Theme #1: Context and challenges for career development policy
This paper synthesises and summarises theme one of the International Centre for Career Development Symposium in Trømsø 2019. This theme addresses the context and challenges for career development policy in the participating countries and is based on an analysis of the country papers. It is divided into three different parts. The first part presents and discusses key political, social, economic and technological issues that are likely to have an impact on people's lives and careers in the participating countries. The second part presents and discusses policy interest in career development, where the focus is on whether and why the level of policy interest is growing, shrinking or staying the same in the participating countries. The third part presents and discusses the roles in which career development programmes and services play in addressing the contextual issues.
Theme #2: Aims for, and access to, career development services
Career guidance is viewed as a policy instrument to support the achievement of a broad range of social policy goals for different segments of the population by most of the 33 countries taking part in this International Symposium. For young people, such goals include preparation for work and successful transitions to education, training, and employment. For adults, they concern upskilling and reskilling, employment and employability, and managing multiple work transitions. For employers, they concern addressing skills shortages and workforce adaptability. For education systems, they are seen as a way to improve their efficiency and effectiveness - the retention, performance, and progression of students. For vulnerable groups in society, they concern social mobility through education and workforce participation.
Theme #3: Integrating career development into wider society
Career development exists in a range of contexts for different objectives and its mandate most often resides within multiple levels of government. The country norm remains that Ministries of Education are totally separate from Ministries of Employment or Labour and in most countries, universities and colleges are separate from both. The achievement of a transparent and readily accessible lifelong career development system is thus rendered very difficult and in fact not yet fully achieved by any one country.
At the same time, and perhaps given the current uncertainty and high levels of change and challenge in the labour market, most countries report that the interest in career development policy is growing. Many countries are responding to the challenges and the growing interest by experimenting with and/or adopting joined together approaches between education and labour. There is growing evidence of labour market expertise being welcomed into the education system and certainly strong outreach to include the employer community in program and service delivery within the school system. Innovative cross-sectoral approaches are also being tried and are showing promise.
The most common form of cross sectoral collaboration is National Forums. There are many impressive examples of forums that cut across many Ministries and some examples of such forums being evaluated for impact and effectiveness. There are also leadership initiatives within the career development sector itself, some of which are gaining prominence and recognition and being called upon by Ministries and Governments to contribute to policy discussions and action plans.
Increasingly the skills language of labour markets and employers is becoming prominent within the career development sector. While co-ordination remains the main challenge, it is clear that the career development sector is paying increased attention to the demand side of the labour market. The professional identity of career development professionals and recognition of its specialised expertise as distinct from other helping professions remains a challenge in many countries.
Theme #4: Leading innovative change for the future
This paper summarises how countries participating in the ICCDPP symposium are innovating and addressing change in career development practice and policy. Some innovations are concerned with the development and implementation of guidance policies while others focus on new ways to design and organise the career development services and innovations