Euroguidance Austria Conference Review Guidance 40  New tools and skills in education and careers guidance

“With the annual Euroguidance Conference, we have made an essential contribution towards bringing the European dimension into the landscape of careers guidance”, says Stefan Zotti, Managing Director of OeAD-GmbH. During the anniversary year (25 years of Euroguidance Network, 20 years of Euroguidance Austria), Euroguidance Austria has been working with whatchado to map out an occupational profile for guidance practitioners  on this career platform. “People today often look to their smartphones and offers in the digital world before seeking out personal contact or advice. This is something that we have to face up to, especially when it comes to guidance”, adds Ernst Gesslbauer, Head of the Austrian Erasmus + Education National Agency in OeAD-GmbH. “This is also evident in our cooperation with the career platform whatchado. Now the roles of guidance counsellors will also be clarified on whatchado” said Gesslbauer.

What does a guidance counsellors do? What qualities and skills do they need? Who actually benefits from educational and careers guidance? whatchado carried out 14 interviews in collaboration with Euroguidance Austria (OeAD-GmbH) and has incorporated these occupational profiles into the platform. This job involves informing young people and adults of opportunities in training and further education along with educational pathways, providing them with advice and guiding them throughout decision-making processes.

Barbara Glattauer works at the adulteducation centers Wiener Volkshochschulen  and, as part of the “Bildungsberatung in Wien” project, advises those seeking guidance on questions relating to education and learning. She is one of those interviewed, and provides the following advice to people looking for a new job: “Stick with your instincts. If something appeals to you, go with it”. She advises all those wanting to become guidance counsellors to start off by completing counselling training. Glattauer says anyone who likes to work with a whole host of challenges and who is not averse to investigation has the essential skills for this job.

Excerpts from the interviews were presented as part of the Euroguidance Conference on 7 November in Kardinal König Haus in Vienna by Ali Mahlodji, the co-founder and “chief story teller” of the whatchado platform. “We don’t know what the world’s going to look like in twenty years, because the story has yet to be written. This story will be moulded by those who understand that, in the digital world, unlocking the potential and attending to each individual are the foundations of sustainable education”.

What we can learn from Europe

Estonia is a country considered a pioneer in digitalisation. This is also a core theme for the Estonian Government during its current EU Presidency. Kairi Valk works in the Agency for Lifelong Guidance/Foundation Innove in Tallinn. She says, “The national portals in my country are currently undergoing a radical reworking. One example of this is Rajaleidja”. This internet portal offers young people and their parents, as well as educational and job counsellors, information on the world of work, job descriptions and training opportunities. “For the future, the plan is to create a central national point of access to management for educational and career pathways for everyone in Estonia” said Valk. Valk cooperated with Dries Vandermeersch of CLB Brussel to introduce examples of good practice in e-governance and e-guidance at the Euroguidance conference. Jaana Kettunen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) presented data material for digitalisation currently being collected in Europe in education and careers guidance, along with research results for the use of social media in this field. She showed which additional skills and competences guidance counsellors require in order to work with new media.

Five workshops in the afternoon dealt with online education guidance in practice, gaming as an approach to the professional orientation of young people, the challenges of the growing information supply online along with media skills, new pathways in educational guidance and social media, along with online guidance for people from migrant backgrounds.

To the videos:
Further details:

Picture (c) OeAD-GmbH/APA-Fotoservice/Hörmandinger