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of the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance

Number 48______________________________________________________________January 2004

Career guidance and public policy: Bridging the gap

The OECD, the European Commssion and the World Bank come together: top level international
conference in Toronto, Canada, October 2003. Richard Sweet, Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD), reports:

On 6-8 October 2003, 109 people came together in                     place on the second day. They were organised
Toronto to discuss career guidance and public policy.                around six themes: Connecting policy and practice;
From 26 countries and five international organisations,              Connecting research and knowledge development;
they combined senior policy makers from education                    Career information; Access to services; Measuring
and labour portfolios and respected representatives of               outcomes; and Innovation. The detailed conclusions
career guidance practitioners. Sponsored jointly by                  to emerge from each of the six workshop sessions can
the OECD and the government of Canada, it was                        be found in the summary report of the conference on
held in association with the European Commission,                    the conference web site. Some of the common mes-
the World Bank and the International Association for                 sages that emerged from the discussion of the six
Educational and Vocational Guidance. The back-                       themes were:
ground for the conference was a set of three recently                      The importance of collaboration between
completed major reports on career guidance and                                policy makers and practitioners, and of
public policy by the OECD, the European Commis-                               mechanisms to allow this occur.
sion and the World Bank1, as highlighted in several
IAEVG Newsletter over the last two years.                                    The need for co-ordinated approaches:
                                                                              across portfolios; within different sectors;
In her opening remarks to the conference, the Hon.                            and between the various stakeholders.
Jane Stewart, Minister for Human Resource Devel-                              Again, there is a common set of messages
opment Canada, highlighted the key role that career                           about mechanisms to make this happen.
guidance can play in motivating people to make full
                                                                             The importance of basing policy upon an
use of their potential, in addressing social exclusion,
                                                                              improved evidence base.
and in improving the match between labour market
supply and demand. She also highlighted some of the                          The value of international collaboration.
key issues that policy makers need to address if the
gap between career guidance and public policy is to                  The conference was closed by Mr John Dennehy,
be reduced: in particular by improving the knowledge                 Secretary-General of the Department of Education
base through collecting better evidence, and by a                    and Science, Ireland and Chairman of the OECD
stronger focus upon issues of quality and outcomes.                  Education Committee. Among the lessons from the
After presentation of the results of the three studies,              conference that he highlighted were: the value of bet-
the substantive discussions at the conference took                   ter collaboration, both national and international, in
                                                                     improving career guidance; the importance of im-
1.        The three individual reports, as well as a synthesis       proved evidence and data, including data on costs, as
of the three prepared by Professor Tony Watts and Profes-            a basis for improved policy; and the importance of
sor Ronald Sultana, can be found on the conference web
site:                       quality standards. In looking to the future, Mr Den-
nehy stressed the need for a vehicle to be created at          reality. He invited all of the countries present to follow
international level to adopt a comparative approach to         Ireland in supporting the centre.
the link between career guidance and public policy.
He outlined the proposal, which emerged from the               An additional important initiative that Ireland will take
second international forum on career development               in 2004, to continue an international focus upon ca-
and public policy held in Vancouver in 2001, for the           reer guidance and public policy, will be the convening
creation of an International Centre for Career Devel-          of a special meeting of European Union Education
opment and Public Policy. The goal of the centre               Ministers in late April to discuss the implications for
would be to foster a comparative approach to evi-              public policy of promoting proactive guidance poli-
dence-based policy in the field of career develop-             cies, especially in the context of lifelong learning and
ment. Mr Dennehy paid tribute to the leadership that           the promotion of access to further education, training
Canada has shown in developing the concept, and re-            and work. He announced that the meeting, which will
ferred to support for the notion that has already been         take place in late April 2004, will build upon the out-
shown by a number of countries, including Finland,             comes of the groundbreaking Toronto conference. In
the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. In              addition, Ireland is in discussion with other European
support of the initiative, and in order to carry it for-       colleagues about the possibility of putting forward a
ward, he announced that Ireland would, subject to the          formal Resolution of the EU Council of Education
detail being worked out, make an expert available for          Ministers on the subject of guidance.
a three-year period to contribute to the initial co-
ordination that will ensure that the centre becomes a          This would be the first such resolution in EU’s history.

