Title “Attractive Vocational Guidance for Pupils”
Project Number 2008-1-BG1-LEO05-00436
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The current project’s overall aim is to promote the attractiveness and effectiveness of existing guidance services for pupils.
Guidance provision at school level has an essential role to play in ensuring that individuals’ educational and career decisions are firmly based, and in assisting them to develop effective self-management of their learning and career paths. The emergence of a knowledge-based society and the need for lifelong learning requires services to be available at times and in forms which will encourage all citizens to continue to develop their skills and competences throughout their lives, linked to changing needs in the labour market. There is a need for flexibility and diversity of guidance provision that include the use of innovative methodologies and technologies (2004 Council Resolution on Lifelong Guidance).
With regard to these European developments the current project aims to promote the attractiveness and effectiveness of vocational guidance services for pupils by adapting an innovative vocational guidance methodology from Turkey (EU-funded project SVET) to primary education level of the educational systems of Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. The partners will create an information aid for the target group which aims to show them ways of accessing the educational and labour market possibilities. The transferred methodology will be enriched by the following activities:
• surveys of pupil’s needs of information in the field of vocational guidance, educational opportunities of the national education systems and labour market needs;
• methodology for application of psychodiagnostic methodology for measuring of the personal and professional profile of pupils;
• methodology for training in soft competences of pupils;
• methodology for training in vocational guidance for pupils of teachers and trainers ( school psychologists, pedagogic advisors and class teachers).
The project partnership encompasses 6 organisations from 4 countries – Bulgaria: 32 Compulsory and Secondary school, Sofia, D&D group LTD and Industry Watch; Turkey: VET Info Center, Istanbul; Greece: Hellenic Regional Development Center; Romania: Activity Foundation.
The expected short-term outputs of the project include:
1. A set of flexible and user-friendly guidance tools (interactive CDs) for pupils.
2. An electronic platform with info and training materials for pupils, teachers and trainers.
The expected long-term outcomes of the project include:
1. Raised awareness of pupils in the countries involved for the career opportunities in the region and the skills required for these professions.
2. Raised understanding of pupils for their personal qualities and abilities, professional aptitude and choice of professional and personal development.
3. Improved guidance methods and skills of teacher and trainers at primary education level.
The expected impact of the project:
• On national level – The integration of user-oriented and friendly, interactive set of guidance tools in the work of newly established or emerging guidance centres will improve the quality of work and especially the effectiveness of the guidance services for pupils rendered.
• On European level – The project aim and results contribute to the implementation of the priorities set out in the Education and Training 2010 Work Programme regarding quality and effective vocational guidance as a tool for combating unemployment, ensuring optimal distribution of labour force, which will raise the status of EU to the level of the world’s most dynamic knowledge based economy.
Guidance provision at school level (primary and secondary education level) has an essential role to play in ensuring that individuals’ educational and career decisions are firmly based, and in assisting them to develop effective self-management of their learning and career paths. The emergence of a knowledge-based society and the need for lifelong learning requires services to be available at times and in forms which will encourage all citizens to continue to develop their skills and competences throughout their lives, linked to changing needs in the labour market. There is a need for flexibility and diversity of guidance provision that include the use of innovative methodologies and technologies (2004 Council Resolution on Lifelong Guidance).
In their efforts to comply with the Council Resolution on Lifelong Guidance (2004), the countries involved in the current project are moving at different speeds towards implementing effective and quality lifelong guidance systems which can be seen in their national reports to the 2008 Joing Interrim Report of the Council and of the European Commission on the Progress in Implementation of the Education and Training 2010 Work Programme.
Bulgaria has been building Career Guidance System in secondary education since February 2006. However, the process is slow due to lack of coherent national policy in this field, impossibility for self-funding of such centre and to ensure self-dependently all informational base needed for provision of qualitative information and career guidance services.
Romania has managed to establish the first structures for youth vocational guidance (Information and counselling centres for youth) in 2006. Despite this important progress, it soon became clear that these structures would not operate effectively without proper staff and quality training programmes and guidance toolkits.
Greece seems to be far ahead of the newly accepted EU members such as Bulgaria and Romania in terms of developed lifelong guidance infrastructure. However, measures are still needed to improve the quality of guidance services rendered.
