Get ready for Global Careers Month!
Global Careers Month, 8 November to 13 December 2022
Career guidance has had a paradigm shift.
It has metamorphosed from simple job matching upon school leaving to a lifelong approach as individuals are called upon to navigate increasingly complex labour markets. Digital and green transitions, demographic shifts, and disruptions due to health crises and conflicts mean individuals must continuously update their skills and learn new skills to navigate these challenges, remain in work, and develop their careers. Governments and other stakeholders are seeking new and better ways to upgrade career services to support them as it will benefit economies and societies too.
Career guidance and development is a key priority of the EU Skills Agenda in EU Member States, EU neighbouring regions and beyond through the EU’s external relations priorities, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
For the first time the Inter-Agency Career Guidance Working Group, of which the ETF is a member together with the ILO, OECD, the World Bank, UNESCO, the European Commission and Cedefop, is organizing the Global Careers Month, which will run from 8 November to 13 December 2022.
A promotion of events throughout this period in partnership with national, regional and global associations operating around career development for both young people and adults will raise awareness of high-quality, innovative solutions to support learners, counsellors, institutions and countries to implement effective career guidance and development systems. As highlighted in a recent report prepared by six international organisations Investing in Career Guidance, career guidance brings many benefits including more positive attitudes towards school, better access to decent work, higher wages, and benefits for business especially small enterprises.
Check out the ETF's Learning Connects, No. 7 newsletter on the topic and stay tuned to ETF's communication throughout this month to find out more!
What is career guidance?
Career guidance is the services provided to individuals, groups and their families, typically as part of, or following, mandatory education. It can help to open up the world of work, especially to those who might be excluded, such as young people, migrants, women, and other vulnerable groups, as well as to opportunities offered by new sectors arising from the digital and green transition. Career development support is a lifelong process and service so that people can obtain decent jobs, manage their learning and careers in a way that reflects their interests and goals, that also benefits economies and societies.
Indeed, the ETF’s Torino Process, in its analysis of vocational education and training systems in the EU's neighbouring regions, highlights a growing demand for career guidance and development support from participating countries.
What are the challenges?
Many challenges exist, such as increasing access for adult learners and other groups as career guidance has traditionally focused on young people. Career guidance counsellors also need to continuously develop their skills and awareness of changes in the labour market. Career development guidance frameworks also need to be sufficiently funded. Frameworks may also have to be hybrid to support both students and workers, as well as the way in which skills are obtained, either through workplace learning and/or traditional education. For instance, access to career guidance and continuing vocational training for workers in SMEs plays a crucial role in tackling unemployment, providing employment opportunities, and boosting the productivity of SMEs which are the largest employers in many countries especially in the EU’s neighbouring regions.
What is the ETF doing?
The ETF has been undertaking a series of studies in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders at national, regional, European and international levels, supporting EU neighbouring and Central Asian countries as outlined in the joint ETF and International Labour Organisation report a joint Developing national career development support systems undertaken in 2021.
In 2022, the ETF has reviewed the state of career development support systems in 10 of its partner countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine. Following a structured and systematic approach the assessment relies on key reference points, with strong contextual analysis, avoiding universal solutions for existing challenges. National stakeholder engagement is recommended to develop effective reviews and work towards a shared vision, priorities and planning for system development. Targeted beneficiaries, both adults and young people need to be included in this engagement to determine whether it is achieving its desired objectives, as highlighted in the joint study of UNICEF and the ETF.
How does career guidance integrate with other topics?
Lifelong career guidance is an integral part of many ETF activities in partner countries. The European Framework for Quality And Effective Apprenticeships puts ‘career guidance and awareness raising’ as an essential framework condition. The ETF supports partner countries in its development for work-based learning and apprenticeship schemes (including through membership of the European Alliance for Apprenticeship), which are essential for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in the Western Balkans. Lifelong career guidance is key to building Centres of Vocational Excellence and therefore a priority area of the ETF’s Network for Excellence (ENE). Moreover, it features strongly in sectoral skills development and implementation of smart specialisation strategies. In 2022 the ETF launched a regional project ‘Skilling up Western Balkans agri-food sector: digitalising, greening’ which includes an analysis of the role of career education and career guidance offered by public employment services, educational institutions, and social partners – which will inform peer learning activities from 2023 onwards.
The ETF works to strengthen knowledge exchange and the building of professional networks across its partner countries in the EU's neighbouring regions and connects them with EU networks such as Careersnet. Open-source materials and tools from the EU are readily available and shared with partner countries to support individuals making career decisions and the professional development of career guidance counsellors, such as Europass.
Global Careers Month will conclude with an on-line closing ceremony on 13 December. For more information about Global Careers Month, including the list of events and activities planned visit: IAG Career Guidance