandemic on the retention of employees has been more challenging for employers with 50+ employees. Among larger employers, 55% find it more difficult to retain employees compared with two years ago.

When it comes to career development for employees, 57% of the employers with 50+ employees offer career management programs, compared to 17% of the smallest employers with <10 employees and compared to 34% for employers with 10-49 employees.

View by Employer size.


Among the top challenges facing business, employee mental health was cited by 50% of the employers surveyed who were located in major cities and outside major cities, compared to only 23% of rural employers.

Recruitment has been proving more difficult for rural employers (53% say it is very difficult) than the ones in major cities or outside major cities. A key factor cited is low/uncompetitive wages offered by employers in rural areas.

There are some differences in the importance allocated to soft skills by location: Only 7% of rural employers mentioned communication skills while, for the employers located in major cities or outside them, an employee’s communication skills are very important (26% and 24%).

Employers located in rural areas are also less concerned about investing in upskilling employees and then losing them to other organizations than their more urban counterparts.

View by Location.


Agreement among employers surveyed that a skills gap exists between the skills the organization needs and the skills that jobseekers possess is strongest in Ontario and lowest in Quebec: 41% Ontario, 35% Prairies, 34% BC, 28% Atlantic and 20% Quebec.

Conversely, targeted efforts to recruit among underrepresented groups is highest among employers in Quebec and lowest in Ontario: Quebec 27%, BC 20%, Prairies 17%, Atlantic and Ontario 14%.

Among the top challenges facing businesses, finding young employees was a concern for three out of four Quebec employers but fewer than half of employers on the Prairies: Quebec 75%, Ontario 72%, BC  67%, Atlantic 57% and Prairies 44%.

There was very strong agreement with the statement “Employers have a responsibility to provide career management programs for their employees” in Ontario and lowest agreement in Quebec: Ontario 48%, Prairies 40%, BC 25%, Atlantic 23% and Quebec 15%.

Awareness of CDPs was similarly low across all regions of the country. In Atlantic, BC and Quebec, 17% of employers indicated both knowing of and having worked with CDPs, with that number being 11% in the Prairies and 10% in Ontario.

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North America career development organizations launch global Career Month campaign

Regional North American career development organizations CERIC (Canada), the Canadian Career Development Foundation (Canada) and the National Career Development Association (United States) are launching a Global Career Month social media campaign today called Career Development Changes Everything that runs throughout November 2022.  

Career Development Changes Everything is a hashtag campaign that invites everyone in the career development field and the public to post stories that amplify the value of career development.  Participants are asked to share their stories in video or written format on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and using the hashtag #Amplifier2022.

Global Careers Month – North America : NCDA, CERIC, CCDF from Canada Career Month on Vimeo.

Participants looking to be an Amplifier for the Global Career Month celebration in North America can get started by making use of the prompts provided on the Career Development Changes Everything campaign website.

Social media posts that use the hashtag #Amplifier2022 will be entered into a giveaway with gifts from the Canadian Career Development Foundation, CERIC and the National Career Development Association.

Global Careers Month is a  collaboration with the Inter-Agency Working Group on Career Guidance (IAG WGCG), composed of Cedefop, the European Commission, ETF, ILO, OECD, UNESCO and World Bank during which the European and international organizations will promote a series of global and regional events.


Bursaries and scholarships awarded to attend Cannexus23 conference

A total of 41 career development professionals from Canada and across the Asia-Pacific will be attending the virtual edition of the Cannexus23 conference, courtesy of bursaries and scholarships administered by CERIC. The Marilyn Van Norman Bursary has been provided to 13 practitioners from community-based employment agencies, the Young Professionals Bursary granted to 13 early career professionals and the APCDA Cannexus Scholarship awarded to 15 career development practitioners from non-high-income countries.

Funded by The Counselling Foundation of Canada, the Marilyn Van Norman Bursary is given in the name of CERIC’s former Director of Research Initiatives and recognizes her more than 40 years of leadership in career development. Recipients of the Marilyn Van Norman Bursary this year represent the country from coast to coast to coast, including British Columbia, Northwest Territories and New Brunswick. Bursary winners are non-profit community-based career development and employment practitioners who work at military family resource centres, food banks, immigrant centres, mental health groups and associations for community living.

