The first group of questions inquired about the countries Measures to provide vocational guidance, which is considered to be a very important prerequisite for developing the necessary skills and competencies in technical and vocational education. Until the recent past, educational and vocational guidance was perceived simply as the process of giving students some information about their abilities and the needs of the labour markets, so as to enable them to make appropriate decisions and occupational choices. Nowadays, as the reports of many countries show, the emphasis has shifted towards providing students with generic development competencies to cope more effectively with their continuing development as students, workers and citizens.
While most of the countries responses revealed a certain uniformity in the definition of the basic concept and general objectives of vocational guidance, in some Member States vocational guidance is still considered merely as a system whereby candidates are selected for various occupations. In many countries the vocational guidance covers a wide range of activities designed to help students while attending school to make a vocational choice, and furthermore to assist adults in seeking employment, career development and their further education and training. Throughout the countries, the nature of guidance services is more or less universal, however, the methods differ from level to level and the age groups involved. At lower secondary level, the vocational guidance is usually integrated into subjects such as polytechnical studies or general technical studies or technical orientation, practical arts, initiation to technology, etc. At the upper secondary level it exists as a separate subject with visits to industries, career planning, etc. At both levels this is supported by mass media and concentrates not only on students, but includes parents as well - because of the decisive role they play in the decision of their children. In a number of countries, there is a growing trend to provide educational and vocational counselling and guidance aimed at directing students to appropriate learning opportunities within such flexible systems as bridging courses, modularization and self-study, and the students counselling continues throughout the programme of study. Further advice is offered on career opportunities, retraining necessitated by emerging new technological changes in particular enterprises, and career changes related to community or family requirements.
The second questionnaire on the additional measures taken to implement the Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education contained the following questions relating to this issue:
Question A (1):
Please describe briefly the vocational guidance systems and services in your country.
Most of the countries reports recognize the importance of vocational guidance to provide human resources development. The vocational guidance plays a significant role in the orientation of individuals towards acquisition of practical skills and constructive attitudes towards the world of work, enabling them to pursue specific occupations in various fields. In a number of countries there is a strongly felt need to keep pace with the newly emerging technologies, by providing vocational orientation towards these new technologies; and subsequently - the necessary training and re-training in this area. Several industrialized countries utilize a dual system of guidance, the one operating under the aegis of educational authorities and the other - under labour authorities. In some countries, however, there is no system of guidance at all. Usually, guidance systems are organized at national, regional and institutional level, offering mostly educational and vocational guidance services.
In some countries, almost every secondary school provides access for the students to guidance officers or teacher-counsellors. Their function is to offer advice and assist students in career planning, in the selection of secondary studies appropriate to the vocational goal, providing also educational and occupational information and assessment of potential vocational interests. Emphasis has been placed on the provision of relevant and accurate information to the students, enabling them to make informed and appropriate choices of studies to suit both their vocational needs and their abilities to succeed in the fields of their choice. The provisions include pre-enrollment counselling, vocational and career counselling, educational counselling and educational assessment.
A comprehensive system of vocational guidance has been established in Austria, Finland, Germany, Poland, and the Ukraine.
In Austria, both educational and vocational guidance take the following form: oral information and discussion between a class and the competent officer; distribution of pamphlets; individual counselling at the school or centre; meeting with parents.
In Argentina, groups of technical teachers frequently have dialogue with the final year students of primary schools to interest them in technical education. In Cuba legislation was introduced in 1981, establishing a national guidance system under the Ministry of Education.
In Belgium, vocational guidance centres offer information regarding different professions and job opportunities in the labour market, they also gather some data from various companies; and counsel students on how to select certain occupational fields according to their personal aptitudes, interests and abilities.
In Botswana, educational and vocational guidance is provided in the form of standard courses. The Ministry of Education has a vocational guidance section, which provides career guidance and organizes at the end of each academic year a meet employers session at the polytechnic, to enable graduate students to meet prospective employers.
In Chile, the vocational guidance, provided by the Ministry of Education, is based on feedback information from the students, which is analysed in order to introduce some changes in the curriculum. The educational system in Chile allows shifting of the students among general education, science and technology education, and vocational training streams. This provides a flexibility in choosing a professional field that could lead to employment.
