OVERVIEW

Career guidance covers information, counselling, and guidance services that help persons in different age categories choose their own pursuits in the areas of education, training, and employment, and to undertake active roles in the development of their career management skills. Career guidance in Lithuania follows the same trends that prevail in Europe: career guidance is being organized as a basic element of the Lifelong Learning Strategy and as a fundamental part of employment policy.

POLICY

The formation and development of the career guidance system in Lithuania is the responsibility of three executive authority institutions of the Republic of Lithuania – the Ministry of Education and Science (career guidance policy related to the provision of quality career education, information, and counselling services for pupils, students, adult learners, etc.), the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (career guidance policy related to the provision of quality career information and counselling services for job-seekers (youth and adults), including NEETs) and the Ministry of Economy (career guidance policy related to organising forecasts on human resource demand in the labour market). In the education sector, career guidance (i.e. career education, information, and counselling services) is provided by general education schools and VET schools. In the employment sector, career guidance services (i.e. information and counselling) for job-seekers (adults and youth) are provided by territorial labour exchanges and their structural divisions – youth job centres. Associations and NGO’s of people with disabilities or any other special educational needs provide specific career guidance to their target groups. The range of offered services varies and depends on the type and priorities of each NGO. Some organisations offer employment mediation and various training programmes (building confidence and motivation, developing career planning skills, etc.) for persons of disadvantaged groups (including persons with disabilities). 

SERVICES AND PRACTICE

To ensure the accessibility of career information and counselling services, a special focus is put on career guidance information systems. In 2008, the Ministry of Education and Science developed a national database of learning opportunities titled AIKOS (Atviro informavimo, konsultavimo ir orientavimo sistema – Open Information, Consultation and Orientation System), which makes data on education, statistics, and labour registers available to a wide range of customers and offers relevant information to career guidance service providers.

Funding for career guidance services comes from diverse resources: the state budget, ESF funds, and funds from Active Labour Market Resources and the Youth Guarantee Intiative.

TRAINING

"Career guidance counsellor" is not a state-regulated occupation, thus professionals in guidance are recruited according to separate sectorial/corporate standards and requirements.

Requirements for school career coordinators and career counsellors, as well as their functions, are defined in their job descriptions.

School career coordinators who work within the school level are required to: have a higher education degree; have at least three months of work experience with tasks related to activities with school students or counselling; be aware of career education-related legislation; have a good command of ICT related to guidance tasks; be aware of the basics of document-processing and record-keeping; be fluent in the Lithuanian language; have at least a B2-level command of any foreign language, preferably English, French or German.

School career counsellors, who coordinate groups of assigned school career coordinators, are required to: have a higher education degree; have at least one year of work experience with tasks of counselling or consulting activities; have a good knowledge of national guidance policies, systems, and legislation; have some experience in performing management tasks; have a good knowledge of pedagogy and andragogy and the ability to use them in practical work; be aware of the basics of document-processing and record-keeping; have a basic computer literacy qualification according to national standards; be fluent in the Lithuanian language; have at least a B2-level command of any foreign language, preferably English, French or German.

Requirements for counsellors of territorial labour exchanges and their youth job centres are as follows: a degree of higher or equivalent education; at least one year of work experience in the field of employment policy; knowledge of relevant legislation; information management and analytical skills; skills of written and verbal communication; ability to produce official documentation; good command of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Internet Explorer; and C2-level knowledge of a foreign language (English, German or French).

GUIDANCE RESEARCH

Country-specific research on different aspects of career guidance is commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Science and Euroguidance LT, but does not constitute regular practice and heavily depends on available funding.

Examples could be provided from the two universities in Lithuania:

  • Vilnius University research is focused on the psychological aspect of career guidance and an individual’s career implications, attitudes, and decisions, as well as counselling methodologies.
  • Vytautas Magnus University in 2012 established the Quality of Studies and Career Research Group (liet. Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, Studijų kokybės ir karjeros tyrimų grupė). This group publishes the international journal “Career Designing: Research and Counselling” (liet. Karjeros projektavimas: tyrimai ir konsultavimas) in Lithuanian and English. This journal is meant to be a forum for diverse and competing philosophies and practices of career designing and counselling. It offers publications of both theoretical and empirical research about career designing and invites researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers to join international discussions aimed at resolving issues and problems in career education (choosing professions) and planning (further career development).

ETHICS IN CAREER GUIDANCE

Ethical principles, guidelines, and occupational descriptions for career guidance staff acting in general education and VET sectors were developed in 2008. The standards used by the practitioners are: validity, professional image, respect, objectiveness, and relevance. The Principles for Ethics in Career Guidance are a part of the Qualification Standard of career specialists, which was prepared through the ESF project, “Designing and development of the national career guidance system” (2008).

HE institutions follow the Framework of Quality Assurance of Career Management Services for Students (2012). The Framework encompasses descriptions of principles for ensuring the quality of career resources, career practitioners, code of ethics, etc.

Last update by ©Euroguidance Lithuania (July 2018)