While higher education finds its virtual place, there is a support service that cannot be ignored: online career guidance.
Estonia is making progress in this area thanks to the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF), a national public employment service offering free vocational guidance to young people leaving school.
EUIF has for some time offered online career counseling by phone, email and Skype. Since the COVID-19 hit, it has seen a significant increase in engagement – online career counseling sessions increased 86% in the first three months of 2020.
Why online career guidance?
Write for OECD Education and Skills TodayEUIF Head of International Relations Kerstin Holland said: âFor young job seekers there is a high risk of early exclusion from the labor market and of finding themselves trapped in low-skilled jobs that do not exist. not match their qualifications and interests. “
âThese difficult circumstances mean that more support is needed to help young people leaving school to prepare to compete for available jobs or to continue their education. “
Online career guidance provides students with access to relevant information about a country’s economic outlook and how it relates to their future career.
In fact, an OECD analysis shows that adolescents who participate in career counseling or guidance activities are much more likely to believe their education is useful in their future jobs.
Estonia is known for its expertise in delivering public services through digital technology. So other countries would do well to follow suit in online career guidance.
Here’s how the EUIF works.
- Individual online career counseling sessions – Young job seekers in Estonia can access counseling services at any EUIF office. It helps that every upper secondary school in the republic has a liaison consultant in the office; they keep schools and students up to date with online career guidance services.
- Virtual career fairs – Although economic upheavals are expected on a global scale, industries such as agriculture and e-commerce still need skilled workers. Therefore, online career guidance should continue to orient students towards demand.
- The EUIF has already organized a series of international EURopean Employment Services (EURES) online job fairs. This fair offered job postings, webinars and video seminars to young people looking to start or upgrade their careers.
- This same mix of activities saw 92,000 visits to a separate online summer job fair in 2019. If used wisely, online support can be an effective alternative to mega job fairs during this period.
- Collaboration with the media – National and international students are desperate for information about their future. Therefore, career guidance service providers must quickly present their offers in the public space.
- This can be done by engaging media contributors – put it on TV, radio, social media, and in web ads.
- This is how Estonia spread the word on a new online employment platform. The result? It received 38,000 visits from passionate employers and their future employees within two days of its launch.
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University webinars and career counseling: these resources are always available for university students