The students in Gothenburg’s big city market are exposed to heavy pressure from a number of course arrangers. This makes it difficult for students to make the right choices for an upper secondary schools and vocational studies. Therefore the Gothenburg career guidance centre was created. The program offers a service to schools to guide the students. It has trained career guidance counsellors who will work in the schools to help students to define and create their identity to be able to make a better choice. By introducing career guidance counsellors in the school more time and attention is offered to the students to help them with their choices. Many schools give low priority to career guidance counselling, which is to the disadvantage of students who thus have a poorer basis for their choice of education and future. However, the whole school is responsible for career guidance. So it is important that the counselling program is part of the school program.
The aim of the student career guidance is by helping the students to make the right choices to prevent early dropout.
Introduction and context
All career counsellors belong to a team with a joint responsibility for the guidance of students at schools in a specific geographical area. Within the framework of the team, much of the counsellors’ skills enhancement derives from collaboration on material and methods, exchange of experience, and concrete cooperation on different contributions to the work. The team is led by a section manager with responsibility for staff and management, method and operational development and support to co-workers. At the same time the section manager has to collaborate with head teachers at the schools where the career guidance counsellors are working in order to create conditions for the counsellors’ work at the schools. A counsellor is placed at one or more schools for a total of 36 hours per week. Training days arranged internally are scheduled as a rule during school holidays in order to disturb the work of the schools as little as possible. An annual kick-off is arranged to provide learning within the organization and contribute to a greater professionalization and focus on counselling as envisaged by the city council in its decision on the Career Guidance Centre.
Schools who work with the Career Guidance Centre are free to purchase additional services, but a school cannot choose to go below the allocated minimum level, for example to reduce its total costs.
The challenges is to support students to be able to choose the right upper education due to high pressure from a number of course arrangers.
The wide range of course programmes is described both as advantage for the students because so much is on offer and also something that makes upper secondary school even more complicated and stressful for the students.
At the same time schools did not offer enough attention to this challenge therefor the career guidance centre was started.
Career Guidance Centre counsellors are involved as trainers, the schools work together with the centre and implements the guidance program in the school program.
Target groups are students that are in the phase of making choice for upper secondary school in the area as well as school counsellors.
The Career Guidance Centre employed counsellors at municipal compulsory and at upper secondary schools. School leaders as well as school counsellors are involved in the process.
Students will have to register for an upper secondary or vocational study via the system used by the career guidance centre. The centre as well as the school will have an overview of the students that registered and those who didn’t. A follow up by checking on registration of the students is given as well.
Besides the counselling in schools for students, coaching is also available for the school counsellors.
The career guidance centre also offers drop-in possibilities on two locations available for students, parents which is open every day for individual guidance or for general information in folders, computers etc.
The result is that studentschoose the education that is right for them instead of choosing the nearest school – which had resulted in high mobility of students before.
The schools pay more attention to the information available on different education and working life opportunities. Students are more likely to choose the right education and thus not dropout.
The initiative also resulted in joint information brochure and common application and monitoring system.
A career guidance counsellor has knowledge about the large and changing range of programmes and has up-to-date knowledge of careers and the labour market.
A career guidance counsellor must be impartial and independent and focus on the student. A career guidance counsellor focuses on giving the students the opportunity to make their own soundly based decisions by:
- Becoming aware of own self, needs, interests and qualifications
- Seeing own opportunities and limitations
- Seeking and evaluating information on training and working life
As it is a community program is can be easily introduced in schools. However, the schools need to commit to supporting the program and implement it in the school.
Implementation can start at the beginning of the school year at upper secondary or vocational schools.
Impact of measures taken
By introducing the program as well as guidance of school counsellors it changed the mindset of school on the importance of choosing the right education and hence to prevent early dropout.
The collaboration between schools and education resulted in a joint information brochure before the choice of upper secondary school and a common application and monitoring system.
Any other information
Student career guidance for under-20s in Gothenburg