Ibero-American Career Guidance Congress in La Plata, Argentina, September 2003

"Current Situation and Challenges of Guidance and Counselling as a Scenario" was the theme of this
major conference in Argentina

In September 2003, 500 professionals - policy mak-             ployment is about 30% in Panama, Uruguay and
ers from the education and labour authorities, teach-          Venezuela, and a staggering 40% in Argentina and
ers, trainers, researchers and practitioners of guidance       Colombia. In 1997, before the onset of the current
and counselling - from different countries of Middle           crisis, open youth unemployment in Argentina from
and South America (including Argentina, Brazil, Co-            poor urban households was 55%, compared with a
lombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Uruguay and Vene-             national average for all young people of 24% (ILO,
zuela) and from Spain and Germany gathered at the              2003). As there is a still growing proportion of poor
La Plata State University for a conference on career           people and still rising unemployment in most of the
guidance. The conference theme reflected the current           Ibero-American countries, the most pressing question
situation of and challenges to guidance in the Ibero-          at the congress was how guidance and counselling can
American region. The professional contributions in-            contribute to overcome these serious economic and
cluded 4 keynotes, various panels, symposia and 167            social problems. With this backdrop, the participants
papers and posters. IAEVG was represented by                   approved a recommendation which urges govern-
Board member Julio Gonzales, Venezuela, and Presi-             ments to establish lifelong Vocational and Occupa-
dent Bernhard Jenschke, Germany, who gave a key-               tional Guidance Services in different settings (including
note on "International Perspectives of Guidance and            communities and universities), based upon law and,
the Challenges in a Changing Society." The Interna-            thus, a legal entitlement for all users to such services,
tional Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that                which should be adequately resourced for the needs
around 74 million young people are unemployed                  of a range of different target groups.
throughout the world. In South America youth unem-
The Gold Medal for Leadership in Career Development

The Gold Medal for Leadership in Career Development was awarded to Lynne Bezanson and Phillip
Jarvis, both of Ottawa, Canada, and both well-known and highly active members of the IAEVG

Only two of the solid gold medals and pins have been            ing programs, her commitment to quality in policy and
struck. They were awarded to M. Lynne Bezanson                  service, her determination to raise the profile of career
and Phillip S. Jarvis at Natcon, January 2004, by Stu-          development on political and policy agendas, and her
art Conger, a long-time Canadian activist in career             advocacy of accessible and affordable career services
development, and former Vice-President of the                   across the lifespan.
                                                                Phillip Jarvis, Vice- President National Life/Work
Lynne Bezanson, Executive Director of the Canadian              Centre, Ottawa. He has guided the development and
Career Development Foundation, Ottawa. With over                dissemination of products now being used by millions
25 years of experience, she is a dynamic counsellor             of youth and adults daily in education, training and
educator, author, researcher, adult trainer and an ex-          human resources development sites worldwide. He
pert in group facilitation. Lynne has directed numer-           co-ordinates large-scale collaborative projects (The
ous national initiatives, demonstrated leadership in ad-        Real Game Series,, Blueprint for
vancing career development practice, managed inno-              Life/Work Designs, Smart Options, The Edge Maga-
vative research and development projects, fostered              zine and Destination 2020) involving diverse public
collaborative partnerships, and produced solid results.         and private sector partners in Canada and many other
She has initiated and managed two highly successful             countries. He assisted in the design and supervision of
international symposia on Connecting Career Devel-              national employment, career development and training
opment with Public Policy and organised the first pan-          projects in Turkey and Romania. He has trained over
Canadian Symposium on Career Development, Life-                 10,000 teachers, counsellors, career practitioners and
long Learning and Workforce Development. Lynne                  administrators in several countries. He invented and
participated in the OECD (Organisation for Economic             marketed the CHOICES computer-based career ex-
Co-operation and Development) Thematic Review of                ploration system. He was the first National Co-
Guidance Policies, co-authoring the federal Canadian            ordinator of the Canada Career Information Partner-
response, and was a member of the 2-person OECD                 ship and established and co-ordinated a national net-
Study Team for Australia and Norway. She has been               work of provincial and territorial Career Information
a keynote speaker across Canada and internationally.            Partnerships to collaborate on projects involving min-
Lynne has made numerous influential contributions               istries of education and labour across Canada pro-
through her development of counselling methods and              ducing such projects as Canada Prospects, Perspec-
curricula, her design and delivery of practitioner train-       tives Canadiennes.

