|Vocational Guidance for Equal Access and Opportunity for Girls and Women in Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC, 1996, 120 p.)|
Recommendations for UNESCO on Guidelines for Career Guidance Programmes
UNESCO is dedicated to the equality of men and women in educational, social, cultural and employment domains. Educational and vocational guidance touches on all these areas. Guidance is a unique programme that is designed to facilitate the accomplishment of these goals through institutional services, but also to students and adults, themselves, to empower them to take the responsibility for much of their own personal, social, career and employment development. The Appendix suggests guidelines for career guidance programmes. Several of the ideas were adapted from the National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (1989) report on the National Career Development Guidelines and the International Association of Educational and Vocational Guidance (1994) statement on guidance.
Career Guidance Defined
At one time, educational and vocational guidance was perceived as the process of giving students information about themselves and the educational and labour markets so that they would make the most appropriate decisions concerning educational and occupational choices. It is now accepted that information is not sufficient and that guidance must address the personal, social, educational and vocational development of the person. Guidance is a developmental process which requires a curriculum approach and not simply individual interviews at decision times.
The goals of guidance are to assist students to: understand and appreciate themselves; relate effectively to others; explore career alternatives; develop appropriate educational and vocational training plans; implement and complete their plans; and integrate successfully in society and the labour market.
Recommended National Strategies to Improve Career Guidance
Action by Government
1. Governments have legislation that defines the goals of guidance, describes the range of services to be provided, and stipulates the level of resources. The legislation should apply to the services to be provided to students in educational institutions and adults in the labour market.
2. Ministries of education have policies on educational and vocational guidance within technical and vocational education. These policies should include the following requirements:
· All students in each grade shall receive curriculum-based career education covering each area of the goals of guidance; students who require individual counselling for satisfactory achievement shall receive it; and the guidance staff shall have the necessary competencies to deliver the guidance and counselling effectively;
· Guidance courses will address developmental issues appropriate to the age level of the students and cover such factors as planfulness, exploration, decision-making, information, and realism;
· Each course in the entire curriculum will include relevant career information and address the goals of guidance appropriate to the subject;
· Educational and vocational guidance and counselling services must be available through all educational institutions;
· Educational and vocational guidance and counselling is a specialized function which must be performed by staff members who possess the required competencies;
· Appropriate ministry will develop a system for guidance program review to provide counsellors and principals with a method for reviewing and planning the guidance programme from time to time;
· Policy should also include a statement that specifies the responsibilities of school principals, teachers and counsellors with respect to the guidance programme development and delivery;
· Education institutions must include, in the compulsory curriculum, training in personal, educational and career development;
· All students who need and want educational and vocational guidance and counselling can receive this counselling from a competent and recognized professional;
· The basic nature and quality of service that should typify the service provided to students and adults is clearly defined;
· The essential training and other qualifications that all counsellors in educational and vocational guidance should have is specified.
3. Ministries of labour provide employment counselling and placement services for students completing their studies. Preferably, the ministry of labour will provide the employment counselling and placement service directly on the campus of the institution, or in a career and employment counselling centre.
Students and workers need information about occupations and about the labour market in order to establish appropriate preferences, and to make decisions in the face of education, training and employment opportunities. The kinds of information that they require include: descriptions of the work in occupations; composition of occupational families; education and training requirements; requirements for certification, registration, or licensing; salary and wage information; working conditions; personal characteristics (aptitudes, interests, and personalities) of people successful in the occupation; physical activities; inter-occupational mobility; employment rates and numbers; seasonality; and, occupational forecasts. The collection and publication of this information is usually the responsibility of the ministry of labour.
4. Ministries of education and labour, together or separately establish an agency, institution, or office with responsibility to develop and maintain:
· The provision of training and continuing education programmes for counselling and guidance practitioners;
· The development and provision of methods and materials for guidance;
· The conduct of research and development to create new, more comprehensive, and better ways of conducting educational and vocational guidance;
· The development of appropriate methods of evaluation of counselling and guidance.
