The network

The aim of the project is to establish a Europe-wide research network on Career Guidance in general education schools, which pools research work and expertise and thus forms the basis for cross-border research activities. At the same time, the aim is to promote mutual learning in educational practice in European countries.

The set-up phase of the Career Lead network (09/2023 – 08/2024) is supported by the European Union as part of the Erasmus+ project of the same name (grant number 2023-1-DE01-KA220-HED-000161202).

Regulations of the European Research Network CAREER LEAD


Background

In view of the freedom of movement and freedom of establishment in the European Union, the European dimension must increasingly be taken into account in Career Learning and Education. In regions close to the border, there are also new opportunities to explore the world of work in neighbouring countries. Dealing with cross-border aspects of the world of work broadens individual development prospects.

At the same time, there are different concepts in Europe and internationally as to how pupils should be supported in their post-school transition. This applies, for example, to the tasks of teachers in schools, the organisation of counselling, the qualification of teachers, the involvement of companies and other external stakeholders as well as the follow-up alternatives, in particular for vocational qualification. The states are equally challenged to find answers to new requirements for Career Guidance. This concerns, among other things, inclusion/diversity, digitalisation and sustainability. The requirements of the ever faster changing world of work must also be taken into account.

It is not just about suitable matching when choosing a suitable post-school follow-up alternative. Pupils must also be trained to manage their post-school transition and later transitions in their working life as independently as possible and to actively shape their professional biography. In addition – from a school perspective – the various measures and players that support the students in their professional transition are taken into account.

In German-speaking countries, a scientific network on Career Learning and Education (WiN-BO; https://www.berufswahlforschung.de/) has been analysing the common concern and topic of Career Learning and Education from an interdisciplinary perspective since 2013. Cross-border dialogue with colleagues has identified overlaps in academic work as well as common problems and challenges and placed them on the agenda of joint research initiatives in order to provide even more comprehensive support to those involved in educational practice. The different backgrounds of the researchers (subject didactics, in particular economic education, vocational and business education, social and special education, psychology, counselling sciences, etc.) are therefore beneficial because they go hand in hand with the exchange of specific perspectives.

CAREER LEAD thus addresses a European development task, namely the promotion of general and vocational education (focusing in particular on pre-vocational training courses) as an interdisciplinary, transnational concern in order to support the participation of young people in working life and thus in social life..

Goals

The aim of the project is to establish a Europe-wide research network on Career Guidance in general education schools, which pools research work and expertise and thus forms the basis for cross-border research activities. At the same time, the aim is to promote mutual learning in educational practice in European countries.

In particular, schools, educational administrations and companies involved in Career Guidance are to be supported in being able to work together more intensively on the dimension of the European labour and education area.

Based on the general preliminary considerations, CAREER LEAD pursues the following objectives in particular:

  1. establishment of a sustainable network for Career Guidance with the emphasis on the EU; recruitment of further members
  2. stocktaking of differences and similarities in the educational practice of Career Guidance in the participating countries
  3. development of research and transfer concepts for the further development of Career Guidance in European and international educational practice
  4. promotion of young scientists and teachers
  5. transfer to science and practice

The network closes a gap in the European research landscape that is of particular relevance for the economic and social development of the member states with regard to the common labour market and the differences in education systems and the transition situation. The project is therefore particularly suitable for making the results of educational research on Career Guidance more present through targeted cooperation in the European network and thus making it more compatible with international research. Added to this is the potential for the transfer of knowledge and practice.

Main areas of work

With regard to the goals of CAREER LEAD, the following activities are at the centre of the network’s work

  • Support for joint research activities in thematic working groups. There are currently the following working groups
    • Digitalisation
    • Inclusion/Diversity
    • Sustainable development
  • Supporting the exchange between network members and disseminating new scientific findings
    • in scientific conferences (online) with
    • reviewed conference proceedings.
  • Promotion of young scientists, e. g. through the
    • organisation and permanent implementation of a lecture series
    • joint supervision of PhD projects
  • promotion of practice transfer, in particular through the
    • organisation of disssemination conferences for stakeholders from school practice and education administration (online)
    • documentation of the dissemination conferences