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Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

Articles from John McCarthy
The Economic Benefits of Career Development Services by CICA
Published on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 7:00 PM by John McCarthy
13105 Views :: 16 Comments :: :: Funding Career Guidance, Assessing Effectiveness, Asia Pacific, Australia
This report was commissioned by the Careers Industry Council of Australia in 2006. It looked at possible areas of research on the economic benefits derived from the provision of career development services. The key benefit identified was better informed career decision-making that leads to improved labour market outcomes. The conclusions outline potential avenues to help inform future research into the economic benefits of career development services.
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In Demand: Career Guidance in EU Neighbouring Countries
Published on Thursday, July 16, 2009 @ 9:13 AM by John McCarthy
19914 Views :: 2 Comments :: :: Public Policy, European Training Foundation (ETF), Co-ordination and Leadership, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Albania, Macedonia, Ukraine, Georgia, Montenegro
Taking as its starting point the public demand for career guidance, this study by Helmut Zelloth of the European Training Foundation examines policy and practice of career guidance in 9 EU neighbouring countries: Montenegro, Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Egypt and Jordan through a comparative lense. It describes existing provision and innovation and addresses issues of policy and strategic leadership. It is another excellent ETF publication in this field that aims to facilitate international policy sharing and learning as well as to promote homegrown policy development and implementation. The methodology used included field study and desk and other research.
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Career goals and educational attainment
Published on Friday, December 29, 2006 @ 2:36 PM by John McCarthy
34935 Views :: 15 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Parents and Career Guidance, Guidance in Schools and Training, Guidance for Young People at Risk, Funding Career Guidance
This report produced by Careers Scotland addresses the links between career maturity (stage of development of career decision-making) of young people in school and their educational attainments. Positive links between both were found. The results have implications on how guidance should be delivered within schools and respond to those young people who make early decisions to leave school without having clearly thought through their next steps. The report is pertinent to policy makers, school staff, career guidance delivery agencies, young people, and their parents.
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Involving the users of guidance services in policy development
Published on Friday, December 29, 2006 @ 2:00 PM by John McCarthy
7022 Views :: 8 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Co-ordination and Leadership, Ensuring Quality, European Union (EU)

This report was produced as part of the work activities of a European Union funded project entitled Developing National Forums for Guidance in Six Member States that concluded in November 2006. The issue of the role of the beneficiary of guidance services in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of such services was first raised in the Council of Ministers of Education Resolution on Lifelong Guidance (2004) whose text can be found also in the Articles Repository of this site.

The following themes are examined in the report:

  • Why involve users in policy development?
  • Defining user involvement
  • Principles of user involvement
  • Possible approaches to user involvement.

This is the first report of its kind worldwide and is highly recommended reading.

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The State of Practice in Canada (2005) in Measuring the Impact of Career Services
Published on Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 2:19 PM by John McCarthy
19681 Views :: 3 Comments :: :: Training and Qualifications, Funding Career Guidance, Assessing Effectiveness

In response to a recommendation from the pan-Canadian Symposium, the CRWG launched, in the fall of 2004, a preliminary study to learn more about how Canadian providers of career services evaluate the impact of their services. The main goal of the research was to explore the current state of practice in Canada in order to create shared understandings of evaluation procedures currently being used as well as the desired outcomes for career development practices. Specifically, the CRWG set out to learn about:


the service outcomes actually gathered and reported by front-line career practitioners;


the service outcomes gathered and reported at the office, agency or school board levels;


the service outcomes which are being achieved by front-line and office, agency, and/or school board levels but which are not reported;


how policy makers (who fund services) evaluate the services, what they want back from the services, and the kinds of evaluation information and data they prefer to have about the services; and


how employers evaluate career development services in the workplace, what outcomes they want from these services, whether the evaluation information is useful to them, and the kinds of evaluation information they would prefer to receive.


The products of this research are presented in this report, which contains five major sections. Chapter 2 provides a brief synthesis of recent research on the efficacy of career development interventions. In Chapter 3, the methods employed for collecting and analyzing the data are described. Chapter 4 provides a summary of the key findings for each of the research target groups. Conclusions, recommendations and an overview of the proposed research agenda to follow from this work are included in Chapter 5.

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The Efficacy of Career Development Interventions: A Synthesis of Research 2004
Published on Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 11:49 AM by John McCarthy
5123 Views :: 1 Comments :: :: Assessing Effectiveness

This article by Dr Chris Magnusson, a leading Canadian researcher and academic, contains the results of a survey of articles examining the efficacy of career development services and interventions that had been published in English-language career journals over the past 10 years. The articles included provide a representative sampling of research in the field. The central themes and observations from the review of 53 English-language articles are presented here, in the following categories:

  • target audience;
  • populations and samples;
  • research methods;
  • general efficacy findings, and
  • diverging theoretical assumptions.
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Progress Report: Implementing the European Union Resolution on Lifelong Guidance
Published on Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 10:55 AM by John McCarthy
7791 Views :: 9 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Expanding Access to Guidance, Co-ordination and Leadership, Ensuring Quality, European Union (EU)