In China, Vocational orientation is considered as an integral part of the schooling system in China. Vocational guidance services are decentralized at provincial level taking into account the socio-economic needs of local communities. The curriculum contents in general education, promotes linking education to the world of work, by inculcating proper work habits and attitudes. The technical and vocational education system is coordinating narrowly training of skilled manpower with the economic planning which leads to fast transition from training to employment.
In Colombia, the General Education curricula prepares all pupils for active life in the world of work, inculcating the development of proper attitudes, work habits and skills. Training of technical manpower in Colombia is provided by three sub-systems:
· Vocational Training;
· Public Technical Education; and
· Private Technical Education.
In Finland, student counselling in general education is integrated into various subjects at the lower levels of comprehensive schools. In the middle and upper secondary schools, student counselling is provided in specific lessons included in the curriculum; in personal and small group counselling; by extensive information programmes and job-visiting, as well as by arranging and following up the students applications for further education. The experimental activities of the secondary education reform include the so-called work-orientation project, which aims at finding out whether work-orientation and career preparation activities can be developed by more efficient student counselling, taking into consideration in its planning and implementation questions of vocational education, career counselling, and student and working life counselling.
In Italy, following decentralization, guidance services are provided under the Ministries of Education, Labour, Industry and Agriculture. Guidance services for schools are organized at the regional level and information guides are available for both educational and vocational purposes.
In the Republic of Korea there is no separate subject on career guidance, but some elements of vocational guidance are included in such subjects as practical arts, home making, industrial technology. One of the objectives of these subjects is to enable students to choose a career.
In Kuwait, at the national level, audiovisual media along with various country-wide societies and organizations play a pioneering role in providing vocational guidance. Serious efforts are made at the national and institutional levels to induce more positive attitudes towards vocational and manual practice among those inclined to pursue university education.
In New Zealand, guidance services rely heavily on information, provided by the Department of Labour. Secondary school inspectors in each region are responsible for reviewing and assessing the work guidance counsellors and career advisers.
In Nicaragua, vocational guidance is an integral part of the vocational training programme of the Ministry of Education.
In Norway, at the upper secondary schools, one teaching period has to be allocated to guidance and advice and in some vocational lines students are placed in special workshops to get practical contacts with the world of work.
In Norway, at the upper secondary schools, one teaching period is allocated for guidance and advice and in some vocational areas students are placed in special workshops to get some practical contact with the world of work.
In Poland, vocational guidance is coordinated at national level by the Central Committee of Vocational Guidance. At local level, employment and social welfare bureaux and school superintendents offices maintain vocational guidance services.
In Portugal, the Ministry of Education provides professional orientation to secondary school pupils - on the basis of psychological tests, conducted by educational counsellors.
There are also some private vocational counsellors in Portugal. While the Ministry of Education promotes linkage of education with the world of work, the transition from school to work is also facilitated by the Ministry of Employment, based on the availability of vacant jobs in the labour market. Vocational guidance services are also extended to adult employees and unemployed - for re-training in various occupational fields.
The guidance services in Spain are based on the principle of individual approach; taking account of the personal abilities, interests and aptitudes of the students aiming to prepare each person for the working life. An experimental programme for vocational guidance and counselling, introduced in 1987, was implemented in all primary and secondary schools throughout the country. This programme includes: Tutorial guidance; Educational guidance - extended to schools and school community; Interdisciplinary between school and social environment.
Question A (2).
How do guidance services at national, local and institutional level ensure close co-ordination between training, employment and placement services?
Throughout the countries, usually the technical and vocational education institutions have the advantage of securing jobs for their students. Employers often seek out graduates of these institutions, because of their occupatio n al training. On the other hand, technical and vocational education students acquire the ability to work with tools rather than with people, and therefore are not particularly adept in job search-employment interviews. This necessitate the introduction of some job search training.
