OECD Conference | Disrupted futures: International lessons on how schools can best equip students for their working lives

27 October 2021 - 29 October 2021


As countries turn their attention from handling a healthcare emergency to dealing with its economic consequences, concern rises over youth unemployment. Even before the pandemic, young people in many countries were facing difficulties in their transitions into work. During the pandemic, young people commonly found themselves disproportionately affected by lay-offs and recruitment freezes. Now, with the world coming out of the crisis, young people find themselves particularly vulnerable in the search for work. This OECD conference as part of the Career Rediness project sponsered by the JP Morgan Foundation, focuses on what schools can do to prepare young people for their transitions through education into ultimate employment.


The conference will take place virtually over three days and is divided into five distinct sessions. Day 1 will begin with an opening session and keynote speeches. Day 2 and Day 3 are focused on research and practice papers on career readiness that will be presented in parallel sessions.


To attend the conference, please use the registration links below to sign up for each session that interests you:

Day 1 (27 October) |16:00-18:00 CEST| Keynote speakers and welcome  | Register here

OECD Director of Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher and colleagues will presentfindings from an unprecedented review of national longitudinal datasets from ten countries (Australia, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Denmark, Germany, Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay). Analysis explores how teenage attitudes and experiences relate to employment outcomes ten years later. 

Day 2 (28 October) |09:00-12:00 CEST| Morning session presentations    | Register here

Morning Parallel session 1A – Early career awareness and education

  • Preparing high school students for their Future in Work - whatever the shocks may be.
    - Mr Pete JONES, Manurewa High School; Ambure Giborees, Leanne Gibson, Emma O'Riordan, Manurewa High Business Academy
  • Best practice career education for middle-school students from low socioeconomic backgrounds: Two case studies
    - Dr Olivia GROVES, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Curtin University; Kylie Austin, University of Wollongong; Nicola Cull, Australian Catholic University; Laurie Poretti and A/Prof Philip Roberts, University of Canberra
  • Arriving where we started and knowing for the first time*: evaluating an inquiry-based approach to career exploration in 10-13 year olds.
    - Ms Liv PENNIE, BECOME Education; Professor Jim Bright, Australian Catholic University
  • Supporting, strengthening and enhancing Victorian students' career planning and career and work readiness
    - Ms Leela DARVALL, Department of Education and Training, Australia; Ms Rowena Archer, Braybrook Secondary College
  • FURNCRAFT - Supporting Youth Transitions into Furnishing Careers
    - Ms Janine BLAKE, Food Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council

Parallel session 1B – Disadvantaged students

  • The impact of socioeconomic status on students’ access to information on career thinking and exploration
    - Prof Dawn BENNETT, Bond University; Dr Jane Coffey, Curtin University; Paul Koshy, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education; Ian Li, University
    of Western Australia; Alfred M Dockery, Curtin University, Australia
  • Identifying school-level factors that drive long-term outcomes for students from regional, rural and remote areas in Australia – evidence from two largescale national cohort studies
    - Prof Wojtek TOMASZEWSKI, Institute for Social Science Research/The University of Queensland (UQ); A/Prof Francisco Perales, Dr Ning Xiang, Dr Melissa Johnstone, The University of Queensland (UQ)
  • Improving access to career support programs for Australian students experiencing disadvantage: Who gets career advice at school, and does it relate to education and employment outcomes?
    - Ms Anne HAMPSHIRE, The Smith Family; Dr Kirsten Hancock, The Smith Family
  • Australian young peoples’ careers and skills: inequalities in both envisaged future and its attainment
    - Dr Elizabeth KNIGHT, Victoria University; Dr Shuyan Huo and Dr Melissa Tham, Centre for International Research on Education Systems, Victoria University,

Day 2 (28 October) |15:00-18:00 CEST| Afternoon session presentations | Register here

Afternoon Afternoon Parallel session 2A – Engaging with employers 

  • Practical work-experience period as a student entitlement in Finland
    - Dr Raimo VUORINEN, Dr Jaana Kettunen, Finnish Institute for Educational Research/University of Jyväskylä
  • Development of virtual practical work-experience period in practice - case Finland
    - Mr Lauri VAARA, Ms Riikka LEHTINEN, Economy and Youth TAT
  • Building resilience and skills through virtual work placements during the pandemic
    - Mr Funbi AKANDE, Rachael Saunders, Speakers for Schools
  • Inspiring encounters with professionals
    - Mr Juan Jose JUAREZ, Sara Sanchez, Bertelsmann Foundation