Career Development and Guidance: What We Know For Sure

Prof Mark Savickas, North Eastern Ohio University, USA, has compiled a list (based on literature re-
views and longitudinal studies) of facts in career development and career guidance. No need to guess.
This is what we know for sure (shortened version):

1. Childhood socialisation influence adult work performance and job satisfaction
Attitudes towards work are formed early in life, so workforce and vocational guidance policy should take a devel-
opmental perspective. Planful competence in early adolescence relates to more realistic educational and vocational
choices, occupational success, and career progress (cf. Savickas, 1993).

2. Part-time work affects the socialisation and development of adolescents
Along with family, school, and peer group, work can be a key social context affecting the development of youth.
Linking the two connects work to school in meaningful ways, thereby helping students to view work as a comple-

ment to school, not a separate domain. The links between school and work now are especially loose at lower lev-
els, with school being almost irrelevant for unskilled and semi-skilled jobs.

3. Knowing the world-of work eases vocational decision-making and job transitions
Vocational psychology has shown that it helps tremendously to have “a more compact view of the world of work at
a more manageable level of abstraction” (Dawis, 1996). Holland (1997), for example, has provided a compact view
in terms of psychological attributes: a hexagonal model of the world-of-work.

4. Vocational exploration and information lead to better career decisions
Vocational exploration and information gathering increases self-knowledge and awareness of suitable educational
and occupational options (Blustein, 1992). The Internet helps!

5. Career interventions effectively ease occupational choice and enhance work adjustment
Career interventions help individuals gain self-knowledge about where they can be satisfactory and satisfied workers
(Baker, 1998; Killeen, 1996; Whiston, Sexton, & Lasoff, 1998). The interventions can also smooth job transitions
by helping job changers.

6. Interests shape occupational preferences and enhance learning during training
Self-knowledge about vocational interests enhances educational and vocational decision-making.

7. Personality and ability determine job performance more than interests
While interests are an important factor in shaping occupational preferences and predicting learning in job training
programs, they are less important in predicting job performance. Individuals who demonstrate autonomy, self-
esteem, and a future orientation, not only plan their careers more successfully, they also become more satisfactory
and satisfied workers.

8. Congruence between the worker and the job improves performance
Job satisfaction, commitment, and productivity as opposed to turnover, absence, tardiness, and interpersonal con-

9. The transition from school to work can be smoothed
When linkages are made - apprenticeships, magnet schools, internships, co-operative work-education, and shad-
owing experiences - they can be quite successful in fostering the school-to-work transition.

10. Organisational socialisation of new employees promotes satisfaction and performance
Providing new employees with an interpretive schema or cognitive map of their organisation and work context has
been show to increase performance, satisfaction, and retention.

11. Work-family connections can be made less conflictual and more integrative
Conflicts between work responsibilities and family obligations can cause significant personal strain and lower pro-
ductivity. Guidance and counselling can help.

12. Individual difference among ageing workers can be used to retain productive workers
Workforces in Western societies are ageing rapidly. Moreover, restructuring and downsizing of industries have had
disproportionate negative effects on older workers. As workers age, individual differences increase, with some
workers maintaining and even improving their skills while others loss their initiative and let their skills deteriorate.
Policies to retain productive older workers and encourage the use of enabling technologies, recognising the contribu-
tions of older workers while reducing ageist stereotypes calls for 3 rd Age Guidance.

Book Review

'Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century'. A humble title for an important book by two
prominent career guidance scholars in the USA: Spencer G. Niles and JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey

