The activity is carried out mainly with students from middle school onwards, with differences in approach. In middle school, the emphasis is still above all on the Self, while in the next cycle, it shifts to life projects and choices.
In Trentino, this activity initially spread between the 90s and the 2000s, following the increasingly evident presence of professional figures from the psychological area within the orientation process. In that period, the focus of job orientation for young people shifted from information to interest in self and people's life plans.
The main objective is to stimulate the student to reflect on himself and on those characteristics currently present that can allow better access to the world of work and better planning for such access. The role of this method is to support the student in creating possible paths for future careers to experiment. The method does not make decisions for the student.
Description of the type of measure
Through group activities (quantitative, like psychological assessment, and qualitative, like interviews, “Activity pie” chart, “Career genogram”, Narratives about work, education and leisure timea, card sort, …), school can manage to intercept all the students of a given year (for example, the first year of vocation educational training). In contrast, for individual activities, it is not possible, with current resources, to make it available to everyone. We can say that up to 30% of students can be involved in individual job counselling activities.
Students are the main subjects, individually or in groups. Secondly, parents, who can be asked for a contribution (especially for middle school students), while teachers are often not involved in this practice.
It has now spread throughout the system and practised by all educational and training institutions. It is usual for students to have individual or group support to enhance knowledge of their characteristics and to understand how they fit into professional choices.
Presence of counsellors sufficiently trained on the psycho-social side and on knowledge of the world of work and professions. In applying qualitative methods, it is necessary to prepare material (sort cards, checklists, etc.) which is used by students during counselling sessions.
All guidance counselling activities have similar purposes and similar tools. In every Italian region, public or private support service is available for career guidance.
To do this process, training for the counsellors is needed for the production of supporting material.
The use of qualitative methods during job counselling allows students to be informed in a more in-depth manner on the contents of individual professions, starting from their needs and characteristics and using the idea of the future they have.
The primary indicator of success is the student's ability to build various professional development paths to test. The more paths and alternatives there are, the greater the level of success possible.
Lessons learned: The cons are related to the spread of individual counselling, which could be the best and most effective version of job counselling. Other issues are associated with the professionalism of counsellors, and with the integration especially with the activity of teachers in the classroom. What has been learned about this activity is that if it remains exclusively carried out within individual or group sessions managed by experts outside the school, then the risk is that it detaches too much from the educational experience and that in some way it becomes an alternative/opposite to this experience.
About the pros, work on the training of professionals and the training of teachers, preferably on shared projects, which combine teaching activity in the classroom with the job orientation process. Also work on the involvement of parents, to develop their skills in managing their child's orientation, to enhance their predispositions and future life plans.