Career Guidance and Public Policy - Country Notes


For Australia the review has recommended:

  • Opportunities for school students to explore the world of work, outside of the school, need to be expanded and given greater support.
  • The training provided to career guidance practitioners needs to be increased.
    The accountability of school career guidance programmes needs to be improved through a system of performance indicators.
  • In TAFE and universities, career services need to work more closely with teaching departments to improve students’ career development.
  • The Federal government should consider developing a national telephone help line to provide career information and advice.
  •  A survey of fee-for-service career guidance needs to be conducted, including its potential to be expanded.
  • A quality assurance framework for adult career guidance needs to be developed.

In Australia journalists can contact
Laila Lacis, Department of Education, Science and Training (tel. 0412 040 034)


For Austria the review has recommended:

  • The time and resources that are provided to school student advisers are insufficient and need to be increased.
  • Tertiary education consumer guides should be developed, providing information not only on course content but also on the outcomes from courses, including graduates’ job prospects and earnings.
  • Specialised career services, including a job placement role, need to be developed in Austrian tertiary education.
  • Despite good initiatives, career guidance services for adults are too fragmented. Better co-ordination of career information for adults is an important step that could be taken to reduce the fragmentation. The role of the Federal Employment Office in providing career information and guidance to adults could also be strengthened.
  • The training provided to career guidance practitioners is too short and too limited in scope. In particular, the period of initial training needs to be substantially increased.

In Austria journalists can contact
Mag. Ronald Zecha, Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (tel +43 1 53120 5013)


For Ireland, the review has recommended:

  • Strengthen career education programmes in the curriculum.
  • Make it clear that the requirement in the 1998 Education Act for students to be provided with “appropriate guidance” includes help for all students with their career decision making.
  • Develop a new and more comprehensive electronic career information product.
  • Strengthen career guidance for adults: for example by contracting more services out to community groups.
  • Improve the training of guidance practitioners: for example by developing a clearer framework for the skills that they need, and strengthening government influence over the nature of training programmes.
  • Develop a standard client recording instrument that can be used by Guidance Counsellors to improve the information available to government on which students are provided with what types of services.  

In Ireland journalists can contact
Communications Unit, Department of Education and Science
Department of Education and Science (tel. 01-8896555, 01-8892162, 01-8892322).

For the Netherlands the review has recommended that:

  • Career guidance in the general education tracks of schools and universities needs to be strengthened.
  • Career guidance services within different parts of the education system are not well co-ordinated, and a mechanism to do this needs to be established.
  • Greater attention needs to be paid to the quality of career guidance.  Quality standards need to be developed both in the education system and in the reintegration system. All staff providing career guidance need to be appropriately trained.
  • Intending post-compulsory students need to be provided with better information on the types of jobs and income that their courses might lead to.
  • Career guidance needs to be supported by better research and data. A university chair in career guidance should be established.
  • A mechanism needs to be established to co-ordinate career guidance across the different agencies and Ministries that provide it.

In the Netherlands journalists can contact
Drs Linda de Ruiter, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (tel.+31 70 4123364).


For Norway the review has recommended that:

  • The role of Aetat in assisting school and higher education career guidance programmes needs to be acknowledged and better resourced.
  • A more comprehensive system of information on adult learning opportunities needs to be developed.
  • Aetat should implement a new call centre service for information on learning and work.
  • A new national body to co-ordinate career guidance services should be established.
  • Students should be given a defined entitlement to career guidance in primary and lower secondary school.
  • The Education Act should be changed to include reference to career guidance being given by qualified staff.
  • Career services in universities and colleges need to be expanded and improved.

In the Norway journalists can contact
Mr. Egil Knudsen, Ministry of Education and Research (tel. +47 22 24 74 09) or
Mrs. Karin Steenstrup, Ministry of Education and Research (tel. +47 22 24 74 70).


For the United Kingdom the review has recommended that:

  • Careers services within schools remain quite variable in level and quality. Future steps to raise quality that need to be considered include: a mandated careers curriculum; mandated qualification requirements for school staff who implement these programmes; and a more precise specification of student entitlements to career education and guidance.
  • It will be essential, in ensuring the future quality of schools’ careers services, to ensure that the specialised career guidance skills of the Connexions staff are maintained and can be readily identified by students and parents.
  • Current training and qualifications arrangements for career guidance practitioners in the United Kingdom are too diverse and do not sufficiently reflect recent government initiatives: for example the improvements to adult guidance and the introduction of ICT- and telephone-based services. New training and qualifications arrangements should be introduced to address these problems.
  • The distinction made in government policy between “advice” and “guidance” in funding career guidance for adults is poorly understood by practitioners and the public. It reflects an uneasy compromise in the United Kingdom between a fully government-funded system and a market-driven system of career guidance for adults. Resolving this will require better information on the nature and scope of private markets for career guidance in the United Kingdom.
  • Better information on the nature and scope of private markets for career guidance should be a priority issue for the new national arrangements to improve research and data gathering that are being introduced in the United Kingdom. The relative effectiveness of the different models of career guidance that have developed in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is another.

In the United Kingdom journalists can contact
Mr Millar MacDonald, Department for Education and Skills (tel. +44 114 259 4315 or Mobile: +44 (0)77 685 543 44).


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