Taylor & Francis
School of Business and Law
Edith Cowan University
As primary career influencers, parents must support adolescent children in navigating evolving and increasingly challenging employment landscapes. Using a capitals lens, this study explores secondary school parents’ capacity to provide informed career advice and their perceptions on factors known to enhance youth employability and employment prospects. Survey data were collected from 301 Australian secondary school parents to examine their understanding of sustainable youth career opportunities, what can aid youth’s employment prospects, and their utilisation of available resources to support career advice for adolescents. While parents’ perceptions of opportunities by sector and industry aligned with wider thinking, many lacked awareness of contemporary trends impacting on youth career progression, did not engage with external career resources, and were not confident in their understanding of youth labour markets. Some recognised the importance of cultural and psychological capital for securing and sustaining employment, yet undervalued aspects of human capital (work experience) and social capital (networks). Variations in parent perspectives by education level and their own career experiences highlights the need for targeted strategies to better support parents in providing informed career advice for future adolescents’ success.
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