Municipalities offer information regarding the education system, while the Swedish Public Employment Service is responsible for the provision of LMI data about occupational profiles and forecasts. Statistics Sweden provides educational and labour market data.
Education info mainly aims to empower students to make informed decisions regarding their transition from one education level to another, while also having in mind the career prospects of their choices.
Education info can be used either independently by the students or with the assistance of an educational guidance practitioner.
Practitioners use the website during their guidance sessions and working hours at schools or through career guidance counselling outside the school environment.
LMI provided involves information about what students should consider when making a transition between educational levels or a transition to working life:
- Learning Opportunities provided by the educational agencies of the country, such as information on the entire school system, the different educational levels in Sweden, statistics that enable comparisons between schools, etc.
- Labour Market information, provided by the Swedish Public Employment Service, such as information about different professions and their linkages with Higher Education and with pre-university national programs; occupational profiles linked to the national vocational programs; labour market forecasts.
LMI is presented through different delivery means such as videos, graphs, pictures, voice reading.
- Data from different sources is collected in a standardized manner based on the EMIL national standard.
- Susa Hub is the central hub/database in the EMIL ecosystem that collects information about education opportunities and education providers from multiple sources. The various partners provide their data in an .xml format. These xml. files along with data that is collected internally is entered in the Susa Hub. EducationInfo.se gets these files from Susa Hub via http, processes it and stores it in a SOLR database. Data is being updated daily, while compulsory and upper secondary information is drawn from an in-house database.
- The website also fetches information on the labour market (forecasts and occupational descriptions) from an internal system using an Oracle Service Bus.
- Another important technical element of the practice is the open data policy that is being followed for data and information included.
In numbers, during October 2015 to October 2016, the page attracted almost 1 450 000 visitors.
Concerning qualitative results, the website presents a full spectrum of educational opportunities, which greatly supports students and can result to a better matching between education skills needed by the labour market. The platform actively supports the work of guidance practitioners. The operation of the website as a single access point of LMI on educational opportunities for students has positive implications to the entire national LLG system.
- evaluation by users and practitioners, via dedicated e-mail address,
- education guidance providers are contacted by the agency either through e-mail or at a larger scale by posting a request on the Facebook account of Swedish guidance practitioners.
- Many different stakeholders of the Swedish educational system have agreed to collaborate with NAE and offer their data;
- LMI on education opportunities is offered in a standardized and uniform way by following a specific national standard;
- Website offers educational guidance, while taking into account career prospects;
- Website is built on a guidance framework that uses CMS development as a bottom line;
- Excellent communication with guidance practitioners;
- Much of the content is provided in 18 languages;
- Website has a good level of user-friendliness and provides different means of delivering LMI;
- Government support and the fact that the Government commissioned it;
- ICT in education and guidance is promoted through the overall national context.
- Guidance practitioners were resistant to change, fearing a replacement of their role.
- The website is not actively promoted.
- Strong competition from private guidance practices and competing sites.
- Information might have to be simplified.
- Platform's CMS did not facilitate the easy integration of other websites or the translation of texts in many languages.
- The practice has a high compatibility with the structure of the Swedish LLG system and enjoys political endorsement since its initial development was mandated by the Swedish government;
- The involvement of many educational institutions and guidance authorities in its implementation demonstrates its integration in the LLG system of Sweden;
- The use of the website within the school practices is promoted by the national authority responsible for this level of education.
- The annual budget and costs for the operation and maintenance of the practice is EUR 100 000.
- The overall budget for the initial development of the website was EUR 1 000 000, including costs for external consultants, infrastructure, software and personnel.
Three people are involved – part time – with the everyday operation and maintenance of the website; they hold an ICT background and have strong experience on educational issues. The legal department and educational experts validating the texts presented on the website also contribute. Around 1 900 people are employed as guidance counsellors in the Swedish school system; they are hired directly by the schools or centrally by each municipality. Practitioners follow a three-year university program that leads to a Bachelor of Education in Career Counselling.
- The technical infrastructure required is limited to simple requirements of a webpage: (i) a front and back end server; (ii) a database and (iii) a machine for extra services;
- The technical part for developing the specific apps is also quite simple;
- The structure of the webpage is simple, based on the Polopoly CMS;
- The user-friendliness of the website is quite high.
The LMI and the website's exercises can be used either individually or with the help of a school counsellor. As such, even though the use of the tools in both cases remains online, in the latter case it is combined with physical delivery methods within the school environment.
Many stakeholders of the educational system collaborate and offer data under a voluntary basis cooperation, a very important fact for the provision of an up to date and reliable overview.
- Migration of the various NAE web platforms into one;
- New version of the platform’s database containing an API that will facilitate cooperation with external authorities is being tested;
- Marketing efforts must be enhanced so as to raise awareness to students and schools;
- Need for higher involvement of schools in terms of providing them training on how to use the website;
- Need for actions towards the tool's adoption within the municipalities’ guidance practices;
- Need for more systematic mechanisms to facilitate the incorporation of practitioners’ feedback into the development of LMI;
- More resources are required in order for the website to better plan future developments.