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This toolkit on labour market information is meant for all career practitioners active in or interested in lifelong guidance and career development. The concept of lifelong guidance is understood in a broad way, as defined by the European Union. The aim of lifelong guidance is to improve career development competences and to facilitate study and job choice.


Lifelong guidance is a continuous process that enables citizens at any age and at any point in their lives to identify their capacities, competences and interests, to make educational, training and occupational decisions and to manage their individual life paths in learning, work and other settings in which those capacities and competences are learned and/or used (2008 EU Council Resolution). It refers to career guidance and career education activities in schools, universities, employment services, career guidance centres, social support programmes, etc. during all life stages. The aim of lifelong guidance is to improve career development competences and to facilitate study and job choice.

Labour market information is an essential element of career guidance and counselling. Labour market information helps to explore options and alternatives in the world of work, and how to reach them. Depending on the life stage and the personal situation of the individual (client) different types of labour market information will become more or less relevant.

  • For school pupils typical LMI questions to address are: what are (my) talents? What do I like? Why do we work? What is the value of work? What is an occupation? What is a sector?
  • For adult learners, the following labour market information question can arise: do my skills still match with what employers need? When I return to the labour market after some years of absence, what opportunities are available? What kind of training or support is available in order to gain new skills or update my skills?

Labour market information tools sometimes target one specific user group, sometimes they are designed for different user groups.

You can find out here what the different user groups are.


Labour market information is useful for career guidance and counselling activities for a broad range of user groups.

The following user groups are distinguished:

  • School Pupils
  • VET Students
  • Higher Education Students
  • Adult Learners
  • Employed
  • Unemployed
  • Older Adults
  • Youth at Risk
  • Disadvantaged Groups
  • People with a migrant background

In this toolkit we show the added value of labour market information for lifelong guidance, and how the use of labour market information can reinforce guidance activities. As ICT plays a key role in our society, and in lifelong guidance services you will discover also information on the role of ICT, labour market information and lifelong guidance.

This toolkit is meant as a starting point for exploration and as a synthesis of key messages. You find examples of good practices. Links to other useful sources such as reports, handbooks, manuals, websites, … are provided.

Note: detailed descriptions of the good practices can be found in the handbook on LMI, ICT and lifelong guidance and in the Cedefop study Labour market information and guidance .