Although there is no national career management skills (CMS) framework in Slovakia at the moment, several related programmes and initiatives can be identified both in the education and employment sector. The National strategy for lifelong learning and guidance 2021-2030 foresees the creation of such a framework in 2023-2024.
Career guidance and career education are not specifically mentioned in the national educational programmes, but their elements are included implicitly in some sections which refer to ‘educational areas’ of curricula (e.g. Man and the World of Work), ‘transversal topics’ (e.g. Personal and Social Development and Creation of project and presentation skills) or they are integrated into specific subject curricula such as Civic Education, Ethics, Technology etc. (SAAIC, 2012). Elements of career education are included into the curricula of the subject “Introduction to the world of work” which is offered (optionally) to the 3th and 4th grades of VET (upper-secondary) schools.
Performance and content standards related to career management skills within the national educational programmes for these subjects include the following topics:
- orientation in learning opportunities and work activities of selected professions;
- realistic vision of one’s possibilities with regard to possible educational and career paths;
- identification of resources containing information on open vacancies, career and entrepreneurship opportunities;
- knowledge of available career guidance services;
- ability to present oneself in model situations (e.g. job interview), write a CV and motivation letter;
- ability to grasp the term ‘income’ (distinction between gross and net income), knowledge of different sources of income;
- ability to set career goals and develop an action plan (including educational and vocational training requirements).
A curricular reform of primary education, financed through the Recovery and Resilience Plan, is currently underway in Slovakia. In the draft materials, Career Education is defined as one of 3 key elements within the education area “Man and the world of work” alongside Technology and Entrepreneurship. The reform and new state curriculum should formalise expected learning outcomes and standards for career education in each education cycle (NIVaM, 2022).
The standards for the delivery of career guidance and education at schools explicitly focuses on the development of career management skills in three areas:
- career exploration;
- lifelong planning and managing of educational and career paths.
In 2016, public employment services developed a framework of employability skills that are used to operationalise the outcomes of the counselling services. The framework is used to identify clients’ needs, individualise the service and verify the progress the client achieved in counselling. The structure of the framework is inspired by the CMS framework for Scotland, but the items were elaborated in collaboration with counsellors in PES. It contains the following items:
A: Identity and motivation
- A.1 Is able to maintain autonomous job search activity (at least 1 activity per week)
- A.2 Understands the importance of work for leading a balanced and meaningful life
- A.3 Is able to list his/her professional interests/preferred activities
- A.4 Is able to list his/her life and work values
B: Strengths / potential
- B.1 Is able to describe his/her strengths
- B.2 Is able to prepare relevant documents for job search (motivation letter, CV)
- B.3 Is able to list educational opportunities that would increase his/her chances on the labour market
- B.4 Is able to use the job search portal, including the automatic agent
C: Horizons and planning
- C.1 Knows what he/she has to do to get a job (action plan)
- C.2 Is able to justify the choice of jobs he/she would like to pursue
- C.3 Knows occupations in a targeted professional field that would correspond to his/her interests, skills, and personality strengths
- C.4 Is able to follow job vacancies from at least two different specific sources
D: Networks and relationships
- D.1 Is able to effectively conduct a job interview
- D.2 Is able to effectively address a potential employer - in person or by phone
- D.3 Knows people who work in a targeted occupation or targeted professional field
- D.4 Contacted employers in the region personally in the last month (including supported employment, e.g. in the public sector)
In 2019 an online tool was created and the framework is used in every project-funded counselling programme provided by the labour office and by external providers of career guidance services for the labour office.
- SAAIC (2012). Zručnosti pre riadenie vlastnej vzdelávacej a profesijnej dráhy a ich rozvoj v sektore vzdelávania. [Skills for managing your own educational and professional track and their development in the education sector]. https://www.euroguidance.sk/document/publikacie/35.pdf
- Šprlák, T. (2018). Na čo sa zamerať v poradenskom procese pre nezamestnaných? Rozvoj zamestnateľnosti mladých do 29 rokov a dlhodobo nezamestnaných - výsledky prieskumu. In: Kariérové poradenstvo v teórii a praxi [What to focus on in the counseling process for the unemployed? Development of employability of young people up to 29 years of age and the long-term unemployed - survey results. In: Career counseling in theory and practice], 2018 (vol. 13), pp. 40-50. https://www.euroguidance.sk/document/casopis/13.pdf
- Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport (2022). Stratégia celoživotného vzdelávania a poradenstva
- na roky 2021 – 2030 [Strategy of lifelong learning and guidance 2021-2030]. https://www.minedu.sk/data/att/22182.pdf
- NIVaM (2022). Vzdelávanie pre 21. storočie. Východiská zmien v kurikule základného vzdelávania. [education for the 21st century: sources of changes in primary education curriculum ]. Vzdelávanie pre 21. storočie. Východiská zmien v kurikule základného vzdelávania