John McCarthy - Tibor Bors Borbély-Pecze

 

Aims for, and access to, career development

Introduction

The aims and access to Career Development Programmes (CD), career development services are always interconnected with social norms, values that shape society, demographical trends, the health of the national economy including the labour market, and last but not least, political goals. Guidance is a tool for social mobility but also for workfare development. It is, however, the users and policy makers who make decisions on when, how and why to use guidance services. In this thematic synthesis paper, we review the aims, access, policy development, and ethical practice for career guidance in the 33 countries participating in the 9th International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy, took place in Tromso, Norway June 17-20, 2019. The country papers cover five continents, representing totally different cultures and societies, and level of economic and social development. There is no one single “best model” of career guidance service development. However, there are several previously published and available policy guides (ELGPN, 2015, OECD and EC, 2004) in the field. As Bassot, (2012) noted, career guidance services are bridges, connecting individuals, communities and societies, including the presence in the labour market. The nature and quality of these bridges differ in different social and cultural contexts and also according to the size and shape of the labour markets.

Aims (roles) and access to career development services fit within the framework of a continuously changing balance between work first vs. train first approaches (Brown, 1997). Human resource investment in modern societies can be defined in a lifecycle investment framework (Heckman, 2016) where investment in human capacities at an early age of the lifespan provides a better pay off later while early engagement with the labour market may terminate the full development of the individual’s working capacity.

Citizens’ view

The range of citizens’ needs are manifold and these include significant concerns about how to make a living, what is the best course of preparation in education and training to make that living, how and whether to participate in or complete an education and/or training programme leading to the labour market, how to visualize and plan their futures in the immediate, short and long terms, how to manage being unemployed, how to stay longer in the workforce, how to balance their work and life and stay healthy, how to overcome personal, social and structural barriers to their participation in work and society, how to juggle different life and work roles simultaneously, how to manage increasingly precarious working conditions, whether and how to retrain when one’s skills and/or job becomes obsolete, how to manage underemployment, how to stay employable, whether and how to emigrate for work, how to stay safe and healthy at work etc.

Employers’ view

Employers who, along with government (which is also a major employer), control the labour market, have different needs – education and training programmes and qualifications systems that are tailored to their needs, an employment and legal framework that suits their needs, an economic environment (including taxation policy) that supports their business maintenance and development, workers with the right knowledge, skills, including digital and motivation who are competent and adaptable, and possess qualities such as independence, initiative taking, communication, team work, problem solving, responsibility etc. Citizens and employers have mainly different though complementary interests and needs, and governments try to meet both sets of needs through different policy instruments of which the provision of career guidance to citizens is a central one. Career guidance provision is in many senses the fulcrum, the point of balance and/or mediation between both sets of needs and interests but also supporting both sets of interests in continuous tension. Given such interests, how is career guidance referenced in policy terms, especially in the education and employment sectors? How does this play out in the provision of services and access to such services? What roles, if any, do the key stakeholders, the public and employers, play in the development of policy and services? How do career practitioners manage to balance the often-competing sets of interests?

The aims of career guidance

How career guidance is understood within the policy domain was examined in the OECD (2004) international review of policies for career guidance which noted the belief of policy makers that career guidance contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of labour markets and of educational systems as well as contributing to social equity[1]. The goals of career guidance are not just centred on the individual, families and community groups; they also concern public policy objectives which the OECD categorized into learning, labour market and social equity goals. Such goals change over time in different countries in response to current issues and developments. Country responses on the aims of career guidance (International Symposium 2019) reflect public policy goals mentioned in the OECD (2004) review but additionally reflect those of a wider range of countries (OECD and non-OECD), and over double the number of countries (OECD 2003 - 14 countries; International Symposium 2019 - 33 countries). On this occasion, country responses on the aims of career guidance may be divided into two general categories: aims that view career guidance as a means to an end (policy instrument) in education, employment, and social inclusion policies; and aims that describe initiatives to improving the functioning of the career guidance system itself (functional). The majority of responses viewed career guidance as a policy instrument that contributes significantly to education, training, and, especially, labour market outcomes.  The results are presented in two tables below.