In most of the countries the vocational guidance services are provided at national, local and school levels, by the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. In a number of countries, however, some other ministries like the Ministry of Labour, of Industry, of Agriculture, etc. are jointly responsible, along with the Ministry of Education, for the vocational guidance, counselling and orientation of both youth and adults. For example, in Austria, Denmark, the Republic of Korea and Romania, the Ministry of Labour provides information on various occupations and job requirements. Similarly, such co-operation in Portugal is extended by the Ministry of Employment; and in Thailand, by the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Many countries recognize the need of individual career counselling - as a systematic process helping individuals to explore various possibilities and options and to decide, with awareness, what do they want to do at different stages of the life span. The individual career counselling, practiced in a number of countries, assist students to establish career goals, to solve various problems and to overcome obstacles. In the countries with free market economy students need information about various occupations and about the labour market in order to establish preferences, and to make decisions with regard to education, training and employment opportunities. This information includes:education and training entry requirements, requirements for certification, working conditions, interoccupational mobility, employment rates, occupational forecasts, etc. Educational, occupational and labour market information is provided in both printed and computerized forms. Computer assisted Career Guidance Systems (CACGS) have been developed during the past twenty years to provide systematic computerized access to a wide range of educational and occupational information.
A typical example is the Canadian system named Choices (Career Ware 1992), developed in two official languages, which is flexible and adaptable to accommodate multiple databases and languages. The Choices system is designed so as to respond to various specific needs of different populations; inculcating the skill of decision making, self-analysis, goal setting and planning, and the development of flexible implementation strategies. These design principles have allowed to adapt Choices for use in Belgium, France, Holland and Turkey, besides the twelve Canadian provinces and territories and twelve states of the United States.
Vocational guidance services are also provided under the direct responsibility, or with the assistance of other national bodies, institutions and organizations like, for example in:
· Argentina - the National Council for Technical Education (CONET);
· Cyprus - the Central Guidance Office;
· Ecuador - the National Council for Vocational Guidance;
· Greece - the Manpower Employment organization (OAED);
· the Republic of Korea - the Korean Education Development Institute (KEDI) and the Institute for Vocational Research and Training (VOTRI);
· Malta - the Employment and Training Corporation;
· Mauritius - the Industrial Vocational Training Board (IVTB);
· the Netherlands - the Regional Apprenticeship Organizations and the Education, Employment - Liaison Centres (COAs);
· New Zealand - the New Zealand Qualifications Authority;
· Pakistan - the Vocational Guidance cells in the Provincial Labour Departments;
· Spain - the Vocational Training Council and the Regional Commissions for Vocational Guidance;
· Thailand - the Department of Teacher Education, King Mongut Institute of Technology and Rajamangkhala Institute of Technology;
· Zambia - the Students Selection Services Unit at the Department of Technical Education and Vocational Training.
In Argentina, the vocational guidance services are under the overall responsibility of the National Council for Technical Education (CONET). These services are decentralized to 48 Units throughout the country, which provide vocational orientation and guidance at school level, under the control of a Secretariat for Vocational Guidance. This Secretariat works in close co-operation at central level, with the Ministry of Labour, which is responsible for the initial training and continuous re-training of the technical manpower. Guidance counsellors are educators, specialized in educational psychology and sociology.
In Belgium, vocational guidance centres facilitate the transition from school to work. Companies are represented at qualification tests and exams in schools, in co-operation with the teaching staff. This guarantees smooth transition of graduates to employment.
In Finland, a system of student counselling, providing educational and vocational guidance has been created at national, local and institutional level designed to develop in students the capacities needed for study, career planning, and working life. Education and employment authorities participate in arranging student counselling. At the school level specially trained teachers are employed under the authority of the Ministry of Education, and in the employment offices career-advisers are available. A co-operative body of educational and employment authorities, trade unions and employers organizations (the Council of Career Guidance) has representatives of each interest group.
In Italy, educational and vocational guidance activities are organized at the regional level and information guides both for both educational and vocational purposes.
In Morocco, the Ministry of Education is responsible for Technical education, while the vocational training is under the jurisdiction of other authorities, e.g. Ministry of Tourism - for hotel catering training, Ministry of Agriculture - for agricultural training, etc. At the school level, professional orientation is conducted under the Ministry of Education directives. Students and parents are provided with information about various professions, occupational opportunities and required qualifications.
The data provided by some reports on the enrolment in technical and vocational education (both full time and part time) show very substantial increases in a number of countries. Female enrollments have also shown significant increases over the past few years. The enrolment ratio of technical and vocational education to general education (including vocationalized/comprehensive education) varies from country to country. In some countries (Austria, Botswana, Finland, Netherlands, Poland) the proportion of enrollments in technical and vocational education is equal or higher compared with general education.
