Kruševac: “Career Corner”, a career counselling and guidance workshop which is implemented, within the “Education to Employment“ programme, by the Youth Council of Kruševac, won a third prize in the third national competition in career guidance and counselling good practice. The competition was organised by Euroguidance foundation within the EU programmes Tempus and Erasmus.

Career counsellors Tijana Stefanović and Marija Pekić who are working with young people in the Career Corner, explained that they entered this competition with a workshop that comprises a number of activities, tests, workshops, and tools which they apply with the aim to make secondary school students identify the school they want to enrol, their future occupation, and the way in which they want their careers to develop.

 

“Within the “Education to Employment“ project we had the opportunity to attend a number of training programmes for career guidance and counselling that are implemented by Swiss experts. We were given opportunity to apply some innovative tools which they use for these purposes – career counsellor Tijana Stefanović said.

She believes that Career Corner won the prize because of the practical implementation of the innovative methods and the improvement of a realistic encounter which is one of the activities carried out within the workshop.

“A set of photos about the occupations is one of the new tools we use. It’s a visual method. The photo shows an occupation, and the description of that occupation is in the background, including what skills are required and the information about where you can get the required training. The point is that the young person, together with us, goes through a process of using these photographs to deduce what he wants to do, to distinguish between his wishes and real needs, to identify  the job he wants to do – a job that is demanded on labour market, “ Stefanović said.

Real encounter with the representatives of different occupations – for which the participants of workshops expressed an interest – were at first implemented as a part of the workshop. Now they are a separate activity.

“This means that we are organising these real encounters outside the workshop, as a separate activity which attracts young people in much greater numbers. Also, they see in front of them the representatives of several occupations for which young people expressed most interest. They are able to ask as many question as they want, the encounter lasts longer, they can learn about the details of the occupation in which they are interested,” career counsellor Marija Pekić explained.

Pekić, who is a psychologist by profession, carries out career orientation tests within the Career Corner. This helped about hundred primary school pupils to decide which school to enrol.

“Primary school pupils do personality, capability, and interest tests, based on which they decide what school is suitable for them,” she said.

During a period of almost two years workshops within the Career Corner were attended by more than one thousand young people from Kruševac, mostly secondary school students. The Career Corner is based on a five-phase model and entails the following steps: get to know yourself, get to know the world of occupations, get to know the world of education, real encounter with the representatives of occupations in which young people are interested, and a part relating to the decision on a career.

The Career Corner is a part of the four-year “Education to Employment“ programme which the Government of Serbia and the Swiss Government are implementing in five pilot towns and municipalities. The goal of the programme is to, by acquiring knowledge on the job, increase the employability of young people and persons belonging to vulnerable populations, but also to provide trained personnel that is scarce on labour market.

 

Journalist: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković