Effective career guidance helps individuals reach their potential, economies become more efficient and societies become fairer. This is the point driven home by a leaflet co-produced by Cedefop, marking World Youth Skills Day 2021.

Career guidance describes the services which help people of any age to manage their careers and to make the educational, training and occupational choices that are meaningful for them. It helps people reflect on their ambitions, interests, qualifications, skills and talents - and relate this knowledge about who they are and who they might become in life and work.

The joint leaflet Investing in career guidance, published by Cedefop, the OECD, the European Commission, the European Training Foundation, the International Labor Organisation and UNESCO, sends a strong message to policy-makers and stakeholders worldwide that strengthening investment in career guidance can lead to positive outcomes for individuals, especially those who face barriers in pathways to learning, employment and social integration.

Removing these barriers through guidance services can increase awareness of opportunities and empower individuals with critical skills and information to take control and navigate their lifelong careers in difficult and turbulent times while continuous skills development can lead to great collective gains for society.

The need to improve career guidance effectiveness, enable access and establish services is more prominent than ever in the face of still greater instability and risk of unemployment due to the pandemic, the leaflet points out.