Table 1: Summary of aims for career guidance (policy instrument)

SKILLS:

Addressing skills mismatching (MN, RS, LK, KH, EG, ENG)

Addressing skills shortages (KH, IE, EG, ENG, SCT, JP)

Supporting the upskilling and continuous upskilling of the workforce (EE, HU, LU, NO, SG)

Supporting reskilling (HU, SG)

Supporting the development and adaptability of the skills of the workforce to meet the needs and requirements of the labour market (AT, CA, CH)

Helping to improving the capacity and quality of the workforce, especially the low-skilled (CH, DE)

Supporting the development of the national capacity of skills (SY)

Helping to improve the supply of skilled workers (CH)

LABOUR MARKET:

Addressing labour market and economic needs (HR)

Improving rural productivity (IN)

Supporting increased productivity at work (ENG)

Supporting labour/workforce development (SG, LK)

Improving the relationship between education/training programmes and outcomes and the needs and demands of the labour market (HR, QA, SY)

Aiding a better balance between labour market demand and supply (NL, XK, TN)

Supporting labour market adaptability (EG, SCT) in a volatile labour market

Supporting workforce adaptability for multiple work transitions (NO)

Increasing the competitiveness of the workforce (EE)

Supporting sustainable integration in the labour market (CH)

Supporting re-entry to the labour market of returners, unemployed and long-term unemployed (AT, CA, IN)

Supporting older adults to stay in the workforce longer (AT)

Supporting a competent and adaptable workforce (SG)

Supporting employers’ search for workers (SG)

Supporting an inclusive labour market – older workers, refugees, migrants, low-skilled, disabled (AT, NL)

Improving labour market information (EG)

EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYABILITY

Supporting sustained employment and employability (CH, LU) to work longer (AT, NL, SG)

Support labour market adaptability of citizens (EG, FR, SCT)

Helping adults to make multiple career transitions successfully (NO)

Enhancing lifelong learning (AT, NL, QA, SG) and career adaptability (QA)

Promoting citizen wellbeing in a lifelong learning society (KR)

Supporting the maintenance of employability (CH)

Preventing and reducing long-term unemployment (DE) and unemployment (EG, XK)

Promote the economic integration of all citizens (FR)

Supporting female labour market participation (IN)

Supporting early school leavers (CL)

Supporting long-term unemployed to overcome barriers e.g. poverty, to enter the workforce (CA)

Supporting transitions from informal to formal employment (IN)

Supporting youth transitions from unemployment to employment (GH)

Promote the rights of workers, job seekers, and retirees (USA)

Increase the employment rate, especially of youth (GH, RS, SCT)

Assist in job placement activities (CL) and in matching unemployed with existing jobs (NL)

Supporting employers in their hiring activities (SG)

Informing employers and policymakers about qualifications (TN)

Assisting the unemployed (MN)

Assisting the migration of rural workers to urban centres (MN)

Supporting emigration and immigration for work (SG)

Improving labour market information (EG)

SUPPORTING INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

CL, IN

PREPARATION FOR THE WORLD OF WORK

Changing people’s attitudes to jobs (LK)

Encouraging people to seek work in the private sector than in the public sector (LK)

Supporting engagement with STEM careers (ENG)

Increasing the career awareness of young people (EE)

Informing students of the realities of existing labour market opportunities (DE, EG, JP)

Helping young people to plan and to make realistic and good labour market choices (MN, NO)

Helping students to become competent career planners (FR, KH, JP, SG)

Preparing students for a complex future labour market (NL, SG)

Supporting successful transitions from education to employment (CA, DE, FI, FR, XK, NL)

Supporting better allocations of students to education and training programmes (XK)

Promoting lifelong learning (NL)

Supporting youth and parents (TN)

Teaching career management skills (AT, RS, SCT)

Helping young people to make the right choice first time (DK)

Support emigration and immigration for work (SG)

Support international student mobility (FR)

Prepare people to work in a more culturally diverse workforce and society (JP)

Prepare people to work in a society where AI increasingly eliminates jobs (JP)

Change people’s attitude to life/work balance, especially the value of being present at work for long hours in male dominated corporate culture (JP)

Prepare people to manage precarious working conditions with low pay, temporary jobs, and with increasing income disparity (JP)

