Career guidance and public policy: bridging the gap

Front Cover
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2004 - Business & Economics - 171 pages

OECD countries are attaching rising importance to lifelong learning and active employment policies as tools of economic growth and social equity. Effective information and guidance systems are essential to support the implementation of these policies, and all citizens need to develop the skills to self-manage their careers. Yet there are large gaps between these policy goals and the capacity of national career guidance systems. Access to services is limited, particularly for adults. Too often services fail to develop people's career management skills, but focus upon immediate decisions. Training and qualification systems for those who provide services are often inadequate or inappropriate. Co-ordination between key ministries and stakeholders is poor. The evidence base is insufficient to allow proper steering of services by policy makers, with inadequate data being available on costs, benefits, client characteristics or outcomes. And in delivering services insufficient use is made of ICT and other cost-effective ways to meet client needs more flexibly.

Based upon a review conducted in 14 OECD countries, the publication explores how the gap between career guidance services and public policy might be narrowed. It advocates improved national co-ordination arrangements and greater attention to research and data collection to inform policy makers. It also promotes the development of improved and more specialised training programmes for practitioners and the creation of more specialised career guidance organisations for the delivery of services.

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Overview and Key Conclusions
Policy Challenges for Career Guidance
Is Career Guidance up to the Challenge?

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