The rapid changes in the labour market and society in general, which we have experienced recently, demand that individuals consistently make career decisions about education courses, vocations and job opportunities. In light of this, it is clear that individuals require career management skills in these rather insecure times.
This topic was discussed at a conference in Ljubljana on 15th September 2010
organised by The Slovenian Association of Career Guidance, ELGPN Slovenia, The National Education Institute, The Employment Service of Slovenia and Euroguidance Slovenia.
The conference was a great opportunity for the guidance counsellors from education and employment sectors, as well as policy makers, to evaluate the current condition and foresee the future discussions in this field.
The concept of career management skills
refers to the skills needed by individuals to evaluate the possibilities in their environment, their interests and knowledge and thus become able to choose an adequate career goal and put it into practice.
“Career management skills refer to a whole range of competences which provide structured ways for individuals and groups to gather, analyse, synthesise and organise self, educational and occupational information, as well as the skills to make and implement decisions and transitions” says Peter Plant
, associate professor of the Danish School of Education. The concept of career management skills is presented in the 2008 EU policy resolution on lifelong career guidance.
Presentations at the conference stressed that school students must take an active role
in the lectures, which can be combined with study visits, job shadowing, work experience and work simulation.
The main conclusions from the workshops were that in some countries career management skills are more embedded in the curriculum than is the case in Slovenia. However, there is a wide availability of services
which provide information and career counselling for all groups from primary schools, (upper) secondary schools, universities and to the unemployed and other adults in Slovenia, especially for the unemployed at the Employment Service of Slovenia.
The overall view is that the school guidance counsellors are involved in many activities, the main challenge is including this in the curriculum. A systematic approach
is needed. Career education could be combined with many other subjects, such as "learning to learn" or "social skills" and should be built on the students’ strengths.
My dad is a baker, his taste is the best in muffins and cakes
And I am his aid – a real bunny maid I’ve got what it takes
My career is in baking, it’s not my intent
I’d rather be seen in a big circus tent
My mom has a circus, an old-fashioned one with horses and clowns
I swing the trapeze, I sell candy and sweets, yell announcements in towns
But the ring is no good place for me when instead
I’d much rather that my career was in bread.
An old Danish poem translated by Peter Plant.