SUPPORTING TRANSITIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

CA, CL,

PROMOTING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (VET, TVET)

Supporting greater participation in VET (AT, DK, HU, IE, LK, XK, JP)

IMPROVING EDUCATION PARTICIPATION AND PERFORMANCE

Preventing and reducing school dropout (DE, DK, EE, GH, KH, NL, NO) and early school leaving (HU)

Reducing higher education dropout (DE)

Support the efficiency of the education and training system (EG) – equality of attainment and achievement (SCT)

Promote the rights of all to education (USA)

SOCIAL INCLUSION

Supporting social mobility for young people in areas of disadvantage (ENG, FR)

Supporting active citizenship (FI, SG)

Supporting an inclusive society (SCT, SG)

Supporting social inclusion (FI) of marginalized groups (EG, HU)

Social integration of all members of society, especially the poor, the vulnerable, and the rural (GH, RS, SY)

Supporting social equity of vulnerable groups e.g. disabled (QA)

Supporting the reduction of poverty (GH)

Reduce inequalities (FR)

Fight against discrimination and stereotypes (FR)

Educational and occupational integration as a key to social integration (DE)

Social and economic integration of immigrants and refugees (NO)

 

From Table 1 above, the following observations can be made:

·     The majority of the aims presented for career guidance were in support of labour market and employment policies, addressing the needs of employers and of the workforce. These aims were framed in terms of the skills needs of employers (skills shortages, upskilling and reskilling of the workforce, skills mismatches); labour market workforce development (adaptability, multiple transitions, productivity, staying longer in the workforce, inclusive labour market); employment and employability of the workforce (lifelong learning, maintaining employability, supporting employers and job placement, overcoming barriers to enter or re-enter the workforce, supporting youth employment, supporting migration, emigration and immigration for work). Two countries referenced the role of career guidance in supporting entrepreneurship.

·     The second largest category of responses concerned the role of career guidance in preparing people for the world of work. These mainly concerned educating young people about the realities of the labour market, preparing people to participate in a more complex and diverse working world that include precarious working conditions, the elimination of jobs through AI, more culturally diverse workforce, and a better work/life balance. They were also concerned with helping young people to visualize and plan pathways to the labour market through education and training, changing attitudes to certain jobs (including STEM) and to education and training for these jobs, supporting transitions to higher education and from education to employment, and educating for international student mobility and emigration.

·     Improving educational efficiency (student retention, participation and performance) was viewed as a key aim of career guidance in one third of countries’ responses.

·     The role of career guidance in improving participation rates in VET/TVET was mentioned by several countries.

·     The third largest category of responses concerned the role of career guidance in supporting social inclusion policies. The poor, the rural, the disabled, the immigrants and refugees, and those living in areas of disadvantage were specifically mentioned as vulnerable groups that could benefit from such support.

In the country responses, career guidance, from a citizen perspective, is firmly rooted in labour market integration, navigation, and survival; in the successful undertaking of pathways to the labour market; and in overcoming barriers to labour market participation. For employers, career guidance functions to answer their skills needs and to provide them with a trained and competent workforce for the duration of their business lives.

The functional aims of career guidance reported by countries are represented in Table 2.

Table 2: Summary of aims for career guidance (functional)

Improving quality of career guidance system (FI, NO)

Developing digital access for citizens (NO)

Broadening access for immigrants and refugees (NO)

Improving career learning in schools (NO, RS, XK), in higher education (DK, FI, FR, RS), in VET (FI, NL), and in youth centres (XK)

Improving access to career guidance (FI, FR, IN)

Improving labour market information collection and dissemination (IN), including on line provision (XK)

Developing the professionalization of career practitioners (FI, XK)

Strengthening people’s self-agency/personal agency to manage their work lives (FI, KR)

Help service users to make good decisions and transitions (SI)

 

The functional aims concern issues of improving access to career learning (school, higher education, VET, youth centres, immigrant and refugees, online), quality issues (e.g. the training of career practitioners, the provision of labour market information), and content issues (development of self-agency).

