Indecon International Research Economists (published April 2019)
Read the full report here.
This new report from Indecon International Research Economists discusses the findings from an independent review of career guidance provision in Ireland submitted to the Minister of Education and Skills. This review sought to support the recommendation of the National Skills Strategy 2025 that the ever-changing nature of the labour market requires improved existing career guidance tools and career information and an enhanced enterprise education within the Irish education and trainings system. An examination of career guidance in the post-primary, higher education, and future education and training sectors included extensive stakeholder engagement, empirical survey evidence with learners and guidance counsellors, an examination of international best practice, a review of existing research and new econometric modelling of guidance counselling. The survey received 1,818 responses from learners and 440 from guidance counsellors. The stakeholder engagement received 119 submissions as well as a National Stakeholder Forum held in July 2018. This research also included an analysis of ‘Growing Up in Ireland databases which features survey research of 6,216 young people aged between 17 and 18.
Within the 1998 Education Act, schools are expected to outline their whole school approach to ensuring students have access to appropriate education and career guidance and how they can be supported and assisted in making successful choices. 99% of schools have clear aims of their school guidance programme, 80% have an action plan and 82% have procedures for monitoring and evaluating their programme. The authors stress the importance of guidance counsellors in acting as a mediator and intermediary between what they describe as “the known and unknown”. This report finds that individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds on average received less advice from parents and family members on career choice than individuals from higher income backgrounds. Those with the least advice on careers may be in the greatest need of access to professional guidance counsellors. The authors conclude that there are significant gaps within Ireland’s career guidance system. Recommendations include the establishment of an Implementation Task Force to drive the proposed reforms, greater access to online tools and experienced guidance practitioners, investment in greater labour market intelligence and a new centralised, user-friendly careers portal.