This report was presented at the Finnish EU Presidency Conference on Lifelong Guidance in November 2006. It is a synthesis report on progress across the European Union Member States in implementing the priorities of the Council of Ministers of Education Resolution on Lifelong Guidance of May 2004, as evidenced by country responses to a survey in summer 2006 and the results from mutual learning focus meetings organised by CEDEFOP in 2005/6. The following priorities of the Council Resolution are covered by the report:

  • implementing lifelong guidance systems
  • broadening access to career guidance
  • strengthening quality assurance systems
  • learning career management skills
  • strengthening structures for policy and systems development.
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European Ministers of Education Resolution on Lifelong Guidance 2004
Published on Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 10:26 AM by John McCarthy
5866 Views :: 0 Comments :: Public Policy, Co-ordination and Leadership, European Union (EU)

In May 2004 the Council of Ministers of Education of the European Union adopted a position paper/Resolution on the need to strengthen policies, systems and practices for guidance throughout life in Europe. The Resolution provides a political definion of guidance; lists the added value of guidance to individuals, institutions and its contributions to the achievement of public policy goals; notes that current policies, systems and practices in Europe do not respond to the knowledge based society and economy, and invites Member States and the European Commission to undertake a series of actions to reform policies, systems and practices through both individual and collaborative effort. Copies of the text of the Resolution can be found in 10 other European Union Member State languages on EUROPA, the European Commission's web site:


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Building the Stepping Stones for Lifelong Guidance in the European Union
Published on Thursday, December 28, 2006 @ 9:47 AM by John McCarthy
5850 Views :: 1 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Co-ordination and Leadership, European Union (EU)
In May 2004 the Ministers of Education of the European Union meeting in Council adopted a position paper/Resolution on the need to strengthen policies, systems and practices for guidance provision throughout life in the context of the European Union's Education and Training 2010 work programme. They invited the Member States and the European Commission to undertake a series of actions to implement the Resolution. In November 2006, the Finnish Presidency of the European Union held a conference in Jyvaskala to review progress to date in the implementation of the Resolution. Representatives from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand also attended. The report provided below presents the recommendations from the Conference workshops for the next stage of implementation of the Resolution, including the development of a European Union Guidance Network for policy makers in 2007.
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The Economic Benefits of Career Development Services
Published on Saturday, December 23, 2006 @ 11:37 AM by John McCarthy
8664 Views :: 1 Comments :: :: Public Policy, Co-ordination and Leadership, Assessing Effectiveness, European Union (EU)
Commissioned by the Careers Industry Council of Australia and published in November 2006,  

this scoping study looks at possible areas of research on the economic benefits from career

development services. Career development services refer to vocational and educational

advice provided by career development practitioners. School-based advice currently

dominates career development services, though advice is also provided in universities,

TAFEs, via Job Network and related programs, and via private agencies.

The key benefit from career development services is better informed decision-making in

education and career choice that should assist over the longer term in achieving higher

workforce participation, lower unemployment (less job search time and less skill mismatch),

greater skill development on average (and so higher earnings) and higher career satisfaction.

These benefits accrue to the individual, but are also benefits to society as a whole (for

example, through the tax/transfer system – higher productivity and participation and lower

unemployment translate into higher tax revenues and less welfare payments – with those

savings then able to be spent on other things or handed back as tax cuts).

While it makes sense that more informed decision-making should lead to improved labour

market outcomes of the kind noted above, proving the case is a more difficult proposition.

Thus far in Australia there appears to have been very little research along these lines.

This scoping study outlines potential avenues of research which may be available to help

inform on the benefits of career development services: 

  • A stocktake of current usage of career development services, compiling data which may be currently collected on usage of services, what sort of services are being accessed and characteristics of users. 
  • Post-consultation surveys, examining how satisfied people were of the service provided to them. This could also include interrogation of existing career development related questions in the likes of LSAY, Young Visions and other longitudinal datasets.
  • A stocktake of performance of career development services.
  • A detailed literature review of the benefits of career development services, building such as via on the material presented in this paper.
  • A survey-based approach, preferably via a longitudinal study of users of career development services, to help track longer term outcomes for individuals. The key questions would relate to future employment, wages, further education and career satisfaction. Such a study should contain a well defined target group and a control group.
  • A cost-effective method may be to include questions on career development services as part of other surveys, such as graduate destination surveys and LSAY.
  • An outcomes-based approach using research other than surveys – key outcomes which career development services are hoping to influence could be monitored over time at a macro level, such as monitoring the average length of job search, levels of job mis-match and measures of skill shortage.
  • Economic benefits of career development services if appropriate, and evaluating economic benefits with the assistance of a well specified macroeconomic model.

Terms of reference for future research into the economic benefits of career development

services could be developed with these research strands in mind.

Finally, any evidence on improved outcomes could be translated into broaderby extrapolating survey results to the broader population of users
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