Access

The delivery models of career guidance services have traditionally been based in second level schools in most countries, in the public employment services (PES) in other countries, or in a combination of both, all such approaches supported by some form of policy framework. In the case of developing countries, the first initiatives in the development of services are often undertaken by NGOs with the support of external donors, and in the absence of a policy framework. There are relatively few studies of public access to career guidance, the most notable of which is the special Eurobarometer (2014) focusing on skills and qualifications which surveyed 27,998 citizens across 28 EU countries. In that survey, 45% of respondents reported as not using career guidance because they did not have access to such services while 71% agreed that such services would be useful to help choose the right course of study.

The following table presents an overview of country responses to the question of access to services:

Table 3:  Access to career guidance provision for population segments

POPULATION GROUP

FREE ACCESS

LEGAL ENTITLEMENT

School students

AT, CA, CH, CL, DE, DK, HR, IE, IN, ENG, EE, FI, FR, HU, KH, KR, LK, LU, MN, NL, NO, QA, RS, SCT, SG, SI, TN, USA, XK

DE, FI, FR, ENG, IE, KR, NO, RS

Higher Education students

AT, CA, CH, DE, DK, HR, IE, KR, EG, ENG, FI, FR, GH, HU, KH, LK, LU, MN, NO, RS, SCT, SG, SI, USA, XK

DE, FR, KR, RS

VET/TVET students

AT, DE, DK, EG, FI, FR, GH, HU, IE, KR, LU, MN, NL, NO, RS, SCT, SG, SI, XK

DE, FR, KR, RS

Unemployed (PES)

AT, CA, CL, DE, DK, HR, ENG, EE, FR, HU, IE, IN, KH, KR, NL, NO, QA, SI, SY, LU, MN, RS, SCT, SG, TN, USA, XK

DE, FR, KR, RS

Employed (PES)

AT, DE, DK, EE, FI, FR, HU, KR, LK, LU, RS, SCT, SG, SI

DE, FR, KR, RS

Adult Guidance Service Users

DK, FR, HR, IE, FI, NO, USA

FR

Youth Centre users

EG, FI, FR, LU, JP, USA

FI, FR

NGO service users

GH,

 

Special groups (NEETs, immigrants, refugees, low-skilled, minorities)

AT, CA, CH, CL, DK, FR, HR, JP, KR, LU, ENG, RS, SCT, USA, XK

 

E-Guidance/Online services for all age or target groups

DE, DK, ENG, FR, IN, NO, SCT

 

Employers

ENG, SG

 

 

School, higher education students, VET/TVET students, and the unemployed appear as the most frequently mentioned categories of the population that are beneficiaries of career guidance provision. But the table does not tell the full story, for example, career guidance provision exists in only 5% of schools in India and a similar low percentage exists for Cambodia. In Egypt, career guidance is provided in only 25% of VET/TVET schools.

In some countries, access to provision is a legal entitlement of all citizens (DE, FR, KR) or of a segment of the population (ENG, FI, IE). However, even when a legal entitlement exists, the reality of provision can vary hugely. For example, in schools in Finland, the ratio of guidance counsellor to students is 1:300 which enables meaningful access to provision whereas in England and Ireland no such ratio exists which makes access more difficult and limited. Unrealistic career guidance staff to client ratios and insufficient time for career guidance were also mentioned as access barriers in a study of career guidance in the public employment services (PES) in 28 European countries (Sultana and Watts, 2006). A further issue is the professionalization of actors (Table 2). In France, for example, the principal teachers who are responsible for career guidance in schools receive no training for that role! Even if one had good access and good professionalism, career learning cannot be achieved without good information about labour market opportunities and occupations and the learning pathways to these (mentioned in Tables 1 and 2). One can safely say that Table 3 above describes theoretical access to career guidance. The reality of provision is quite different, as referenced in the Eurobarometer (2014) survey.