This important book contains 15 chapters and an ap-              assessment                tools, again with a leaning to-
pendix of guidelines (ACA and NCDA), an educa-                   wards US-based materials. Moreover, a chapter
tional and career portfolio and a list of NCDA career            gives a comprehensive overview of career information
counselling competencies. After an introduction to the           resources, followed by an impressive introduction to
field, seen with US eyes, the book introduces major              the use of technology in career guidance. Further focal
American theories of career development, such as                 points of the book are designing and implementing ca-
John Holland's theory of person-environment interac-             reer guidance programmes and services, along with
tions and typologies, along with John Krumboltz's                evaluation issues. An important discussion of ethical
learning theory of career counselling. Donald Super's            issues in career guidance ties the book together.
work on life-span approaches to guidance is well de-
scribed, and placed in context. In contrast to most              One of the assets of this book is that it is easy to read,
other US-based books on career guidance, the em-                 even for newcomers to the field, using illustrative case
phasis is not only on the individual side of the equa-           approaches. Diagrams, charts and figures illustrate
tion, but also on the societal fabric that forms the             key concepts. There are additional web-based re-
backdrop for individual decisions and career devel-              sources for instructors and students, and an extensive
opment.                                                          instructor's manual, including Powerpoint slides, pre-
                                                                 pared for presentations (see
Further, the book covers Social Cognitive Career                 Ready to go.
Theory (SCCT), the Cognitive Information Process-
ing CIP) approach, the Values Based approach, and
(under a broad label: not a focal point) Post-Modern             Niles, S.G. & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. (2002).
approaches. One chapter is focused on career devel-              Career Development Interventions in the 21st
opment of diverse populations, including multicultural           Century. New Jersey: Merrill-Hall, 458 pages.
counselling. Further chapters discuss career counsel-            ISBN: 0-13-927146-5
ling strategies, including traditional and non-traditional

Conferences & Symposium

IAEVG-NCDA Symposium, June 29-30, 2004, San Francisco, USA
'International Perspectives of Career Development'

The first collaborative IAEVG-NCDA (pre-conference) symposium to be held, organised jointly by IAEVG and the
National Career Development Association (NCDA). The symposium will focus on educational and vocational guid-
ance and career development from an international perspective. The goal of the symposium is to bring together a
group of international specialists in the field of career development. This group, though limited in number, should
represent as many regions, countries and continents as possible. Since the symposium is being held in the USA, a
strong presence of US participants is sought.

The enrolment for the symposium is limited. Registrations will be accepted with preference to applications from as
many different countries and areas of expertise as possible. Applicants can choose to participate as a participant or

as a presenter. Complete information about the symposium, along with proposal forms at or Raoul
van Esbroeck, IAEVG-NCDA Symposium co-chair:

Followed immediately by:
NCDA Conference, June 30-July 3, 2004, San Francisco, USA
'Celebrating the Spirit in Career Development: Advancing Career Interventions in the Next Decade'
 3 world-renowned speakers: Norman Amundson (CAN), Richard Bolles (USA) & Th. Moore (USA)
 11 Professional Development Institutes
 45 round table sessions
 70 first-rate sessions
More info on

International Conference, September 15 - 17, 2004, A Coruña, Spain
'Guidance, Social Inclusion and Career Development'

Situated in beautiful Galicia in Northern Spain, this conference will include presentations, round tables and symposia
with a focus on:
 Social inclusion and intercultural guidance
 Needs analysis of social inclusion
 Models of guidance in terms of social inclusion
 Guidance and social inclusion from a global perspective
 Educational guidance and social inclusion in schools.
Conference languages: Spanish, English and French.
Arranged by the Spanish Association on Guidance and Psychopedagogy, Galicia.
Contact: J. Miguel Muñoz Cantero. Email: Website:

International Conference, September 14-16, 2005, Lisbon, Portugal
 'Careers in Context: New Challenges and Tasks for Guidance and Counselling'
Arranged by the Portuguese Institute for career Guidance and Counseling, Faculty of Psychology and Education
(University of Lisbon); Faculty of Psychology and Education (University of Coimbra), Education and Psychology
Institute (University of Minho), University of Évora, Portuguese Career Guidance and Counselling Association, In-
stitute for Employment and Professional Training (Ministry for Social Security and Labour) and Ministry for Educa-
Contact: Prof. Helena Rebelo Pinto (Univ. Lisbon)

Membership contacts:
IAEVG Treasurer:
Lyn Barham, 7 Lansdown Crescent, Bath, BA1 5EX, England.
Email: . Credit card payments are now possible.

IAEVG General Secretary:
Linda Taylor, Connexions South London, Canius House, 1 Scarbrook Road, Croydon, Surrey CRO 1SQ England
Email: or via fax + 44 (0)20 8929 4763.

Visit: and

General Editor: Dr. Peter Plant, Vice-president of the IAEVG, Copenhagen, Denmark. Email:
French editor: Jean-Luc Brun, Paris, France.
German editor: Dr. Bernhard Jenschke , President of the IAEVG, Berlin, Germany.
Spanish editor: Dr. Beatriz Malik, Madrid, Spain.


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