ORGANISATION OF CAREER SPECIALISTS ACTIVITIES IN GENERAL EDUCATION SCHOOL

Indra Gasiancevienė, Asta Railienė

Abstract


The availability of career services for every student is a social, cultural, educational and economic imperative. This highlights the need to develop career services at general education school in order to provide students with vital knowledge and skills related to the world of work that will enable them to make a successful transition from the learning environment to the labor market. Career services are described as a set of services that develops a person’s competencies that enable a person to plan a personal career, make informed learning and career decisions. It is a purposeful activity aimed at developing a person’s understanding of themselves and the world of work and shaping their attitude about the added value of learning and development now and in the future. Some of the first career decisions are made while attending general education schools. Therefore, schools play a huge role in ensuring that each school student has access to a wide spectrum of career information and counseling, forming the necessary conditions for the student to learn about oneself as an individual, to find out about many available professions, to develop the skills to correlate the acquired knowledge, and to make careerrelated decisions responsibly and independently. The results of international research reveal that young people find it increasingly difficult to make career decisions in both learning and work situations, and young people’s career aspirations are not linked with projected labor market demand. Although most people aged 15-18 already understand what kind of job they would like to do in the future, their field of choice, their approach to the world of work is extremely narrow, and their career aspirations have little to do with projected labor market needs. This highlights the need to develop career services at general education school in order to provide students with vital knowledge and skills related to the world of work that will enable them to make a successful transition from the learning environment to the labor market. The provision of quality career services is related not only to the response of young people to the needs of the labor market, but also to their future economic well-being. It is emphasized that career services provided at general education school have a positive impact on students ’academic achievement. Provision of high-quality career services in general education schools is based on the joint endeavors of the entire school community and social partners, and since 2016 the career specialists have been named as the main providers of these services. However, there is still a lack of a unified system for the provision of career services in general education schools, the provision of these services is hampered by their spontaneity and chaos, and there is a lack of professional career service providers. Although the training of career specialists was started in Lithuania in 2003, there is still a lack of functional justification for this position, the position of career specialist is not regulated, and the existing training of career service providers is based on the initiative of individual higher education institutions. Job indeterminacy and different perceptions of career specialists’ job functions and activities have a negative impact on the quality of career services.
The research object is the peculiarities of the organization of the activities of general education school career specialists. The aim of the research is to reveal the peculiarities of the organization of the activities of general education school career specialists. The following problem questions are raised: How is the workload of career specialists regulated in general education schools? What are the target groups the career specialists work with, what are their functions and who do they cooperate with? What work planning challenges do career specialists face in general education schools? It should be noted that no previous nation-wide researches delving into the career specialist-related work organization of career specialists in general education schools exist. Research methods are analysis of scientific literature and documents, questionnaire-based survey. A quantitative research was carried out from February 2020 to March 2020 for the purpose of revealing the peculiarities of organization the work of career specialists in general education schools. Research scope are 368 career specialists working in different general education schools in Lithuania. Descriptive statistical methods and non-parametric analysis were used for the overall data evaluation. The research was conducted in cooperation with the Department of Career Education of the Lithuanian Centre of Non-formal Youth Education. The article presents only a part of the research results related to the analyzed topic.
The research revealed that the workload of career specialists working in general education schools constituted less than a half of the shift or was allocated to other main functions. In schools, career specialists mostly focused on providing information and counseling, and less on career education. When providing services to target groups, career specialists most actively cooperated with class teachers, social partners, other school teachers, administrative staff of the school. They felt the support of the administrative staff. The research revealed that the key problems encountered by career specialists when providing career services in general education schools were related to high workload and lack of cooperation with the parents/guardians of the students and their colleagues.

Keywords


career education, career services, career specialist, general education school.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SD-20-18-2-03

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789