Career guidance is recognised as an essential service and learning resource that can support and enable individuals throughout life. Former and newly enacted EU policies reinforce and affirm the importance of lifelong guidance. More recent policy initiatives since 2020 increase attention on guidance provisions and services, particularly in facilitating engagement in re- and upskilling, preventing exclusion, and widening opportunities for all individuals to shape their career and skills development in a holistic way, in a lifelong learning perspective. Partnerships, strategic cooperation, and coordination have been a means to build better guidance systems, and there are calls for their strengthening.

CareersNet, Cedefop’s network of independent experts in lifelong guidance and career development was created in 2017 to collect comparable and reliable information on a European scale in the field of lifelong guidance and career development for informing improvements in national systems, policies, and practices. The network also generates new knowledge while offering members opportunities for peer learning and collegial exchange. Insights are shared on national developments and the national relevance of EU initiatives, independently of changes in national or European policy. CareersNet experts provide and analyse content for Cedefop’s EU+ online Inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices.

CareersNet convened again remotely for its fifth annual meeting on 6 and 7 December 2021 (see event news headline). The event partner this year was the Slovenian Government with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport Department of Educational Development and Quality. To promote quality lifelong guidance and career development across Europe, Cedefop is honoured that this year the event was added to the Slovene Presidency calendar as an accompanying event. Annual meetings are restricted to network members and invited representatives of the partner institution and other selected EU institutional participants working in lifelong guidance and career development. Each year the network partners with a European national institution responsible for career guidance and career development.

A total of 73 participants including invited institutions and those representing our Slovenian partner attended on Day One of the meeting alongside Cedefop and CareersNet members from 32 countries. The European Commission and the European Training Foundation (ETF) were invited institutions. Day Two was attended by network experts and dedicated to network management, core expert activities, Cedefop work in the field, and targeted inputs by members. 


The event included a number of engaging thematic inputs arranged by the Slovenian Ministry's Department of Educational Development and Quality, beginning with an overview presentation focusing on governance and the Slovenian cross-sectoral national expert group in lifelong guidance, followed by five short inputs by the group's career guidance providers representing the array of substantial service practices and partnerships seen as essential in successful lifelong guidance and career development systems. Attention was drawn to the provision of equitable, high-quality lifelong career development and learning for individuals of all ages, marking clear progress nationwide since Slovenia's early contribution to the European guidelines for policies and systems development for lifelong guidance (ELGPN, 2015).

There were plenary sessions and focused group-work in breakout rooms on policies supporting cooperation and collaboration in providing improved access to career guidance and career development services and support, and on strengthening the lifelong guidance system. The smaller sessions also provided networking and peer learning opportunities.

To enrich learning on information-provision relevant for career guidance policy, Cedefop presented its latest work in accessible labour market and skills intelligence, implications of the EU Green Deal for 'green skills' transitions, and Agency experts also presented the CareersNet collection of working papers published in November - Digital transitions – Rethinking professionalism of careers practitioners in the digital context and shared news on a related Briefing note drawing on this body of work, published the day before the event by its Department of Communications.

Cedefop concluded the day by announcing that together with CareersNet, it will embark on targeted updating and revision of the Guidelines for Policies and Systems Development for Lifelong Guidance published in 2015 (Tool No.6) by the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN). Finalisation of the updated guidelines is expected in 2023.


During the dedicated sessions for network experts on the second day, participants deepened the discussions on collaboration in lifelong guidance and career development policies during a second group work session focused on integrative tools. The issue of integrated approaches and service cooperation was revisited, having been initiated at the 2019 Rome annual meeting before the pandemic onset. Other sessions outlined network activities and national developments since the last meeting in October 2020, including Cedefop’s empirical work on current monitoring and evaluation approaches across selected countries, and potential innovations, towards future standards in the field.

New members were welcomed and informed about Cedefop’s new portal and access points, the status of the LLG Inventory records, as well as network composition following the call for experts in 2021. Core experts were invited to discuss and share plans for full updates in 2022 and short updates possible during mid-policy cycles. The event was also an opportunity for alternate network experts to share insights and to learn more about the work of core members who have participated in the network longer-term.

Event materials - Selected session slide presentations and videos have been uploaded for portal visitors. Network members receive additional follow up materials and news by email. A concise summary of the event with additional links is made available under 'Downloads' below. The event news headline was added to the January Cedefop newsletter.

Presentations - Day 1 

Session 1: Cross-sector governance and partnerships in lifelong guidance in Slovenia 

Cross-sector expert group for governing guidance in Slovenia (mandate and activities) - model of cooperation within legislation framework and beyond, Ema Perme (Ministry of Education, Science and Sport - Slovenia) 

Career guidance in primary and secondary schools „VšečKAM in GREM“, Karmen Vaupotič and Natalija Žunko (PRIZMA Foundation for the Improvement of Employment Possibilities, Slovenia) - Video

Short-cycle higher vocational colleges, Alicia Leonor Sauli Miklavčič (Association of Slovenian Higher Vocational Colleges,  Slovenia) - Video

Careers centre at the University of Ljubljana, Tamara Boh (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) - Video on students - Video on employers

Public employment service, Julija Pirnat (Employment Service of Slovenia) - Video 1 - Video 2

Guidance in adult learning and education as a public service, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek (Slovenian Institute for Adult Education) - Video in Slovenian

Session 3:  Cedefop inputs (Cedefop and Careersnet members) 

CareersNet collection: Digital transitions – Rethinking career practitioner professionalism, Cynthia Harrison (Cedefop)

Practitioner's strategic competence and the transformative role of ICT in lefelong guidance, Raimo Vuorinen & Jaana Kettunen (Finland)

Skills for the green transition: implications from the European Green Deal, Stelina Chatzichristou (Cedefop)

Session 4: European-level initiatives supporting cooperation

EU strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities 2021-30 – Career guidance and partnerships, Susanne Kraatz (European Commission)

Recent initiatives and partnerships focus in EU policy related to career guidance, Aline Juerges (European Commission)

Presentations - Day 2 

Session 6: Update on cooperation and coordination for integrated approaches to support for careers and learning

Occupational qualification system: great potential in encouraging professional development in career guidance, Margit Rammo (Estonia)

Integrating career guidance in CVET policies and practices for adults in Greece: interesting examples and perspectives, Fotini Vlachaki (Greece)

Session 7: Looking ahead at 2022-23

Cedefop study on Individual learning accounts (ILAs) and the potential for integrated policies and systems for CVET/AL, Patrycja Lipinska, Ernesto Villalba, Cynthia Harrison (Cedefop)

Towards European standards for monitoring and evaluation of lifelong guidance systems and services, Ernesto Villalba (Cedefop)

Event details

Event Date(s)
06/12/2021 - 07/12/2021
Event Type
Virtual event
Invitation only
Cedefop involvement




Short meeting synthesis and news from CareersNet



Cynthia Harrison Villalba
Maria Karamanoli