Parallel session 2B – Measuring career readiness

  • Youth Career Development Competency (YCDC) Scale: Factor Structure and Scale Validation among Hong Kong Youth
    - Dr Steven Sek-yum NGAI, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Dr. Chau-kiu Cheung, City University of Hong Kong; Dr. Lin Wong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Development of a Student Career Readiness Index to assess the impact of good career guidance in England
    - Dr Jill HANSON, International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby; Professor Tristram Hooley, University of Derby; Vanessa Dodd, Nottingham Trent University
  • The shape and consequences of teenage career concentration: Analysing an English cohort born in 1989/90
    - Mr Chris PERCY, University of Derby; Professor Ingrid Schoon, University College London (UCL)
  • Perceptions of career conversations for the development of student career competencies
    - Ms Cristina SANTOS, University of Cambridge

Day 3 (29 October) |09:00-12:00 CEST| Morning session presentations | Register here

Morning Parallel session 3A – Cultural and social context

  • Applying the Cultural Preparedness Process Model for Intervention Development Amongst High School Students: A Report from India and Bangladesh
    - Mr Abhishek GHOSH, Joseph Chakma, Poonam Jain, Rayan Miranda, Gideon Arulmani, The Promise Foundation Community College affiliated to Martin Luther Christian University
  • Fostering Innovative Career Thinking with Parents & Students in Pakistan
    - Mr Raza ABBAS, Pathway Global
  • Models of Workplace Engagement K-12 NSW an alternative practice to work experience
    - Ms Glenda O'BRIEN, New South Wales Department of Education; Megan O’Connell
  • Gender as a predictor of planning a career with work-from-home options
    - Dr Joanna SIKORA, Australian National University

Parallel session 3B – Getting ready for work

  • The Effects of Students’ Career Readiness and Self-conception on Outcomes in the Labor Market
    - Dr HwaChoon PARK, Dr Hangu Ryu, Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training
  • How schools can better prepare young people for working life: Evidence from China
    - Dr Wangyang LI, Beijing Normal University
  • Youth Career Readiness - A multi-stakeholder approach
    - Ms Roopali MEHRA, Transform Foundation; Mr. Rohit Choudhri
  • How Gen Z career readiness is shaped by their backgrounds & what can we do? A UK perspective
    - Ms Dasha KARZUNINA, Group GTI

Day 3 (29 October) |15:00-18:00 CEST| Afternoon session presentations and closing remarks | Register here

Afternoon Parallel session 4A – Looking to the future

  • Building and Sustaining Successful Alumni Relations in VET Schools: How To Guide
    - Mr Iván DIEGO RODRÍGUEZ, Valnalon, Tim van der Ploeg, Alfa College; Paolo Nardi, Cometa
  • Challenges of Teenagers in their Career Decision in Kosovo
    - Mr Sovran BERISHA, Kosovo Career Development Foundation (KCDF); Mrs. Lumnie Mehmetaj
  • Ready for work? Students’ experiences in middle school and labor market outcomes. Comparisons between Uruguayan First and Second PISA Longitudinal Study (2003 & 2009)
    - Mr Santiago CARDOZO, Maximiliana CEDREZ, Tabaré FERNANDEZ and Ángela RÍOS, University of Uruguay
  • Prediction of employment for youth with Autism
    - Mr Hassan ENAYATI, Cornell University

Parallel session 4B – Career policies and career education

  • New Brunswick's Centres of Excellence for Education: Enhancing Equitable Career Awareness through Virtual and Experiential Learning
    - Mr Mike CUSACK, Ransford Lockhart, Education and Early Childhood Development, New Brunswick
  • Applying universal design as a pathway to inclusive career education
    - Ms Tricia BERRY, Mr Andrew Culberson, New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Using technology in careers practice: a city-wide collaborative approach
    - Dr Deidre HUGHES, DMH Associates & Associate Fellow, University of Warwick IER, England; Dan Heffernan, Senior Careers Hub Lead D2N2 Local Enterprise
    Partnership, East Midlands, England
  • A District Wide Approach to Integrating Career Development Starting in Primary
    - Mr Ed HIDALGO, Cajon Valley Union School District; Dr. Ian Martin, University of San Diego; Dr. David Miyashiro, Cajon Valley Union School District


Call for proposals for research and practice papers was carried out during the month of July 2021. Conference Programme Advisory Committee reviewed all proposals and made a final selection of papers that will be presented during the conference. 

If you have any questions about the conference, please e-mail: career.readiness@oecd.org