European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network Database, ELGPN Database

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Name of the good/interesting practice/initiative/policy

Career information centres



I am proposing that this example will be published also in the KSLLL database


1. Background

What makes this an example of good/interesting practice/initiative/policy?
- The motivation of the initiative (What is the history/background of the policy?)
- Linkages with LLG policy priorities (Please add references to other national/EU policies or documents)
- Participants
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs collaborates with the Federal Ministry of Education in order to widen access to career guidance and vocational information. Both ministries agreed on a bilateral commitment that all pupils on the transition from school to further education or to the labour market should visit career information centres (BIZ-Berufsinformationszentrum). The motivation behind this step is that in a knowledge-based economy and a dynamic labour market, young people should concern themselves with further schooling and career choice as early as possible in order to make a well-considered decision.

Aims and targets
- Objectives of the initiative (What did the policy set out to achieve?)
- Target group
- Methods applied to reach the objective (technological and /or pedagogical)
The aim of the initiative is to enable youngsters to making well considered career decision as a lack of information or support often leads to drop outs and break ups. Another important aspect of the measure is to encourage girls to take up professions which are traditionally assigned to male domains, such as mechanical and technical jobs. At the same time vocations in the health and care sector, which are typically known as female occupations, should be introduced to boys. In that sense we try to break up labour market segmentation and force equality between men and women as both sexes have the same access to all professions.

2. Implementation

Strategy and actions (Please describe the approach adopted to make the reform work and any actions taken.)
- Level of implementation (national, regional etc.)
- Implementation (description)
The initiative is based on a common commitment between the Federal Ministry of Labour and the Federal Ministry of Education. A national action plan was set up and the curriculum schedules a vocational information class. In this class teachers and pupils together visit a career information centre of the public employment service. The regional offices (66 in Austria) provide information about their guidance services and other material about further education, professions, apprenticeships etc. Pupils are invited to test their skills in different workshops and may find out more about their professional interests through various tests. As the services are free youngsters and their parents are invited and motivated to come again if they need further guidance on their career choice. As parents tend to be the contact person when it comes to a child’s career decision, one part of the strategy aims at including them in the decision-making process.
Career Counsellors of the PES are educated with special seminars and they update their knowledge regularly in in-house trainings. Fifty new career counsellors were hired and qualified to handle the run on this new service as well as to provide good quality.

Monitoring and evaluation
- What has been put in place for monitoring and evaluation?
- What actors are involved?
The career information centres provide data and statistics about the group visits on school level. Data is also provided on sex, age and type of school. Additionally the public employment services report on their pursued strategies for reaching and supporting the schools once a year.
Teachers fill in an online-questionnaire after the visit.

3. Outcomes

Achievements (Please describe the main outcomes/results according to the following headings. Each option can be answered - up to 50 words)
- Specific results
- Cost effectiveness
- Budget
- Innovative aspects
55.300 pupils came to career information centres during vocational orientation class. Compared to the beginning of the initiative a plus of + 12.200 or +28,3 % visitors in this age group is recorded.

Success factors (What key success factors have led to or prevented success?)
- Lessons learnt
- Unintended impacts (Have there been any unintended impacts? Positive or negative?)
The key success factor of this initiative is the cooperation between schools and the career information centres of the public employment service. The guidance services are provided all over the country with a special regional focus.

Strengths and weaknesses
- What areas of the policy can we learn lessons from?
- Are there still challenges ahead?
The initiative is successful in reaching secondary modern schools (Hauptschule) but it hasn’t been that successful in grammar schools (Gymnasium) so far. The focus is to get in contact with all types of schools that educate pupils from the 5th to the 8th level of education.

4. Additional narrative description of the policy/practice/initiative


Additional information

Name of contact
Dagmar Brandstätter

Role (in policy initiative)

Organization name
Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affaires and Consumer Protection

Stubenring 1




Website address

Documents and publications

Attached files


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