Parents, Teachers, Career coordinators are key target groups, cooperating with practitioners; Public Authorities / Institutions are the LMI principal sources; Companies, professional associations, individual professionals contribute to LMI production.
Pathfinder serves as a unique resource of labour market information, integrated and utilised in the context of the practice. Via its simple, user-friendly and creative interface, users and professionals can access the LMI openly available across its four main sections, which are dedicated to:
- the Pathfinder Game;
- practitioners, teachers, career coordinators.
The portal also offers users with the opportunity to search for, identify, contact and/or schedule an appointment with a Pathfinder practitioner close to them in order to receive further support.
The practice leverages several sources to collect and offer reliable and up-to-date labour market information. The Estonian Qualifications Authority serves as a vital resource of insights into the different professions available in Estonia and through the OSKA initiative, provides:
- an aggregate report on labour market developments and changes transpiring in labour requirements, with dominant labour market trends over the next 10 years;
- sectoral reports on the analysis of different sectors’ needs in terms of demand and skills, including recommendations for training requirements.
Additional sources of labour market information include data and papers provided by public authorities and institutions. The labour market information collected is appropriately processed and translated into an easily comprehensible format for the target groups.
- The platform on which the Pathfinder career planning portal is implemented utilises the Saurus Content Management System (CMS) as well as the Zend framework.
- The basic technological infrastructure includes mid-size rackable servers as well as a central data storage, upon which a VMware Hypervisor runs and enables the CMS of the platform to be seamlessly and constantly operational.
- Information security is safeguarded via a dedicated framework, titled “Three-level IT baseline security system”, ensuring that data availability, integrity and confidentiality are kept at a high level.
In numbers, 288 956 unique users utilised the portal in 2016, a number corresponding to almost 22% of the Estonian population.
From qualitative aspect, Pathfinder contributes towards:
- empowering users to develop career management skills;
- breaking down stereotypes of gender and age and promoting equal opportunities for career guidance in Estonia;
- enhancing the capacity of practitioners to better support their targeted groups;
- reducing early school leavers rates within the Estonian education system;
- fostering closer collaboration amongst guidance professionals and stakeholders.
- follow-up survey addressing users shortly after their experience with Pathfinder’s services;
- Users, practitioners and stakeholders provide feedback through the dedicated contact point available at the portal;
- The Agency conducts surveys on a larger scale every few years.
- Reliable and up-to-date LMI delivered for free addressing the diverse needs of its targeted groups;
- Focus on CMS development;
- Regional yet centrally-coordinated approach;
- Combination of face-to-face and digital career guidance and information services;
- Emphasis on ensuring the qualifications of Pathfinder practitioners and on continuously enhancing their knowledge and skills;
- Trustworthy brand in the national lifelong guidance system;
- Collaboration amongst guidance stakeholders at regional and national level;
- International cooperation.
- Scattered and complex labour market information.
- Lack of awareness about the Pathfinder services.
- Limited national financial resources.
Pathfinder is utilised by the national government as a key means of achieving its long-term goals and plays a pivotal role in the national lifelong guidance system. The practice is well-aligned with national and EU policy guidelines contributing towards reforming and improving the national guidance system of Estonia.
Co-funded by EU and Estonian government: EUR 30 348 were allocated to the technical development of the portal between 2012 and 2016, and EUR 4 200 for its technical maintenance on an annual basis. Other cost categories include personnel, content development etc.
230 professionals are involved in the implementation of the practice.
Pathfinder practitioners are qualified with at least a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of education and their qualifications have to comply with the respective occupational qualification standards. They are further trained through continuing training activities, aiming at safeguarding the quality of their services.
Pathfinder utilises the Saurus Content Management System and the Zend framework.
Pathfinder practitioners were offered a dedicated international training course in 2016 on the role of ICT in lifelong guidance.
Users have the opportunity to search for, identify, contact and/or schedule an appointment with a Pathfinder practitioner close to them in order to access quality and more personalised support.
Parents are vital allies, while teachers and career coordinators play a leading role in the integration of career guidance within the Estonian education system. Data and information published from public authorities and institutions serve as the principal source of LMI, while businesses contribute to the LMI provided.
- Major renovation of the web portal to introduce layout improvements, LMI presentation and self-help tools available online;
- Novel digital guidance delivery method through an online chat function, enabling users to directly contact suitable Pathfinder practitioners;
- Communication and information acquisition and advances in the field of guidance at national and international level;
- Participation of the Agency in several initiatives, in the context of international cooperation.