There was wide variety in country responses concerning which segments of the population were excluded from access or who had the most difficulties in obtaining access as shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Segments of the population excluded from or having significant difficulties in accessing career guidance

Indigenous

CL

Older adults

CL

HE graduates

CL, HU, SY

Highly specialized professionals

CL

Rural

AT, CA, IN, LK, USA

Incarcerated

USA

Undocumented immigrants

USA

Disadvantaged, poor in some districts

CA, LK, USA

Unregistered unemployed

SY

Private sector employees

DE, EG, SY

Pensioners

HU, SI

Tribal

IN

Ethnic groups

JP

Religious minorities

JP

Women (on career break)

IN, (QA), LK

By language

CA

Self-employed

NL

Persons with temporary employment contracts

NL

Older adults

DE, EG, NL, QA

Migrants and refugees

AT, NL

Low skilled

AT, EG, NL

Disabled

NL

Employers

TN

Parents

TN

Young adults in career transition

EG, QA

Adults in SMEs

DE, EG, QA

VET/TVET students

QA

Long-term unemployed

AT, EG

Early school leavers

EG, LK

School students

EG

 

People living in rural areas and adults of all age groups, especially with educational and other disadvantages, appeared to have greater access difficulties. Table 4 above provides a useful checklist for countries considering how to have more inclusive policies and systems for career guidance.

Conclusions on aims and access

When one looks at the policy aims (Table 1) and access (Tables 3 and 4), there seems to be a significant mismatch between the policy expectations of career guidance and the means to their achievement. Given that one’s workforce life is expected to be at least 40 years and longer, and to consist of multiple transitions including opportunity and time for reskilling, and of periods of unemployment, the need for support services such as career guidance for adult workers and for employers increases exponentially. The development of E-guidance centres for all age guidance provision (Table 3) is a step in this direction. More attention needs to be paid to the quality and quantity of career learning activities to prepare the workforce of the future. Finally, providing career guidance support to employers, especially those who own SMEs and the self-employed, hardly figures at all in Table 3 and is in stark contrast with the expectations in Table 1. This is a real blind spot. If career guidance provision cannot make itself relevant to address employers’ needs and those of the labour market in general, it loses its status as a contributor to workforce maintenance and development.

Public consultation on the policy and practice of guidance

In the past 25 years there has been a shift by public bodies to involving stakeholders in policy and systems development. This shift is based on the belief that the public and other stakeholders who will be impacted by a public policy can help to contextualise the policy, to highlight the multiplicity and complexity of factors that affect the successful implementation of the policy, and to identify the agreements and conflicts of different stakeholder groups (Helbig et al., 2015). Engagement with stakeholders is more likely produce more and better policy options and implementation actions as well as increased ownership (public trust and endorsement) of the policy and implementation actions by the relevant stakeholders. The use of customer satisfaction surveys for services and products, based in marketing research, has a longer history than public policy consultation. These have been evaluation tools by nature with a view to improving services and products and have latterly been used by public services to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Their usage across private and public sectors has been enhanced and increased by the arrival of the internet.

How have public policy consultation and customer feedback been used to develop relevant policies and practices for career guidance? To what extent are the opinions of the public and service users collected and used in the development of policies and practice for career guidance? How are stakeholders involved, if at all? The following table provides some of the answers:

Table 5: Consultation of the public on policies and systems for guidance

CONSULTATION METHOD

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND COORDINATION

DELIVERY ORGANISATION/SERVICE LEVEL

Online

FR, IN, JP, NL, RS, SCT, XK

CA, FI

Public hearings/panels

NL, SG

 

Customer/client survey, (including of employers)

 

AT, CA, CH, DE, DK, FI, FR, HR, IE, ENG, JP, NL, NO, SCT, (DE)

Researched case studies

 

ENG

National Forum for Guidance

EE, IE, NO

 

Student feedback

 

CA, EE, EG, FI, HU, NL, QA, SCT, SY

Youth Voice census

 

ENG

The Recommendation Index

 

EE

Graduate destination data

 

ENG, FI

Complaints Box

 

SY

Stakeholder meetings, including NGOs

AT, FR

GH, MN, QA, SCT, SG, SY, XK

Inspectorate

 

IE, NL

National survey

 

CH, IE

Policy and system reviews

FI, GH, IE

 

Advisory bodies

FR

 

Monitoring committees

FR

 

Regional Economic, Social and Environmental Council

FR

 

Equality Impact Assessment

SCT

 

Academic (PhD) research

 

SCT

Co-designing and concept testing with user groups

 

SCT

School self-evaluation

 

JP, NO

 

 

Table 5 presents a very mixed picture:

·     Less than half of countries used mechanisms for stakeholder involvement in policy development and coordination. These mainly took the form of online input and of stakeholder meetings. In only few of those countries have they been used for improving policies for career guidance.

