The Context

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

What is EPiCC?

Engaging Parents in Career Conversations (EPiCC) is an online resource that careers practitioners can use to engage parents in the career development of young people in schools, Learn Local and VET providers. The term ‘parent’ is broadly used to refer to any ‘caring’ adult or influential community member in a young person’s life. In this context, ‘parent’ is not limited to biological parents, and is intended to refer to any adult wishing to play a positive role in helping a young person build their future.

Why engage parents in the career development of young people?

Evidence indicates that parents are the single greatest influence on their child’s education and career decisions. The Face-to-Face report produced in 2010 by the National Youth Agency in England identified parents and carers as the most common first point of call for career development information, advice and guidance for young people. Other research similarly points to the important role of parents in the career development of their children, especially in the early stages rather than in the later stages of their education (Watson and McMahon, 2003).

Generally, parental engagement in career development occurs around subject and course selections and at crunch times in the later years of education, with a focus on information provision. Given the rapid changes in the world of work through globalisation and technology and the subsequent paradigm shift in career development, this is no longer sufficient. There is also mounting evidence that links improved student motivation, retention, achievement and career outcomes with parental involvement in young people’s learning. Career development now needs to focus not on job acquisition, but on the acquisition of skills, knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and competencies for continuous learning and improvement. The role of parents cannot be underestimated and is vital in supporting the career development of young people.

What is the purpose of the EPiCC framework?

The purpose of the EPiCC Framework is to give schools and other education and training providers the tools, resources, ideas and strategies that will enable them to:

  • support parents to help young people prepare for the challenges ahead in the ‘new’ economies and new jobs that none of us know very well or very much about, i.e. the rapidly changing world of work;
  • enhance parents’ ability to help young people develop skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours that will enable them to be resilient, persistent, adaptable, flexible, enterprising and have the capability to manage their own career throughout their lives;
  • help shift perceptions by assisting parents and young people to understand the career journey young people are on from an early stage and to assist them to be more effective on this journey, i.e. shift the focus to the whole family and help them to be proactive;
  • equip parents to help young people to develop and build their preferred career futures, feel less worried about the future and build a supportive network to assist them on their journey; and 
  • aim to challenge outdated belief systems that can limit a young person’s potential and engagement in learning and career choices.

In summary, EPiCC aims to build the capability and capacity of:

  • career practitioners to deliver improved career development services to young people and to better engage parents in the career development of young people;
  • parents to engage in career conversations that go beyond the typical ‘What do you want to do when you finish school?’ approach; and
  • young people to make more informed decisions about career pathways and options.