French Presidency of the EU and Career Guidance

Article excerpt

The issue of school and higher education guidance services are hot topics for the French Ministry of Education right now. After years of evaluation reports on the strengths and (mainly) deficiencies of existing provision, the government elected in 2007 made the improvement of guidance services in education a priority, particularly to combat high drop-out rates from school and higher education and to promote social and workforce integration of marginalised youth living in disadvantaged city suburbs.

This is the national backdrop to the French Ministry of Education making lifelong guidance a priority theme of its EU Presidency that commences in July 2008. The Ministry has chosen to host an EU conference titled 'Career Transitions and Lifelong Guidance: Building a European Response' which will be held in Lyon on Sept 17 and 18. The conference sub-themes include:

* How can guidance contribute to equal opportunities in education and training?

* How can lifelong guidance contribute to workforce integration and lifelong career development?

* How can we develop lifelong guidance services that are well organised and responsive?

Within these subthemes, the issues of access, quality and coordination will be looked at. They are viewed as the building blocks of lifelong guidance policies and systems. …