Question A (3).
Please describe how the vocational guidance provided within technical and vocational education:
a) provides information to the students on various employment
The vocational guidance services in many Member States ensure a close co-operation between training and employment placement services, by providing information about employment opportunities in various occupational fields. Links with employers associations, trade unions and private enterprises contribute to determine the actual qualifications for different jobs. Various countries have different approaches to provide a better access to technical and vocational subjects, a diversification of general education, adaptation to the world of work, understanding and use of new technologies, or a range of categorized approaches and priorities. In some industrialized countries, the career guidance programmes in schools incorporate a variety of information resources, including computer assisted systems. These information resources are provided by special Career Centres (Career Planning and Placement Centres). They usually compile available career guidance information and exploration resources, offering them to students, teachers and parents. These centres are used for research, planning, self-exploration, and group sessions, where students receive assistance in such areas as occupational planning, job entry and placement, financial aid information, and further educational opportunities. Some Member States indicated measures for co-ordination between technical and vocational education within the educational system and employment. Co-ordination between technical and vocational education and employment exists in most of them. There are usually stronger links between vocational education (part-time) and employment than full-time technical education and employment.
In Fiji, some vocational courses have been offered as optional subjects to the pupils within the age group - form 9 to 13 years; such as woodwork, metalwork, technical drawing, home economics, agricultural science and secretarial studies. The Government has also established some vocational centres attached to secondary schools, which facilitates the professional orientation of children and contributes to the transition from school to work. Some technical and vocational courses provide certain initial skills training; but due to the lack of qualified teaching staff and lack of up-to-date machinery - used in the industry, usually the T.V.E. graduates commencing work receive some further on-the-job training. This fact illustrates the extent, to which the T.V.E. system prepares its graduates for transition to employment.
In Finland, the amended Act on Apprenticeship Training makes it possible to implement the system of practice contracts. A practice contract is made between vocational institutions and employers and includes on-the-job training or supervised practice. These contracts are developed with the aim of bringing education and working life closer together and keeping education up to date.
In Italy, following decentralization, guidance activities are carried out under the Ministries of Education, Labour, Industry and Agriculture. After decentralization has been introduced, the vocational guidance services are carried out at the provincial level, under a central national co-ordinator.
In Mexico, the vocational guidance services offer to general school students information on various professions and employment opportunities in the job market; as well as information about available training programmes. At the National Polytechnic Institute, the vocational guidance is regarded as a basic component of student training. At the school level, educational guidance activities take place through two programmes: school guidance and personal development. The teachers introduce students to the world of work through visits to business and industrial enterprises that offer also opportunities for short periods of on-the-job training.
In New Zealand, each secondary school makes provision for educational and vocational guidance and has a guidance counsellor and a career adviser. The education system is supported by the Department of Labour vocational guidance counsellors who work on a consultancy basis with teachers. Universities operate a counselling service only. In Norway, education is build on the basis of curricula co-ordination with practical training.
In Russia during 1994 more than a million students appealed to vocational orientation centres for advice in choosing future profession. More than 40,000 adults were given also relevant consultations. The Law of Employment allows to direct the jobless without profession to attend appropriate courses (from two weeks to one year) to improve their skills or enter a new profession at the expenses of the State Employment Fund. 30,000 jobless were trained in new professions in 1992, more than 120,000 in 1993, and approximately 250,000 in 1994, i.e. their number increased nearly 7 times in two years.
In Spain, the Vocational Training Council works in close collaboration with certain Employment Services, ensuring the transition from education to employment. There are Regional Commissions for vocational guidance. Their tasks are to adapt the vocational training to the job market requirements of the region, and to provide information about the training opportunities - available at various enterprises.
The transition from schooling to the working life is aided by a special National Plan, encompassing:
· long term training for youth;
· alternating shifts of short training periods;
· special vocational training programmes for drop-outs from the general education system,
· special vocational training programmes for rural areas (adjusted to the local rural needs),
· vocational programmes for re-training in new technological fields, and
· special vocational training programmes, for migrants.