·     In over 66% of countries, some form of customer feedback was sought on the delivery of career guidance services but only for some different career guidance service settings. The remaining countries have not yet started to collect such data.

·     In all, twenty-one different methods of consultation and data collection were identified. Some countries e.g. Scotland, use a broad mix of data collection and consultation methods.

 

The content of Table 5 deserves some further elaboration. In Korea, the government recommends that career guidance delivery organisations/institutions should consult with potential users but there is no evidence that this has ever taken place. In India, online policy consultation exists but there is no evidence on what citizen input has been collected and how it has been used. In Canada, there is online consultation to develop labour market information products, but the public has not been made aware of this possibility. 

In Germany and Japan, user evaluations of public career services are collected and published annually. In Germany, feedback is sought from employers. Sometimes the evaluations are part of general institutional (e.g. school) evaluations (EG, IE, JP). There are some good examples of practice. In Germany and Scotland, products and services are developed through co-designing with potential user groups, and in Germany, persons with good suggestions are rewarded. In Finland, student feedback has motivated the development of better and more integrated services. However, as several countries (e.g. AT, IE) concluded, there is no consistent strategy, within and across sectors, to collect user opinions in order to improve policies and services for career guidance.

There are many well-known reasons why customer feedback is important: improving product and service design and making them more relevant to customers; improving customer experience; building customer loyalty by making them feel that their opinions are valued; increasing word of mouth advertising and personal recommendations; and making business decisions about the products and services one provides. Good practice in public consultation on policies and services for career guidance requires a clear purpose of engagement, resources for engaging with the public, an appropriate methodology (mix of methods) of engagement, a plan on how and when to incorporate stakeholder input, information for stakeholders on how their input will be used or not, and feedback on its use (Helbig et al., 2015).

While the shift to policy consultation with stakeholders is relatively new and varies in effect across political cultures, it is quite surprising how under-developed customer feedback approaches are for a service such as career guidance which presents itself as client-centred and with a wide range of stakeholders including employers. The lack of attention to this feature of service provision evaluation may have contributed over the years to the underdevelopment of access to the service and to the mixed reputation of the service in many countries where it has been established over a longer time period.

Ethical practice in career guidance work

One of the tensions in the work of career guidance practitioners is how to balance the sometimes-competing needs of the individual, the labour market, and of government employment policy, where it exists. This occurs in its more acute forms in countries with government-funded organisations such as public employment services (PES), when unemployed persons have labour market aspirations for occupations where there is no demand, and especially where career guidance is provided as part of active labour market policies with the emphasis and priority on forcing an unemployed individual to take whatever occupation is in demand or available. In some countries, public employment service staff are given targets of getting unemployed people into work and off unemployment benefit and the focus is on fulfilling these targets rather than assisting people to develop a life/work project. This also applies where public employment services coerce or influence unemployed people to undertake VET/TVET programmes in which they have no interest and/or aptitude, where the priorities are course participation targets, meeting the needs of course providers, and getting people off the unemployment register, rather than any consideration of the individual concerned. In less acute forms, this balancing act occurs where career guidance practitioners employed by an education or training provider undertake a recruitment role, trying to influence potential students/trainees to participate in a training programme in which they have no interest/aptitude, with the sole intention of meeting the recruitment needs and targets of the training provider. Organisations e.g. government-funded education and training institutions and public employment services, have missions, roles and values. Sometimes their intent is not impartial, and this may not be obvious or transparent to the service user. Many career practitioners are employed by such state-funded organisations and sometimes experience moral dilemmas between their professional beliefs and values and those of their employer or the employers’ work programme or the organisation’s funder’s policy.  A similar but different set of dilemmas are faced by career practitioners working in countries where the demand for employment and training opportunities far exceeds the actual supply of such opportunities and where emigration for work is a key release valve for pressure on local labour markets. In a ‘slack ‘or loose labour market, where job seekers vastly outnumber the job opportunities available, as often is the case in developing economies, the unemployed and employees have very little choice in shaping their occupational futures and in making career moves. Many are willing to accept training or job opportunities that might not match their interests, abilities, and educational level simply because there is no other way for them to make a livelihood or to get a foothold in the workforce. This can lead to significant underemployment.

