Career Management Skills: a key concept for Lifelong Guidance systems

CAREER MANAGEMENT SKILLS (CMS) is a strategic key concept for implementing lifelong guidaquestionsnce policies within national and regional education and employment systems.

People are becoming aware that the structure of work is changing and that the management of own career and learning process is a lifelong challenge. Education and guidance services are in charge to promote and develop these skills needed by all people for living this change and for leading actively their career paths.
Career management is based on the idea of an intentional management of work, learning and other aspects of life through reflective, evaluative and decision making processes (Haines, Scott, & Lincoln, 2003; Watts, 1998). 

The European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) regards career management skills (CMS) as competencies which help individuals to identify their existing skills, develop career learning goals and take action to enhance their careers.

Fostering career management skills can equip individuals to:

  • access and use effectively the full range of career management products and services at a time and place that suit their needs;
  • identify opportunities to develop their learning goals and employability skills and understand how the labour market works: how to find a job; to appreciate how and why industries and individual jobs within them are changing; and what sort of skills they need to progress;
  • identify how they can progress within the workplace;
  • access the services they need, with partners working together to signpost them or, where appropriate, co-ordinate an integrated package of services; and
  • be better able to take career decisions, to manage change and uncertainty by forward planning and to make confident choices for themselves.

Training and improving Career Management Skills should become a priority for schools and education institutions, as well as for employment and guidance services within Europe. ELGPN is promoting a wide and better knowledge of this model that brings with it a number of challenges for the lifelong guidance systems at any level. 

ELGPN published a number of documents and reports regarding CMS for supporting policy development and implementation of CMS frameworks.

The concept note prepared by Dorianne Gravina (Malta) and Miha Lovšin (Slovenia) highlighted differents approaches of CMS in Europe and descibed experences and initiatives in this field. The report integrated theory and experiences observed in a number of ELGPN member countries.The concept note has been commissioned by ELGPN, and supported by a reference group drawn from its members.

This report is free for download here:

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