The Young Professionals Bursary is a partnership between CERIC and the Nova Scotia Career Development Association (NSCDA) designed to support emerging employment and career development practitioners. Bursaries are awarded to ensure the diverse voices of the new generation of employment and career practitioners are represented and that young professionals can benefit from the professional development and networking at the conference. Preference is given to applicants from equity-seeking groups. The young professionals – 30 years of age or younger – who are among the winners this year include those from Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Many winners cited having started their roles during the pandemic and being eager to connect with colleagues. They also want to further develop their skills in order to better support their clients and make a lasting impact on their communities.

CERIC is partnering for the first time with the Asia Pacific Career Development Association to offer scholarships to APCDA members to attend the Cannexus23 conference. The scholarships are sponsored by the Marine Institute of Memorial University. Recipients are from Lebanon, the Philippines, Nepal, Vietnam, India and South Africa. They work for universities, departments of education and in high school guidance counselling. Many plan to use the information they gain at Cannexus to train counsellors and teachers in their home countries and to improve career education for students. The participation of APCDA members is expected to also enrich the conference experience for all attendees who can learn from their Asia Pacific counterparts.

Each bursary or scholarship provides a full registration for the virtual portion of the Cannexus conference. The Cannexus conference takes place January 23-25, 2023 both virtually and in Ottawa. Canada’s largest bilingual conference of its kind, Cannexus23 features 150+ sessions exploring innovative approaches in career and workforce development.


Canada’s leading organization advancing career development seeks a new Executive Director

CERIC is looking for a leader who has experience and knowledge of the national career counselling and career development field and offers a demonstrated ability to focus on equity, inclusion and diversity. Ideally, the individual chosen for this important role will have an excellent network of contacts throughout the sector and a sound understanding of the education and research environment within the post-secondary, secondary and/or greater community.

Text: Fall 2022: Recovery, Reflection, Resilience. Bright pink background with geometric shapes + image of Careering magazine cover.2022

‘Recovery, Reflection, Resilience’: Fall 2022 issue of Careering magazine now available

CERIC’s Fall 2022 Careering theme of “Recovery, Reflection, Resilience” aims to hold space for the complex reality we find ourselves in after two-plus years of COVID-19. It recognizes that we’re recreating normal as we go – and it may not be what we had imagined. We asked contributors to consider, how can the career development field navigate what’s happening now and prepare for what’s to come?

Articles include:

Careering magazine is Canada’s Magazine for Career Development Professionals and is the official publication of CERIC. You can also access past issues for free online.  

Details for the Winter 2023 issue of Careering will be released soon. Check back on ceric.ca/careering-magazine or sign up for CERIC’s free CareerWise Weekly newsletter or subscribe to Careering to get the latest updates.


Graduate students win award to attend the Cannexus23 conference

CERIC has announced the recipients of this year’s Graduate Student Award, providing support for four graduate students to the attend the Cannexus23 Canada’s Career Development Conference, January 23-25, 2023. 

The recipients are: 

  • Hannah Celinski, PhD candidate, Education, Simon Fraser University
  • Omotade Owodunni, PhD candidate, Business, Royal Roads University
  • Viviane Poirier, MA candidate, Education, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Mouhamadou Moustapha Sow, MA candidate, Education, Université de Sherbrooke 

The award, presented annually to select full-time graduate students studying career counselling or career development, provides free registration to the virtual edition of Cannexus and $1,000. The Cannexus conference – which in 2023 is happening both virtually and in-person in Ottawa, Canada – promotes the exchange of information and explores innovative approaches in the areas of career counselling and career development. Student posters will be available for viewing during the virtual conference.   

Eligibility for the award is based on participation in CERIC’s Graduate Student Engagement Program (GSEP), which includes the submission of a one-page article on a career development topicRead the award-winning articles and all the thought-provoking submissions on CERIC’s GSEP Corner. 

GSEP encourages engagement of Canada’s full-time graduate students (Master or PhD level) whose academic research is in career development or a related field. The program will re-open to applications in 2023. Please check back again for updates!


