|Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the 21st Century: New Roles and Challenges for Guidance and Counselling (IAC - IAEVG - UNESCO, 2002, 149 p.)|
The rapid technological developments we are witnessing in the early years of the twenty-first century, together with the forces of globalization, are likely to lead to radical changes in the world of work. In fact, the changing nature of work is already perceptible in both urban centres and in rural communities. It follows therefore that human development, of which education is such a vital part, must keep in step with these societal changes if people are to lead productive, peaceful and satisfying lives.
During the past several decades a mismatch has been evident in many countries between the skills imparted by the national education system and those demanded by the workplace. This mismatch has been exacerbated in recent years with the integration of new technologies in almost every sphere of professional activity. Narrowing the gap between education and the world of work is thus a priority for most governments because of the potential economic and social benefits to be derived from increasing the proportion of the population that is engaged in productive livelihoods.
Vocational guidance and counselling is widely accepted as a powerful and effective method of helping to bridge the gap between education and the world of work, as well as between school and society. It is a means of assisting young people to make appropriate and judicious educational choices that will enable them to develop their potential and to have access to work opportunities that are compatible with their interests and abilities. It can also help to instil confidence and positive attitudes, to derive fulfilment from their chosen areas of learning and work and, most importantly, to inculcate an eagerness for lifelong learning.
While guidance and counselling is an easily accessible service in many developed countries, its benefits are yet to be adequately exploited in the developing world. In some countries it may even be considered a luxury that is set aside indefinitely in the face of more vital services that must be provided within diminishing budgets. Yet, we have observed from focus group discussions that UNESCO has held with technical and vocational education and training (TVET) policymakers and practitioners from developing countries that many of our Member States are convinced of the importance of guidance and counselling. They have expressed their willingness to introduce or better integrate this service in their countries TVET programmes in order to achieve more effective human resources development.
This publication is an attempt to meet the career and life guidance and counselling needs of some of these developing countries. It was compiled and edited for UNESCO by Dr Bryan Hiebert of the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) and Dr William Borgen of the International Association for Counselling (IAC), both valued non-governmental partners. We hope that this material will be used as a reference resource by all stakeholders of technical and vocational education and training, be they policy-makers, practitioners, employers, providers of guidance and counselling services, teachers, trainers, parents, or learners so that they may be informed and inspired by the variety of ways by which guidance and counselling can contribute to more effective TVET. We also hope that all stakeholders of TVET will be convinced that investment in guidance and counselling can help to optimise the use of their resources and thereby enhance the human resource development capacity of their education systems.
Assistant Director General