Career Guidance Areas
The guidance curriculum will include such areas as:
Self Knowledge including understanding the influence of a positive self-concept; skills to interact positively with others; and understanding the impact of own growth and development.
Educational and Occupational Exploration including understanding the relationship between educational achievement and career planning; understanding the need for positive attitudes toward work and learning; skills to locate, evaluate and interpret career information; skills to prepare to seek, obtain, maintain and change jobs; and, understanding how societal needs and functions influence the nature and structure of work.
Career Planning including skills to make decisions; understanding the interrelationship of life roles; understanding the continuous changes in male/female roles; and, skills in career planning.
A period of work experience is recommended as a part of the guidance curriculum. The work experience serves to aid informed career choice and break down occupational stereotyping, to assist students to obtain a realistic impression of the culture of industry and commerce, and to develop the students' understanding of the role and function of different employees within an organization.
Self employment opportunities by girls and women. These include use of women as role models, special introductory technical and vocational education classes for girls and women only, remedial math and science courses, and entrepreneurship training.
Individual Career Planning
Individual educational and career planning is a fluid yet systematic process of helping individuals to explore both themselves and their possibilities and to decide, with what they want to do at different stages of the life span. Among the areas in which counsellors assist students are: goal setting, self exploration, assessment, decision-making, understanding trends and personalizing information in shaping one's own plans, imaging one's own future, raising self-expectations, individual planning, exploration of the work world and the changing nature of work, exploration of post-secondary opportunities, including apprenticeship, military training, and financial aid, development of a career portfolio, development of transition, change and coping skills, and examination of the influence of race, class, sex, and disability on one's vocational options and choices. Special needs of women in individual career planning should he considered including individual attitudes, family attitudes, employer attitudes, cultural norms about the role of women, and limited basic education opportunity.
Hallmarks of a Quality Guidance Programme
It is important that the guidance programme assure all users that the service meets recognized standards. The indicators of a good guidance programme include such features as formal notices of: the policy on guidance; the results that students may expect from guidance; a description of the guidance and counselling services; a description of the role of the student in the guidance programme and counselling service; the qualifications of the counsellors; the ethics of the counsellor and the educational institution; the guidance resources available and used, and how counselling is evaluated.
Ten "hallmarks" of quality guidance programmes are recommended:
· Policy. A policy that governs the development and delivery of the programme. Each educational institution must have a policy, but So must the ministry of education;
· Programme design based upon client needs analysis and regularly reviewed. The needs analysis should include the following possible problems and needs: lack of belief in self; lack of knowledge of own talents; lack of educational and career objectives; lack of appropriate action plan to achieve objectives; need for peer support; need for career education and labour market information; study habits; need for life skills training; need for job search training; parenting skills for the students who are parents; assistance with housing; transportation; finances; and, family responsibilities;
· A listing of what the client will gain from guidance and counselling. These outcomes might include: Increased: capacity for self-direction; motivation towards studies; motivation to seek work; self-esteem in relation to work; responsibility for taking action; clarity about own interests and aptitudes; job search skills; and, social support; Decreased self-defeating behaviours, and employment barriers; Plans to stay in school or education programme; Information about: education and training options, jobs available, and the labour market; Decisions about appropriate career choices; a career path; how to balance work, family, leisure and studies; a career or employment action plan; and overcoming own employment barriers; and, resolve a career, education or employment crisis; Knowledge of legal right to educational and employment access;
· A description of what the counsellor does. Guidance and counselling must be defined and described in words that students can understand;
· A description of the range of interventions. Counselling must be adapted to the uniqueness of each client. This is a very demanding requirement and requires a full range of interventions including counselling skills, assessment, career educational and labour market information. A guidance service does more than provide counselling. It also has a full range of information on occupations, education and training programmes and institutions, sources of financial assistance while studying, job search information and seminars, career planning seminars, assertiveness training seminars, video tapes on occupations and job search methods, computer assisted career guidance, etc;
