New Scenes for Career Guidance and for Euroguidance

In the last week of May, many experts, and stakeholders in the field of lifelong guidance gathered in Stockholm to discuss what requirements that are placed on career guidance in times of rapid changes and how guidance policy and practice has changed due to the current challenges.

Hi Nina Ahlroos, you have just arranged both a networking meeting for Euroguidance and a lifelong guidance conference with participants from all over Europe this week.

- Yes, that's right, as Sweden is holding the EU presidency, it was our turn to organise a network meeting and we took the opportunity to also organise a European lifelong guidance conference – New Scenes for Career Guidance.

Tell us a little more about Euroguidance and what happened at the network meeting

- Euroguidance is a European network that exists in more than 30 countries in Europe. Our mission from the European Commission is to contribute to guidance practitioners' skills development, in different ways. At the network meeting, we tested, some concrete tools to transform international experience into useful skills for the labour market. We also got to see the results from a target group evaluation of our services, which was done in all countries at the same time. 80% of the respondents found our services relevant to them.

The New Scenes for Career Guidance conference was organised by the Swedish Council for Higher Education, in collaboration with the Swedish Public Employment Service and the Swedish National Agency for Education. It was orgaised on the initiative of Euroguidance Sweden, with Cedefop and the Swedish Association of Guidance Counsellors as partners. What issues were discussed at the conference?

- The whole of Europe is facing major challenges in terms of skills supply due to the rapid technological development and the green transition. An uncertain world also affects individuals' career decisions, and in Sweden, the new transition support initiative brings new client groups to the table. We tried to illustrate these "new scenes" from different perspectives through both European and national speakers.

Did you find any ways to jointly collaborate between countries around these challenges at the conference?

- At 10 different workshops, the participants got to meet and discuss issues such as; e-guidance, research in guidance, sustainable guidance, quality in guidance and multicultural guidance. A common conclusion from the conference was that the main challenges right now are the lack of national strategies for lifelong guidance, the new demands on the labour market, and an unequal access to guidance services.

What role and what requirements are placed on today's study and career practitioners?

- Most agree that career guidance has a central role to play in skills provision and lifelong learning. At the same time, we have a shortage of guidance practitioners and the guidance practitioners themselves have poor access to continuous competence development, which is important to be able to handle a rapidly changing world. This is something we agreed on.

Is the situation similar in all countries?

- There are always differences. When the participants were asked about the most important steps forward to create a well-functioning guidance system, a national strategy was highlighted again as the top priority, but also cooperation and coordination between education and working life.

Is there any way to take part of the content of the conference?

Yes, all conference presentations, a report based on results from polls and workshops discussions, all pictures and a film are now published on the conference website: