Career guidance services are under-resourced, offer disjointed support to individuals later in life and are out of tune with the needs of employers, according to Ibec.
A new report by the business organisation called for a “major overhaul” of the national career guidance system “so that individuals of all ages can make better, more informed choice about their futures”.
The report called for a new national strategy for lifelong career guidance to provide career guidance support for individuals throughout their entire lives.
It said a specialist careers advisory service should be supported through the National Training Fund to supplement current school guidance provision.
A single national web portal for career guidance was also needed, Ibec said.
The report also called for labour market intelligence to be better tailored for use by career guidance professionals, and more engagement by business with the careers services in schools and colleges.
Ibec senior executive for labour market and skills policy, Kara McGann said: “Ireland’s current career guidance provision is fragmented and inconsistent.
“It is not meeting the needs of people faced with a changing world of work, despite the commitment of careers guidance professionals.
“The world has changed fundamentally over the last two decades.
"We have seen the departure of the job for life, the emergence of roles that never existed before and the loss of many unskilled and semi-skilled jobs to globalisation, digitalisation and technological changes.
“We need a new world-class model of career guidance which embraces lifelong learning and changing career paths throughout individuals lives."
Ms McGann said better support for post-primary school career guidance is particularly urgent.
“We need to supplement current provision with a specialist careers advisory service that works with school’s guidance counsellors.
“This would enable students to identify their interests, skills and competences, manage transitions and make the appropriate decisions to meet their needs time and again.”