Career guidance was first introduced into the Spanish curriculum in 1970, through the Education Act considering it a right for students. Since then, career guidance has grown considerably within education, with a huge amount of support now widely available for students to access. Since 2008, unemployment levels in Spain have been extremely turbulent, peaking at over a quarter of the population being unemployed in 2013. Levels are beginning to decrease however, notifying a drop to just over 15% in July of this year, but this still remains a problem. For the millennial generation, they are facing increasing competition when it comes to gaining employment, whether this is in Spain or around the world.
Career guidance has the aims of improving efficiency and effectiveness of education, preventing disparity between workers capabilities and their jobs, and to increase productivity. Although as parents, we can offer our support and advice to our children, teachers are formally trained and play a vital role in aiding this support. There are four main roles that teachers play
- Pastoral duty
- Subject specialty
- Effectiveness of delivery
Teachers spend with students over six hours a day in school, therefore teachers have a responsibility to build relationships with their students, and understand their strengths and weaknesses. When these relationships are built well, students feel comfortable to discuss and gain advice from teachers. Teachers may have had many different experiences before their current occupation. Did they go to University? What did they study? What other careers did they consider? Asking these types of questions to many different people can help students to gain an understanding of all different paths they could pick themselves, and explore all potential avenues available.
During training, teachers are taught how to carefully talk to students in a sympathetic and empathetic way. Students then feel comfortable to talk to someone they trust and approach them with concerns or issues, many of these relating to future employment. Specialist training is given, so that the discussions are all done in an open-minded manner, and so all options can be explored, in order to help guide or offer help for a solution. Schools also have the available links and contacts to be able to refer students to professionals or other specialists.
The advantage that teachers have is that they have specialist knowledge of their subject area, and can help to identify to students what different avenues that subject can open up for them. For example, studying Geography doesn’t just mean you want to become a weather presenter. You can use this to become a landscape architect, meteorologist, business development or even a journalist. Teachers can identify student’s skills and present them with career options in their specialist area that would be best suited to their skill set.
Effectiveness of delivery
The last role, and arguably one of the most important, is the effectiveness of career guidance. Senior leaders must carry out continuous reviews and gather feedback from students about how useful they found the career service. Without effective delivery, students could ultimately be failed, and therefore cause confusion and decreased confidence in what they want to achieve employment wise in their near future. Improvements can always be made in any aspect of life, and so effective reviews will ensure students are getting the best possible service.
The world is a very different place compared to 40 years ago when we were making educational and career choices. As the world is changing, hundreds of new job roles are being created every year, and so being open-minded will be a key aspect to helping your child reach their full potential. Allowing your child to explore and investigate any interest they have; whether this is from something they learnt in the classroom, from extracurricular activities, or even from the internet through personal research. So what can we do to help as parents? Encourage! One of the most valuable things you can give your child is your encouragement and support for what they want to do. They want to make you proud. Think about all the jobs you thought you wanted to do when you were their age; and did you end up doing any of them? Allowing your child to have the freedom to explore (of course with some guidance) can help them gain valuable independence and confidence in order to flourish.