6th European Conference on Counselling and Vocational Training

Summary of the6th European Conference on Counselling and Vocational Training.

Theme: “The Life- Long Career Counselling as a Super Power in the development of a person”.

Nicosia, 24 January 2020.

The changes anticipated in the near future in the field of labour will be dramatic and we must prepare appropriately to address them”, was emphasized during the current 6th European Conference on Counselling and Vocational Training 2020, entitled “The Life- Long Career Counselling as a Super Power in the development of a person, which took place on January 24, 2020 at the premises of the University of Nicosia.

The Conference, which has become a yearly institution, as highlighted during its proceedings, was organized by the University of Nicosia, in collaboration with the Cypriot Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, the National Forum for Lifelong Guidance and Euroguidance Cyprus.

The ever-changing labour market, which requires workers to constantly change, evolve and grow in the work environment, makes counselling and support for young people necessary and imperative," said Dr Kyprianos D. Louis, Head of Secondary Education. Dr Louis added that stakeholders and professionals working with youth must emphasize the ever changing future labour market, while relevant services must coordinate and cooperate in order to enable sustainability in the development of a person.

"The socio-economic changes in recent years are happening so fast and changes in the labour market are constantly taking place very rapidly. These factors have a direct effect on the choices of a specific educational path taken by a young person today, and the response of guidance and career counselling, especially towards the youth must be quick, informative and personalised." This was the comment of Mr Antonis Kafouros, Senior Labour Officer, in his brief address on behalf of Mr Alexandros Alexandrou, Director of the Labour Department at the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance. He added that the sense of insecurity for young people in occupational rehabilitation is predominant, while at the same time this uncertainty is a key factor contributing to the cognitive decisions they make about their future.

Nicos Kartakoulis, President of the Nicosia University Council, referred to the gap between theory and practice, stressing that many graduates cannot meet the demands and challenges of the labour market. "The labour market is evolving, mainly because of technology. Research shows that 12-year-old children will be working in occupations that do not exist today and therefore we do not know how to guide them towards such career paths at present”.

Businesses are looking for skills that newcomers into the labour market lack. The skills gap is real and hard to fill,” commented Dr Alexandros Antonaras, Vice President of the Student Services Department of the University of Nicosia, who spoke on “The Future Career in Cyprus”. He also stressed that technology will affect many of the occupations, as some jobs will be eliminated due to technology while some other new jobs will be created. The important question is' how do you prepare young people for jobs and careers that do not yet exist? We need to learn to adapt. To learn, how to learn, "he concluded.

Keynote speakers at the Conference were Ms Jennifer McKenzie, Director of the National Center for Guidance in Education (NCGE) in Ireland on 'The Irish example - The Significance of Career Guidance in Ireland in the context of Lifelong Learning' and Ms Helen Papastefanou, Inspector of Counselling and Vocational Secondary Education, on the subject; 'Lifelong Counselling Career as a' Superpower' in the development of the individual.

The Seminar full program(in Greek) is available HERE