Request for Proposals: How the Changing Nature of Work Will Impact the Concept of Careers and the Role and Identity of Career Developers

The pandemic, and indeed the major disruptions that came before, brought to the fore the importance of having an effective labour market entry and re-entry system. Canada lacks both a national framework for this system and the heavy lifting is often done by career and employment practitioners from myriad sub- sectors (from post-secondary to community) which lack a stable and unified identity.

CERIC is issuing this Request for Proposal (RFP) to undertake research about the changing role and identity of career developers as defined or shaped by the external forces of the changing nature of work and the evolving definition of what a career is.  The purpose is to identify factors that define and conversely limit identity making of career developers, the roles they see themselves playing through this identity and through the interplay of macro socio-economic external factors. We are interested in understanding how these factors and changes are going to drive the evolution of role and identity of the career development field as well as the skillsets and competencies they will need to navigate these changes. Additionally, CERIC has a special interest in understanding the value placed on and demand for the work of career professionals in Canada through this RFP.

This RFP invites interested researchers to submit a detailed proposal that will enable CERIC to select the research/consulting team that it determines is best suited to complete the project according to the enclosed criteria.

CERIC’s interest in this project is three-fold:

1. To develop an understanding of the macro factors that are redefining the changing workplace and career paths

  • A summary of existing work on how technology, social change and global issues are changing the workplace and career paths
  • Evolving definitions of the workplace and value of work
  • The impact of these factors on the changes to the concept of careers in the future, how traditional on-ramps into careers are being challenged or displaced by new notions of learning required to launch into new careers

2. To understand the role and identity of career developers

  • An understanding of the barriers and facilitators to forming an identity as career developers
  • An understanding of the current and future experience of career developers in their roles and how anticipated changes in the work environment will influence them
  • Comparison between the past, current and future understandings of the role and identities
  • Assessment of the professional development needs of career developers and factors that limit access to learning and skills development required for the coming world of work

3. To understand what services clients/students need and how career services need to adapt to meet these changing needs

  • A summary of evolving service modes and methods
  • An understanding of emergent competencies required by future-ready career developers
  • An assessment of gaps in skills required by career development professionals to meet the future needs of their clients

Deadlines for this RFP are as follows:

  • Request for Proposals Released: October 19, 2022
  • Intent to Submit: November 23, 2022 (submit name & contact info to riz@ceric.ca)
  • Proposal Deadline: December 21, 2022
  • Award of Contract: March 31, 2023
  • Project Initiation: May 1, 2023

To learn more about the Scope of Work, Target Audience, Deliverables, Budget and Duration, and Eligibility Requirements, please download the RFP. For any inquiries, please contact CERIC Executive Director Riz Ibrahim at riz@ceric.ca.


Toolkit showcases 10 ways employers can partner with career professionals to address talent needs

Today’s tight labour market requires new approaches and flexibility to attract talent with shifting jobseeker and employee expectations. A new toolkit from CERIC highlights 10 ways that career development professionals (CDPs) can partner with employers to meet their recruitment, retention and training needs. The toolkit was created by the CDPs who work with employers every day within their communities.

It is a compilation reflecting input from more than 100 CDPs with advice for helping to mobilize local labour markets. This resource is the result of Virtual Community Roundtables with career development professionals held this past June. Organized by CERIC, the roundtables were hosted in partnership with two provincial career development associations, ASPECT BC and the Ontario Association of Career Management.

During these roundtables, CDPs discussed with their peers the results of CERIC’s Environics National Business Survey of 500 Canadian employers released earlier this year. Discussions focused on five themes: Challenges for Canadian Businesses, Recruitment, Skills Gap, Soft Skills and Professional / Career Development.

The toolkit that emerged is intended to be a brief resource that conveys the most impactful approaches for CDPs to work with employers. Some of the 10 ways to partner range from #4 Find Untapped Talent Through Non-Traditional Hiring to #9 Focus on Employee Retention, Engagement and Wellness. CDPs can use this document to identify new or enhanced ways to support employers or can share it directly with employers.