Turkey on it its part is trying to follow the European priorities in the field building the required legislative and institutional capacity. The main obstacle in comparison with the above mentioned countries to the effective implementation of this policy is the demographical scope – Turkey’s population according to 2007 survey is nearly 72.5 million.
All countries mentioned make adequate investments in vocational guidance services for secondary school level with the aim to reduce the levels of early school leavers (drop-outs) to the level of the common European benchmark, i.e. 10% till 2010. Nevertheless, all of them maintain relatively high levels of drop-outs – Bulgaria, Romania and Greece nearly 15% and Turkey 50 % (Report for 2007 on Progress Towards The Lisbon Objectives 2010 In Education And Training). Moreover, statistics read that there is a tendency for increase in early school leaving at the end of primary education.
Two main conclusions stand out:
a. There is a growing need for improving the quality of vocational guidance services for young people rendered in terms of information back-up and modernisation of guidance toolkits used.
b. There is a growing need for widening the scope of vocational guidance services which are traditionally focused on secondary education by including the primary education level.
The current project’s overall aim is to promote the attractiveness and effectiveness of existing guidance services for pupils by adapting an innovative vocational guidance methodology from Turkey (EU-funded project SVET) to the primary education level of educational systems in Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.
The concrete objectives are:
• To provide pupils, teachers and trainers with multilingual web-based information platform on vocational guidance (types of professions and skills needed) and labour market tendencies (perspective occupations and skills needed) which will improve their knowledge and self-understanding of guidance needs in this age group.
• To develop and integrate a set of interactive guidance toolkits into the guidance systems of participating countries that will help pupils make informed choice for their future personal and vocational development.
• To train 200 pupils in soft competences which will allow them to achieve better understanding of one’s personal and professional profile so to make justified career choice.
• To train 20 teachers and trainers in interactive guidance methods and tools for the primary education level which will improve the quality and attractiveness of the services they render.
The outlined aim and objectives correspond directly with European Leonardo da Vinci Programme Priority 2 “Developing the quality and attractiveness of VET systems and practices connected with the promotion of guidance and counselling at all levels”.
The project is targeted toward two main groups:
Pupils (young people of age 12-14 in primary education level) - the project will involve the pupils when they are in 6th grade (psychodiagnostics of their personal and professional profile) and will work with them (informing through website and other info sources + applying interactive vocational tools + soft competences training) till they finish 7th grade, i.e. final year at primary school. As a result of the project they will be able to make informed and rational choice of their future vocational field – type of secondary education and career domain in 4 countries – Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Turkey.
Teachers and trainers (school psychologists, pedagogic advisors and class teachers) these specialists will be trained in the adapted vocational guidance tools and will contribute to their wide application. They will improve their understanding of the guidance needs of pupils in 4 neighbouring countries and adapt to these needs by using innovative guidance methodology (the last is valid for Bulgaria, Greece, Romania these are the importing countries).
The current project will transfer innovative content from a project (SVET) of the Turkish government (Turkish Ministry of National Education), funded with € 58.2M from the European Union for duration of 5 years. This project led to the establishment of Vocational Education and Training Information Centres for early vocational guidance of youngsters in 51 professions. One of these centres is the VET INFO CENTRE in Istanbul, which is partner to the current project and is determined as initial developer. Moreover, Mr. Saban Berk from VET INFO CENTRE has showed great involvement of his organisation by presenting the initiator of the project with copies of the products to be transferred, which is a building block for the project’s success.
The methodology developed within SVET and applied in the work of VET INFO CENTRE contains two main guidance tools:
1. A set of 14 audio-visual CDs in Turkish language for presenting 51 professions;
2. Meetings of young people with representatives of each profession.
Each CD follows common structure as follows:
• Economic sector profile and conditions
• Choice of profession
1. Description of activities in the profession
2. Decription of responsibilities
3. Decription of job requirements
4. Description of important and notable skills for the profession
5. Opportunities for development
• Training and career development
1. Information about the character of vocational training
2. Description of specialties at VET schools
• Short documentary - 3 minute film explaining the work of a person in the respective profession.