To solve a social problem and achieve meaningful outcomes for the individual, organisation, economy and society at large, the ecosystem must be collaborative and connected with schools, industry, tertiary education providers and government with shared vision, working together in a business like approach, to achieve common goals.
Personal traits and intelligence are innate and fixed. Young people with higher IQ do tend to find learning easier and achieve greater success in school. While intelligence clearly matters, it is by itself no guarantee of success. Research shows that higher IQ doesn't relate to greater achievement or happiness in later life. To be successful in our personal and professional lives we need emotional intelligence (EQ). Factors like motivation, grit or will power, optimism not fearing failure, having a growth mindset plus the ability delay instant gratification, apply self control, have the courage to dream, have passion for life, and a sense of direction and purpose , inspires young people to achieve greater achievement in their own field. Career development is lifelong learning not just the marks required to enter university or college or vocational school of repute. It's never too soon to think about careers because of the competitiveness in the workplace and the evolving nature of work.
Exposing students to their chosen field as early as possible, as well as to giving them work exposure has produced excellent outcomes. Longitudinal studies around the world show that students who had already researched the job outlook, enrolled in courses relevant to their career plans, and participated in co-curricular and extracurricular activities or work outside of school that somehow connected to potential jobs, had better success. It's not a lifelong commitment to a certain career they're making—just a decision to look at specific paths. Students always can—and do—change their minds and shift focus with psychological growth, increased knowledge, skills , real life experiences, changing circumstances, preferences and other external influences .
As the proverb goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach him to fish and show him the fishing spots and he will live for a lifetime”. Teaching young people decision making and networking skills and pointing them to the source of truth will equip them for life.
The job of parents and the job of schools is not only to assist young people transition from school to further study but develop the whole person so young people can drive their own adult lives. Young people need to be equipped for life and its challenges - adapt in a climate of constant change, be resilient and bounce back from set backs, have motivation and discipline to take responsibility and self manage their life and career.