The goal is to provide ideas and a tool to raise employer awareness of the value of career development and the role and services of career development professionals. The National Business Survey showed that while 53% of employers are aware of CDPs, only 12% have worked with one in the past.

Recognizing that the role and services vary by type of CDP, organization and sector (e.g., post-secondary institution vs. community agency vs. private practice), this document aims to be as inclusive and flexible as possible. Anyone is welcome to use or modify the content as part of their communications materials.

Building on this work, CERIC will host two more Virtual Community Roundtables this fall with the Career Development Association of Alberta (registration now open for the Nov. 2 Alberta roundtable) and with Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec (OCCOQ) (to be held Dec. 1 in Quebec.) The roundtables will continue this important conversation on employer engagement and the contribution of CDPs to workforce and workplace strategies. The employer toolkit will be updated to incorporate additional insights from CDPs in these other provinces.


Explore the 150+ sessions: Program now available for hybrid Cannexus23 conference

The Cannexus23 hybrid program has now been released for both the virtual edition and Ottawa-based in-person version of Canada’s largest Career Development Conference, taking place Jan. 23-25, 2023. The program includes more than 150 sessions that will keep participants current with the latest knowledge, skills and tools as well as help to sustain resilience after more than two years of the “new normal.”

Cannexus brings together professionals across the career and workforce development ecosystem to explore research, policy and practice. The conference will continue to reimagine the impact of career development on education, the economy and social justice as pandemic recovery unfolds. In the past, in-person Cannexus conferences have drawn more than 1,200 delegates to convene, share and learn, and the virtual conference has attracted more than 2,300 participants.

Incredible keynotes will inspire delegates: Indigenous diversity expert Dr. James Makokis, economist and futurist Linda Nazareth and Tareq Hadhad, the Syrian refugee and entrepreneur who founded Peace by Chocolate. Featuring top researchers, practitioners and thought leaders from across Canada and around the world (Candy Ho, Dr. Ken Keis, Gray Poehnell, Rich Feller, Sareena Hopkins, Lisa Taylor, Kris Magnusson, Sarah Delicate, Tannis Goddard, Graham Donald, JP Michel, Dave Redekopp and many more), here is just a sampling of the sessions on offer:

  • Career Development as a Lever for Poverty Reduction
  • Preparing Jobseekers for Virtual Work
  • What Employers Need from Career Development Professionals
  • Climate-aware Careers: Cultivating Hope
  • Build an Online Personal Brand for Counsellors
  • Future-proofing Students Through WIL
  • Adapting Skills for Success for Marginalized Groups
  • Post-Pandemic Interview Strategies
  • Youth Resurgence: Finding What Was Lost During COVID
  • The Future is Now: AI & Career Services
  • Catalyzing Change: Creating Access and Economic Mobility
  • What Color is Your Parachute and Beyond
  • Helping Clients Cope with Bias During Job Search
  • Finding Mental Health Opportunity Within Career Development Intervention
  • Labour Market Trends You Need to Know
  • KAIROS Blanket Exercise

CERIC is also partnering with the Future Skills Centre (FSC) to provide a dedicated half-day stream of programming called Future Skills @Cannexus as part of the in-person conference. At Cannexus23, Future Skills will showcase a varied program that highlights a vision for career guidance in Canada and delves deep into future trends and initiatives.

Included in both virtual and in-person registrations
  • Around the World special programming for global perspectives on career development: US, Europe and beyond
  • Keynotes on: Diversity and Unconsious Bias, The Redefined World of Work, and Resiliency through Adversity
  • Spark! sessions, our take on TedTalks that are intended to spark you to think differently about your work

Hybrid sessions act as bridges between the in-person and virtual conference, creating a shared Cannexus experience. In-person attendees also receive access to the virtual platform at the end of the conference. Both in-person and virtual attendees will have access to these recordings for six months.

Delegates can save by registering by the Early Bird deadline of Friday, Nov. 4. The cost during Early Bird is $330 for the virtual and $500 for the in-person conference. Members of groups of 5 or more save a further 25% off Early Bird rates as do members of 32 supporting organizations.