3.4 Career guidance and counselling
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Career guidance and counselling services
The House of Guidance (Maison de l'orientation) is a public institution that houses various existing career guidance and counselling services at one location. The 2017 law on the organisation of the House of Guidance (loi du 22 juin 2017 ayant pour objet l'organisation de la Maison de l'orientation) on the organisation of the House of Guidance defines the modes of operation and the cooperation between the different services. It includes the guidance and counselling offers of the following services:
- The Career Guidance Service (ADEM-OP; Service d'orientation professionnelle) of the National Employment Agency. It offers various information (books, videos, etc.) on jobs and professional careers and takes charge of different projects. The main target group of the service are youth in secondary education.
- The Psycho-social and Scholastic Assistance Centre (CePAS; Centre psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaire) provides guidance to young people to help them discover their skills and professional objectives. The CePAS also offers psychological counselling to young people and their families.
- The National Youth Service (SNJ; Service national de la Jeunesse) offers a National Voluntary Service (Service volontaire national) which especially focuses on disadvantaged young people with fewer opportunities and aims at encouraging early school leavers to go back to school and successfully complete a degree. With the 2017 regulation (règlement grand-ducal du 28 juillet 2017 portant établissement du cadre de référence national « Éducation non formelle des enfants et des jeunes »), the National Youth Service is also in charge of setting up a network of local services (ALJ; Antennes locales pour jeunes) whose mission is to support young people in their transition to active life by providing information, advice and individual support as well as preparatory activities for working life. In addition, it offers extracurricular activities for secondary schools to maintain school attendance and ensure follow-up of school leavers.
- The Department for the Schooling of Foreign Children (SECAM; Service de la scolarisation des enfants étrangers) provides information on the Luxembourg school system and support measures for children arriving in Luxembourg from other countries.
- The website mengstudien.lu of the Ministry of higher Education and Research provides information about higher education and professions in Luxembourg and abroad. The Financial Aid Department of the Ministry of higher Education and Research processes applications for state financial aid for higher education. The Agency for Transition in Autonomous Life (ATVA; Agence pour la transition vers une vie autonome) is in charge of facilitating networking and coordination between the different offers of the competence centres, schools and sheltered job market.
- The Department of Adult Education (Service de la Formation des Adultes) offers and coordinates different training programmes for adults.
The 2017 law on the organisation of the House of Guidance (loi du 22 juin 2017 ayant pour objet l'organisation de la Maison de l'orientation) defines this establishment's general objectives, which are as follows:
- To act as a contact point for citizens seeking information and advice as well as for institutions, services and associations outside the House of Guidance that act in the field of educational and vocational guidance
- To ensure a concerted and coherent approach of the different services towards citizens and external institutions, services and associations
- To develop common information tools on the basis of data provided by institutions and bodies conducting labour market studies and analysis
- To set up a programme of awareness-raising and information activities based on the needs and prospects of the socio-economic world in schools and in out-of-school settings
- To collaborate in the development of the terms of reference framework for schools.
It also defines the organisation and objectives of career guidance and counselling services in secondary schools.
According to the law, each secondary school must introduce a guidance approach that is adapted to the specific needs of its school population, in line with the terms of reference framework which defines minimum standards. Schools' obligations are:
- To inform pupils about the school system and the training paths, including possibilities for higher education both in Luxembourg and abroad
- To publicise the socio-economic world, in particular the labour market
- To help pupils develop their skills in order for them to make decisions about training paths they will chose and to develop their personal study project.
The law stipulates the creation of a guidance forum, composed of representatives from different institutions, will be created. Its mission is described as follows:
- To be a platform for exchanges, consultation and coordination for those involved in educational and vocational guidance
- To collaborate in the development of a national strategy for educational and vocational information and guidance and to monitor its implementation
- To identify possible gaps in the provision of educational and vocational guidance
- To advise the government on the initiatives to be taken to implement vocational guidance.
There are further career guidance and counselling services at schools and also within the field of non-formal learning (e.g. youth work):
- The Psycho-social and Scholastic Assistance Service (SePAS; Service psycho-social et d'accompagnement scolaires) offers career guidance and counselling at Luxembourgish secondary schools. A psychologist is in charge of the consultation of pupils. Many secondary school classes also take advantage of the career guidance service at the House of Guidance. Teachers visit it with their classes so that pupils can obtain information on job profiles and career opportunities
- The Youth Information Centre (Jugendinfo.lu) is an important national website that provides various information for young people, also on educational offers and career opportunities. It also manages the digital platform "jobs & internships" where young people can consult offers for holiday jobs, student jobs (fixed-term contracts) and internships. Companies can publish their job offers on the platform
- The regional youth workers of the National Youth Service are important agents on the local level. They inform young people about the existing offers of the National Youth Service (e.g. National Voluntary Service (Service volontaire national), ALJ (Antennes locales pour jeunes)) or other career guidance and counselling services.
The 2018 law on the creation of a competence center on specialised psycho-pedagogy for inclusive education (loi du 20 juillet 2018 portant création de Centres de compétences en psycho-pédagogie spécialisée en faveur de l'inclusion scolaire) introduced an Agency for Transition to Autonomous Life (ATVA; Agence pour la transition vers une vie autonome). The agency is an important stakeholder in charge of facilitating networking and coordination between the different offers of the competence centres. It initiates actions that facilitate the access to apprenticeship, the integration into working life, the admission to a sheltered workshop or activities for young people with special educational needs.
The aim of the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan is to improve the quality and coherence of the various existing programmes and offers.
According to the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan, the Youth Guarantee serves as a coordinating instrument, bringing all actors together and making sure that the target population will be followed over time by the different actors, who exchange information about the past, present and future of the young people (Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan, p. 9).
Since most of the services have been in place for some time, the Youth Guarantee does not introduce new services, but provides a general framework for the cooperation of the existing services.
The above-mentioned services are funded by the budgets of the ministries to which they are affiliated.
The Career Guidance Service (ADEM-OP; Service d'orientation professionnelle) is funded by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy (MTEESS). The other above-mentioned services and programmes are funded by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth. The budget of the National Youth Service for programmes supporting young people in the transition to working life is € 3 500 000 in 2023. The funding budgets of the different services are not available.
There is no system of quality assurance, but rather sporadic internal reviews which are not publicly available. No further information is available on these reviews.