Guidance System in Croatia – Introduction
The Republic of Croatia has a long tradition of professional vocational guidance which started in 1931, with the establishment of the “Vocational Guidance Counselling Station”, today’s Croatian Employment Service. Since the beginning, Croatian Employment Service (CES) has been involved in the various stages of career guidance development as one of the main national stakeholders within the guidance system, by developing and providing professional guidance as one of its core activities.
CES has also been recognized by the ETF in 2005 as the main stakeholder of systematically organized activities of informing, guidance and counselling aimed at different target groups of users – from pupils in primary and secondary schools and students, to the unemployed persons, employed persons, as well as to the employers (European Training Foundation (ETF) 2005). Other relevant stakeholders in the lifelong guidance include Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, Ministry of Labor and Pension System, Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Craft, and also Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education, Education and Teacher Training Agency, Agency for Science and Higher Education, private companies, non-governmental associations, etc.
The awareness of partnership based models and institutional cooperation in guidance on national, regional and local level is significantly arising. Also, the importance of the civil and private sector is continuously growing, independently and in cooperation with the public sector.
It is important to mention that the National forum for Lifelong Guidance is planned to be established in 2012, with one of its main objectives to draft a National Strategy for the Lifelong Guidance.
Croatia is also a member of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) since January 2011 and is participating in two working groups – Career management skills and Co-operation and Co-ordination Mechanisms. The National representative in the ELGPN is Croatian Employment Service.