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Skills and professional development of career counselors – A comparative analysis

The modernization of the education as well as leveraging the level of professionalism are high on the agenda in the EU. As a result, the Prometheus Project was developed. Its target is to motivate adult learning and education and to encourage re-skilling and up-skilling. Special career guidance will be created in order to help the professionals use their potential in full. In order to achieve the set goals, the authors of the project decided to make a comparative analysis of the career guidance, professional development in Europe.

The comparative analysis has shown that not all the European countries have the concrete guidelines and requirements for the professional skills and development. Greece and British studies of the state of the education and professional development show such challenges as a lack of time and financial resources for the improvement of education and career development and the lack of skills and information on continued professional development. Not all the countries (e.g. Italy, Austria) provide the formal education for the career counsellors, thus, there are no set requirements for their skills and qualifications. Moreover, these countries don’t recognize such a profession as such. The task of the Ministry of Education of such countries is to create a program for the development of the career counsellors and to prepare a list of skills they should have.

Bulgaria, UL and Greece have special institutions which are responsible for the development of the career counsellors (e.g. The Global Career Development Facilitator, UK Register of Career Development Professionals, EOPPEP). In addition, career counsellor formal education is provided by the universities. In those countries where this profession is officially recognized, its representatives attend professional fairs and events, conduct various presentations, provide guidance for those who are looking for work or want to level-up their skills, organize trainings and seminars, conduct the research and implement national and European projects in their field of activities.

As far as the skills are concerned, the career counsellors should have perfect education and mentoring skills, people managing skill, a profound knowledge of their sphere of activity, ability to constantly learn, develop and leverage their knowledge and skills. As not all of them work for the companies or public organizations, some of them should also have entrepreneurial skills in order to be able to find the investors and to be able to conduct negotiations with them.

The purpose of the Prometheus program is to arrange a proper work of the career counsellors all over Europe. They should be able to help with career development, work market trends, professional skills development, re-skilling, etc. Career counsellors should work in collaboration with career centres, NGOs, universities, employment offices, etc. in order to facilitate the access to the information regarding a professional development and employment.

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