· A description of the Junctions of the guidance programme. The range of guidance strategies includes: the Guidance Curriculum, Individual Planning, Responsive Services, and System Support, and also: Placement The guidance function may not always include responsibility for the placement of students into employment, because the ministry of labour may have an employment office for students on campus, or a separate department in the educational institution may have the responsibility. In cases where guidance is responsible for placement it is necessary to make contact with potential employers, ensure that they understand the training programs of the institution, obtain information on the types of workers employed in the firms, and encourage the employers to interview students who would be interested in such work. In addition, the guidance office would provide training in the preparation of an resume, writing letters of application, being interviewed, and making phone calls concerning possible vacancies;
· A clear description of the role of the client. It is important to be clear to the student as to the expectations of the client's role in counselling. Generic descriptions of the client's role need to be prepared and posted. The client is not required to receive guidance and may use the resource materials independently;
· A Code of Ethics. A statement of the ethical standards of the counsellor and of the program must be posted for clients to see;
· Materials. A quality programme has a battery of appropriate tests of aptitudes, interests and personality and has people who are competent to administer and interpret them. It has a complete library of career materials, including information on all sorts of training programmes. The occupational information should include up-to-date and accurate information on most occupations in terms of: the work performed, educational and training requirements, specific training requirements, desirable personal qualities, physical activities, working conditions, average pay, future outlook, inter-occupational mobility, etc. We can assume that it will have college and university calendars, hut also it should have full information on apprenticeship programmes, cooperative programmes, and training offered through trade and professional associations.
· Evaluation. A guidance programme must regularly evaluate its programme and service to ensure that it is designed to meet the needs of the students;
Training of Counsellors
The competencies required of counsellors include the following:
· Counselling. Knowledge of developmental issues, counselling and career development theories and techniques, decision-making and transition models; and, role relationships; different cultures. Skills to: build productive relationships with students; use appropriate individual and group counselling techniques; assist students in identifying influencing factors in career decision making; assist students in changing biased attitudes that stereotype others by gender, race, age, and culture; assist students in understanding the relationship between interpersonal skills and success in the workplace; assist students in continually reassessing their goals, values, interests, and career decisions; and, assist students in preparing for multiple roles throughout their lives;
· Information. Knowledge of: changes taking place in the economy, society, and job market; education, training, employment trends, labour market, and carer resources; basic concepts related to career counselling such as career development, career progression, and career patterns; the changing gender roles and how these impact on work, family and leisure; employment information and career planning materials, employment-related requirements such as labour laws, licensing, credentialing, and certification; of referral services or agencies for job, financial, social and personal service; and legislation that may influence career development programmes. Skills to use career development resources and techniques designed for specific groups; and skills to use computer-based career information systems;
· Individual and Group Assessment. Knowledge of assessment techniques and measures of skills, abilities, attitudes, interests, values, and personality. Skills to identify assessment resources appropriate for specific situations and populations. Skills to evaluate assessment resources and techniques related so that their validity, reliability, and relationships to race, gender, age and ethnicity can be determined. Skills to administer, interpret, and personalize assessment data in relation to the carer development needs of the individual;
· Management and Administration. Knowledge of: programme designs that can be used in organizing career development programmes; needs assessment techniques and practices; and, management concepts, leadership styles, and techniques to implement change. Skills to: assess the effectiveness of career development programme; prepare proposals, budgets, and timelines for career development programmes; design, conduct, analyze, and report the assessment of individual outcomes;
· Implementation. Knowledge of: programme adoption and planned strategies; and, barriers affecting the implementation of career development programmes. Skills to: implement individual and group programmes in a variety of areas such as assessment decision making, job seeking, career information and career counselling; implement public relations efforts which promote career development activities and services; establish linkages with community-based organizations.
· Consultation. Knowledge of consulting strategies and consulting models. Skills to: assist staff in understanding how to incorporate career development concepts into their programme participants; consult with influential parties such as employers, community groups and the general public; convey programme goals and achievement to legislators, professional groups, and other key leaders;
· Specific Populations. Knowledge of differing cultural values and their relationship to work values; unique career planning needs of minorities, women, the handicapped, and older persons; and alternative approaches to career planning needs for students with specific needs.