Career guidance has been practiced in Estonia for about 90 years. The service has been called in different ways – the latest version being career services. Later development of this field has taken place due to the changes in expectations and requirements of the labour marketas well as due to the advanced concept of lifelong learning.
Career services contain career education, career counselling and career information – its development and provision. These may include services in schools, universities, colleges, training institutions, public employment services, and companies, in the voluntary/community sector and in the private sector. The services can be provided as face-to-face or distant sessions on an individual or group basis. The service package may include career information, assessment and self-assessment tools, counselling interviews, career education, work search programmes, and transition services.
The former staircase-image of one’s career has come to be gradually replaced by the one of a road passing through life and encompassing all contexts that people operate in and all roles that they take.
Guidance in Estonia is mainly provided by the public sector within the education and labour market structures. Provision in the education sector tends to be more complex and divided across many institutions compared to the labour market sector.
In 1998, the Ministry of Education and Research (MoER) founded the National Resource Centre for Guidance (NRCG) – Estonian Euroguidance Centre – to support guidance practitioners in promoting mobility and the European dimension within education and training and in the field of guidance.
Our main target group is guidance practitioners, whom we support by producing different information and methodological materials (printed and electronic versions), organising seminars and trainings on regional, national and international level, and developing web sites.
After ten years, the NRCG has become the main partner of MoER in developing the Estonian career guidance services system. After the successful implementation of the project the Development of the Guidance System in Estonia 2005–2008, financed through the EU Structural Funds, the NRCG continues with the programme the Development of Career Services in Estonia until 2014. NRCG is also nominated as a representative in the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network.
In 2008, a contractual agreement to develop career services was signed between MoER and Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) stating the areas of responsibility in providing high quality career services to the whole population. The amount given to the development of this field during the years is around 4 million EUR.