The LEarning And Decision making Resources (LEADER) project has been established to support partner countries to develop and use career management skills (CMS) and CMS frameworks with practitioners. CMS is the term used to describe the skills, attributes, attitudes and knowledge that individuals require in order to manage their career. CMS define a set of learning outcomes that will support individuals to develop their careers throughout life. In a learning paradigm the development of CMS becomes one of the key objectives of lifelong guidance.
The LEADER project has adapted the ELGPN definition of career management skills to give the following definition. Career management skills (CMS) are competencies which help individuals to identify their existing skills, develop career learning goals and take action to enhance their careers.
The first report from the LEADER project presents an analysis of the data collected as part of the first phase of the project and explores the concept of career management skills (CMS) from the perspectives of the partner countries: Italy; Spain; Romania; Greece; Turkey; and the UK. Data were collected using surveys and focus groups representing practitioners working in career related roles in the partner countries. Construction of the research tools was underpinned by a literature review to identify current thinking in relation to CMS. Responses to the survey were received from 222 respondents from six partner countries and over 85 individuals contributed to focus groups.
- The value of CMS. Focus group participants from all countries agreed that CMS should be at the core of lifelong guidance services. A majority of respondents to the survey reported that they thought CMS were ‘very valuable’. They felt that a CMS framework should ensure that individuals are aware of their skills, strengths and achievements and that they know how to find and evaluate information and support to help their career development. However, the terminology of ‘career management skills’ is not well understood in all countries.
- Implementation of CMS. CMS were promoted at a relatively high level in schools across all partner countries. However there was less evidence of their use in public employment services. CMS were developed in a variety of ways including one to one sessions and group sessions and less commonly through online learning and self directed learning.
- Assessment of CMS. Most participants from the partner countries believed that CMS should be assessed and the survey suggested that most countries had some experience of assessment. They used a variety of assessment methods including observations, assignments, portfolios and self-assessments.
- Training and resources for CMS. More than half of respondents reported that there were either no available training or that they were unaware of any available training regarding CMS. More training for CMS would be welcomed across all the countries including good practice exchanges, regular seminars and workshops, accredited courses at all levels including postgraduate, new tools and models to deliver, mentoring and experiential learning. Participants would also welcome new resources to support the delivery of CMS including career matching software, handbooks, career repertories and databases, e-portfolios and pictures, cards and videos on careers.
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