|Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the 21st Century: New Roles and Challenges for Guidance and Counselling (IAC - IAEVG - UNESCO, 2002, 149 p.)|
It is generally agreed that in contemporary society children and young adults are in need of guidance and counselling on a very wide range of issues. Too often, young people find the period of transition from school to work to be a time of crisis. They may perhaps have looked forward to leaving school but frequently find themselves quite unprepared to face the realities of the transition, ignorant of the choice and nature of the occupations available to them and bewildered by the thought of the ordeal that lies ahead of them. In addition, they sometimes find that they have read subjects that are unrelated to the requirements of the occupation they wish to follow. Careful long-term preparation for this challenging phase of their lives could transform adolescence from a time of crisis into a period of planned transition that is fulfilling and exciting. Such a systematic preparation could greatly assist young adults in their task of adapting to a new environment and help to ensure that they find opportunities for personal fulfilment in their future occupations.
Surveys of educational and vocational guidance systems have led to broad agreement on the social and psychological factors that form the basis of this process. It is generally agreed that, to be of maximum value, vocational guidance should be accompanied by counselling which is made available to all pupils throughout their schooling and forms a carefully planned programme of career orientation. In some countries a programme of long-term preparation for career choice is an integral part of the framework of secondary education. Most career orientation courses present work as an important part of an individual's life. These courses attempt to help pupils make a realistic assessment of their own potential and of future occupational choices both by theoretical study and practical experimentation. The main function of guidance and counselling in career orientation programmes may be considered as forming a bridge between the world of school and the world of work.
In some countries, the terms career guidance and career counselling are still not clearly comprehended. The relationship between advice, guidance and counselling is often fuzzy. Frequently, the system for providing career advice and information is not considered scientific. In many countries there is a need for a major extension and academic upgrading of the vocational guidance advisers skills in parallel with research in this field.
Systematic guidance and counselling services may well lead to a drastic reduction of the wastage that occurs at many levels of the educational and vocational ladder and thus avert a major expense to the taxpayer. They may also reduce the causes of dissatisfaction and frustration to students and their families. Technological advances and economic conditions may bring about relatively rapid changes in the employment market which in turn will have an important bearing on decisions concerning educational and vocational choices. Thus, guidance and counselling of a scientific and professional character will be more necessary than ever before in schools and technical colleges. The international associations active in this field have a vital role to play in helping developing countries to discover the usefulness and full extent of the services that the counselling and guidance movement can offer to society at large. They must also help these countries to examine the nature of the service and the training of service-providers in order to maximize the benefits of guidance and counselling services.
Professor Hoxter founded the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) in 1951 and the International Round Table for the Advancement of Counselling (IRTAC) in 1966. IRTAC changed its name to the International Association for Counselling (IAC) in 1997. Professor Hoxter retired as President of IAC in 1998, and held the position of Honorary Life President till his death in November 2002, a few weeks prior to the publication of this monograph.