The ETF works with EU neighbouring and Central Asian countries to further develop national career development support systems following a structured and systematic approach. The strong interlinkages between career development support, lifelong learning and the requirement of all countries to ensure quality education outcomes, economic outcomes, and social outcomes highlights the relevance of career development support and makes the case for its prioritisation. Lifelong career guidance and counselling, career education, and career development support for workers in formal and informal contexts are catalysts for policies aiming at economic growth, social equity, and innovation closely aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Career development support systems cover a wide variety of services and activities:
Lifelong career guidance which refers to services intended to support individuals of any age and their families and at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers (career management skills). Career guidance can include skills assessments, advice, information, development of job search skills, mentoring, counselling, networking, job placement and career education and be delivered face-to-face, at a distance or in a blended setting.
Career education which refers to well organised and structured learning activities offered by schools, public employment services, NGOs, social partners, universities, adult learning institutions or community based services aimed at developing individuals’ career management skills, covering self-learning, building of capacities to identify and interpret labour market information as well as learning and career opportunities, make learning and career decisions, plans and act upon them. It is highlighted particularly because it is a key tool to provide access to career guidance to all young people in mandatory education and beyond in education and training.