In some countries, (Cuba, Cyprus, Netherlands, Swaziland and Zimbabwe for instance), the vocational guidance services invite some specialists from the industrial, business, agricultural and other sectors to deliver lectures at educational establishments or to meet students and parents and provide first-hand information, which helps towards professional orientation.
The transition between education and employment is facilitated in some countries through special publications. For example, in Canada, a rich source of information is offered in the book JOB FUTURES - which provides detailed employment forecasts in different occupational fields. In the Republic of Korea, information on employment opportunities is regularly published in the Weekly Employment Information, in addition there is a telephone answering service on job offerings, available 24 hours a day. In Norway, a special file on educational and employment opportunities is published regularly as a tool for the counsellors. It is planned to transfer this information to electronic data processing and to update the material centrally. Finland provides vocational counselling also through telephone services.
Besides this, in some of the countries, certain special events are utilized to strengthen the vocational guidance and orientation, such as: the annual trade fairs - in Zimbabwe, the career days - in Swaziland, etc.
A number of Member States use a wide range of modalities to adapt their educational systems to lifelong education. In Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and Kuwait, for example, stated that lifelong education is included in their educational legislation.
In some countries, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, there are also some private vocational guidance agencies, operating along with governmental bodies, trade unions and employers associations. In many countries the professional orientation and guidance is provided not only to the youth, but also to adults, helping them to re-orient themselves to new occupational fields, or - for the unemployed - to find employment. For example, the Labour Authorities in Finland have special information units for adults vocational guidance and counselling. Some countries, (Canada, for example), provide special advisory services to employers. Other countries, for instance the Syrian Arab Republic and Finland, offer special vocational guidance for disabled and handicapped people.
Question A (4).
What training is provided to qualify vocational guidance staff?
The qualifications of the vocational guidance personnel vary from country to country. In most cases, some of the teachers at secondary level, both in the general education stream and in the technical and vocational education institutions, act as vocational guidance counsellors. In addition to their basic special and pedagogical training, they have acquired some special knowledge and skills - either with their pre-service teacher training programmes or through special pre-service and in service short term courses, encompassing educational psychology, career guidance, methodology of testing and evaluation, educational media, labour code, theory and practice of decision making, innovative methods of counselling, socio-economic development, management and administration, etc. In some countries, guidance personnel are recruited from persons with qualification in psychology, while counselling is independent and not linked to teaching and administration. In several countries vocational guidance is carried out under the labour authorities by guidance personnel with qualifications in psychology. In many countries teachers - at all educational levels - provide attitudinal support and knowledge to enhance vocational orientation by using various materials, like films, displays, field trips, dramatizations, simulation and various games, which introduce students to concepts that will expand their occupational awareness.
In Austria every full-time school has a guidance teacher, whose teaching load is reduced so as to allow time for educational guidance. Both the guidance teacher and the students may call on the services of the 112 full-time school psychologists in regional, provincial and national centres. The assessment of guidance services is routinely performed by the superiors of guidance officers. Further training courses and professional meetings contribute to the improvement of educational guidance.
In New Zealand, secondary school inspectors in each region have the responsibility for reviewing and assessing the work of guidance counsellors and career advisors. Each group has three special training days a year to update practices.
In Finland, provincial educational consultants draw up an annual report of their area for submission to the National Board of General Education. Statistics of the applications and actual intake into secondary education are prepared annually.
Both teacher - counsellors, and professional career guidance personnel upgrade their competence and experience through periodic meetings, conferences and seminars, sometimes - through attachments/internships, or study tours, organized by professional associations, governmental and private institutions, employers groups, trade unions, etc. A leading authority in this field, promoting international co-operation and exchange of experience is the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance IAEVG, which publishes a periodic bulletin.
In some industrialized countries there are special employment service counsellors, whose role is to facilitate the job-seekers in becoming gainfully and optimally employed. Their tasks often demand articulation with rehabilitation personnel and industrial representatives. Some of their services are relevant to school counsellors - aptitude testing, consultation on work-bound students, consultation on potential dropouts, etc. Those countries also employ the services of business and industry personnel. Many industrial counsellors provide effective leadership in stay-in-school campaigns, earn-and-learn programmes, and summer vacation internships.