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Title: Guidance policies in the knowledge society : trends, challenges and responses across Europe
Authors: Sultana, Ronald G.
Keywords: Vocational guidance -- European Union countries
Educational counseling -- European Union countries
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities
Citation: Sultana, R. G. (2004). Guidance policies in the knowledge society : trends, challenges and responses across Europe. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Luxembourg.
Abstract: The key contribution which career guidance can make to achieve four public policy goals – lifelong learning, social inclusion, labour market efficiency and economic development – is increasingly widely acknowledged. Guidance builds confidence and empowers individuals as well as making people aware of learning, work, civic and leisure opportunities. It promotes employability and adaptability by assisting people to make career decisions both on entering the labour market and on moving within it. Guidance also helps improve the effectiveness and efficiency of education and training provision and labour market instruments, by promoting a closer match to individual and labour market needs and by reducing non-completion rates. Such public policy goals are fundamental to attaining the Lisbon Council (2000) aim of making Europe the most competitive economy and knowledge-based society in the world by 2010. The draft interim report on implementing of the Lisbon strategy, Education and training 2010: the success of the Lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms (2004), identifies career guidance as one of four key actions to create open, attractive and accessible learning environments. It calls for strengthening the role, quality and coordination of career guidance services to support learning at all ages and in a range of settings, empowering citizens to manage their learning and work. To achieve this, the report calls for common European references and principles to support national policies for career guidance as a matter of priority. The progress reports of the working groups (2003) established to follow up the Lisbon objectives, especially Group G (access, social inclusion, active citizenship) and Group H (making learning attractive, education, work and society) highlight the increasing importance of access to good quality guidance services in a lifelong learning context to help individuals make sense of the greater diversity of choices and opportunities available in non-formal as well as formal settings. In 2001, the OECD launched a review of policies for career information, guidance and counselling services in which 14 countries took part. At the request of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture, in 2002, Cedefop and the ETF extended the review to cover the remaining Member States and future Member States. In 2002, the World Bank undertook a related review of career guidance policies in seven middleincome countries. With permission from the OECD, the reviews carried out by Cedefop, the ETF and the World Bank were based on the questionnaire devised by the OECD. A total of 37 countries were covered (a mix of European, middle-income and non-European developed countries). Each organisation involved in the review produced its own synthesis report. This Cedefop report is intended to add value to the work already done by providing an overview of the research results thus facilitating transversal and thematic analysis of guidance policy across Europe. Annexed to the main report is a short paper comparing and contrasting the career guidance policy situation in Europe with that of middle-income countries and non-European developed countries. Cedefop owes a debt of thanks to the ETF, the World Bank and, most especially to the OECD, for their cooperation in sharing the results of their work which made the preparation of this report possible. In addition to enabling policy-makers and practitioners to benchmark their activities, this report will serve as a reference document for the Commission’s expert group on lifelong guidance and as a stimulus for debate and reflection. Cedefop has three overarching priorities for the period 2003-06: • improving access to learning, mobility and social inclusion; • enabling and valuing learning; • supporting partnerships in an enlarged EU. Career guidance is a transversal element running across all three priorities. Cedefop has created guidance web pages to promote broad dissemination of the results of the work of the Commission’s expert group on lifelong guidance: ( We have established a virtual community as a forum for discussion and exchange of views among the expert group and others active in career guidance: ( With the kind permission of the OECD and the ETF, we have also incorporated the results of the 29 career guidance policy reviews of European countries into our ‘eKnowVet’ database, part of our knowledge management system. This means that, in addition to being able to consult and print out each of the country reports, data can be extracted by theme (for example policy instruments; recent initiatives; roles of stakeholders; target groups; staffing, etc.) transversally across all 29 countries or by any selected subgroup of countries. Data from the report have also been included in the ‘eKnowVet’ database, accessible via the guidance web pages. Cedefop will hold an Agora conference on ‘Lifecourse guidance and counselling’ on 4 and 5 October 2004 ( Agora events provide an informal forum to encourage dialogue between researchers, policy-makers and social partners involved in vocational education and training. Other forthcoming Cedefop work on guidance, initiated in support of the Commission’s expert group on lifelong learning, includes: • a study on quality criteria and guidelines for guidance services and products from a citizen/consumer perspective; • a feasibility study on indicators and benchmarks in career guidance.
ISBN: 9289602899
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - CenEMER
Scholarly Works - FacEduES

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