Barriers to accessing careers advice

Not all adults or young people access career advice and, of those who do, not all find it useful.

For adults, the main reason for not accessing career advice is that they do not think they need it (60%). Awareness of the services can also act as a barrier, with 20% of people reporting they did not know the services existed. This indicates a need to raise awareness of the availability and usefulness of the career guidance and services on offer.

Cost can also be a barrier. The review of the Direct Career Services highlighted the importance of a zero-cost service, where it was estimated that for 90% of clients this was extremely important in accessing the services.[1] The zero-cost also supported more equitable access to the services, with less than 10% of clients having used career practitioners previously.

Rangatahi Māori[2] and Pacific young people report low expectations from educators and employers. This can limit their education and employment pathways, which means they are less likely to engage with career services.

Additionally, while tailored, in-person career support is likely to deliver the most effective results, access to tailored, online in-person services are an important part of the support-mix to ensure equitable access. Funding and geographical constraints may mean people have better access to online in-person services. Ensuring digital literacy, affordability, and tailored resources are important considerations for effective results.[3]


[1] Careers Development Association Australia (2021) 'Navigating life’s career transitions' page 23

[2] He Awa Ara Rau: A Journey of Many Paths [PDF, 6.2 MB](external link) — Knowledge Auckland

[3] Careers Development Association Australia (2021) 'Navigating life’s career transitions' page 23

Last updated: 07 December 2023