3.4 Career guidance and counselling
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The objective of the Strategy of Lifelong Professional Guidance and Career Development in the Republic of Croatia 2016-2020 is to identify the priorities, measures, and activities for establishing a lifelong learning guidance system. It aims to assist citizens in accessing quality professional guidance services for developing lifelong careers in accordance with their abilities, interests, personality traits, and job market demands.
Professional guidance is provided through the legislative work involving the Ministry of Science and Education and the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy.
The primary source of vocational guidance is the Croatian Employment Service (CES), with additional institutions engaged in professional guidance being:
- primary and secondary schools
- adult education institutions
- universities and polytechnics
- Croatian Employers' Association
- Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts
- agencies for vocational education, training and adult education
- Agency for Science and Higher Education
- Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes
The CES provides professional orientation to students in their final grades of primary and secondary school, offering professional information and counselling. The process involves collaboration with schools and parents through a Survey on Professional Choices for Primary and Secondary School Students. Additionally, students are provided with information on education, relevant areas for occupational choice, and employment.
Professional orientation through the lifelong career guidance centres is also available to other users interested in participating in formal education, retraining, or making a career change. Additionally, professional rehabilitation programmes are implemented.
In Croatia, there is no publicly coordinated or funded system for non-formal and informal professional orientation.
The budget allocated for professional orientation under the supervision of the CES at the annual level for 2021 was HRK 1 550 000.00. The allocated amount was utilised for vocational guidance aimed at assisting the unemployed and other jobseekers. Additionally, the CES provides professional orientation for students, particularly those in the final grade of primary school, facing developmental and/or severe health challenges that complicate their occupational choices and access to the labour market.
At the time of writing this report, there was no quality assurance system and evaluation of professional guidance system in Croatia. However, the CES submits annual reports on its work to the Croatian Parliament.