Skills for the Future  Strengthening Competencies through Career Guidance Learnings from the Austrian Euroguidance Conference

The Austrian Euroguidance Centre held its annual Conference on 9 November 2023 with a spotlight on "Skills for the Future," underscoring the pivotal role of career guidance in navigating the evolving landscape of work. The conference, attended by around 90 participants, proved to be an insightful day of learning, networking and exploring innovative ideas that could shape the future of career guidance.

The central theme of the event revolved around the profound transformation occurring in the labor market. Technological advances, automation and shifting skill requirements are redefining the employment landscape. Additionally, the challenges posed by the climate crisis demand sustainable solutions to create a resilient and future-proof world of work. In this context, career guidance emerges as a critical tool in preparing individuals for these changes, helping them build sustainable and fulfilling careers.

Sustainable Careers and Career Shocks

Keynote speaker Jos Akkermans, an Associate Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, set the tone with his presentation on "Sustainable Careers and Career Shocks." The audience engaged in an interactive exchange on the topic of future forms of work," delving into the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing nature of employment.

A crucial aspect discussed during the conference was identifying the skills needed in the future to thrive in the world of work. The role of career guidance professionals in supporting individuals towards continuously acquiring these skills was a focal point. The conference sought to explore effective approaches, especially for those who are disadvantaged, to build resilience and successfully navigate the constantly evolving labor market.

The afternoon session featured five parallel workshops that provided participants with hands-on experience. These interactive sessions centered around best practice examples and methods for career guidance. See for instance the session in English by Daniel Hailemariam entitled Ready or Not, Here We Come! Is Career Guidance Ready for the New Europe? Or the session on “Transversal Skills and Competence Assessment in Career Guidance and Counselling

An Erasmus+ Corner and a Methods Market added another layer to the event, offering attendees the chance to familiarize themselves with ongoing Erasmus+ projects and develop potential project ideas.

The event was not only a national endeavour but also part of the broader European Year of Skills initiative.

For those interested in accessing the conference materials, a wealth of information is available on the official website.

In conclusion, the Austrian Euroguidance Conference 2023 served as a vital platform for discussing the skills needed for the future and the role of career guidance in shaping sustainable and fulfilling careers. By fostering collaboration, networking, and the exchange of ideas, the conference contributed to the ongoing dialogue on preparing individuals for the dynamic world of work.

Eva Baloch-Kaloianov, OeAD / Euroguidance Austria

Pictures (c) OeAD/APA-Fotoservice/Hörmandinger