To help career practitioners cope with dilemmas of conflicting interests of clients, organizations, employment policy, and employment and training opportunities, codes of ethics for career practitioners have been developed. Most of these enshrine the principles of autonomy (freedom of thinking and action), promoting beneficence (the welfare of the client), and avoiding maleficence (causing harm). The following table summarises country responses on the existence of codes of ethics:

Table 6: Codes of ethics for career practitioners

Code of Ethics for Career Practitioners

Established by a Professional Association

Provided by a Statutory Body or Organisation

Other Origin

Makes Reference to Dilemmas Caused by Policy Demands and Labour Market Signals

CA, DE, DK, ENG, FR, SCT, EE, FI, HR, HU, IE, JP, KR, NO, SG, USA

CA, DE, DK, ENG, FR, SCT, EE, FI, HU, IE, JP, KR, NO, SG, USA

DE, FR, HR, NO, SCT

CH, HR, NL

DE, DK, ENG, NO, SCT

 

Just over half of countries have codes of ethics for career practitioners or codes that that include career practitioners. Most of these have been developed by professional associations. Few of them make specific reference to career counselling ethical dilemmas, and there is no strict monitoring of implementation (SG). Such codes have been developed mainly in countries where career guidance programmes and services have existed for many years. However, as the USA response points out, affiliation to professional associations is not mandatory. Such codes are most likely not recognized by policymakers and may not have legal standing. Labour market signals are sometimes passed on by state organisations and employer bodies to professional associations to bring to the attention of their members (e.g. IE, SG) and can be included formally or informally in career interventions (e.g. Skills Planning Model, SCT).

Conclusions

Career development programmes and services are mainly deployed by political decisions to support the actual socio-economic needs of different countries through education and employment policies and systems, and through social inclusion policies. These goals are usually set in written strategies by governments but not only. The aims of career guidance services can be rooted in these master strategies (e.g. national economic and social development, education and labour market efficiency, human resource development, social inclusion, sustainable development etc.). What we are observing when reading different country responses are socio-political processes manifested in career guidance service design and delivery. In many countries, policies and services are being developed without public input; resources provided are inadequate; the gaps between expectations from and access to services are huge. On the other hand, public and other stakeholder recognition of the value of such services is high. New ways have to be found and old and new ways used to transform public recognition into relevant and adequate policies, services, and practices.

 

References

·     Bassot, B. (2012) Career learning and development: a social constructivist model for the twenty-first century, International Journal of Educational and Vocational Guidance, 12(1) pp.31-42.

·     Brown, A. (1997) Work First. How to implement an employment focused approach to welfare reform, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation

·     ELGPN (2015) Guidelines for policies and systems development for lifelong guidance. Jyvaskala: ELGPN

·     European Commission (2014) Eurobarometer - European area of skills and qualifications, no. 417, (April-May 2014) June 2014, Brussels

·     Heckman, J. J. (2016) Human Development is Economic Development. Larger Community Foundations Conference, San Diego

·     Helbig, N., Dawes, S., Dzhusupova, Z., Klievink, B. and Mkude, C. (2015) Stakeholder engagement in policy development: Observations and lessons from international experience in Janssen, M., Wimmer, M., and Deljoo,A. (eds). (2015) Policy, Practice, and Digital Science: Integrating Complex Systems, Social Simulation and Public Administration in Policy Research Switzerland: Springer International Publishing

·     OECD (2004) Bridging the gap, Paris: OECD

·     OECD and the European Commission (2004) Career guidance: a handbook for policymakers. Paris: OECD

·     Sultana R. & Watts, A.G. (2006) Career Guidance in Europe’s Public Employment Services: Trends and Challenges. Brussels: Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission.



[1] Key indicators of the efficiency of labour markets include employment rates, employment status and progression, unemployment rates and duration, labour force participation rates, labour force costs as well as labour productivity. Key indicators of educational efficiency include participation, retention, progression, performance, and transitions. Indicators of social equity include education and labour force participation of different population segments, income, access to education and training, at risk of poverty, long-term unemployment.

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