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Career Guidance in the Life Course - Structures and Services in Germany

Schober, Jenschke, Langner (2014): Career Guidance in the Lifecourse - Structures and Services. 2. revised Edition. Hg. Nationales Forum Beratung. Berlin, wbv.

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This revised and updated publication gives an overview over the basic structure of the German guidance system to the interested public and to the partners in Europe and beyond. In general, the German system provides access to educational and career guidance services for all citizens at any stage of their lives – whether they are in education or training, employed, unemployed or looking for continuing education. The structure of guidance provision reflects the German education and employment system with its shared responsibilities between the Federation, the Länder and the municipalities. Hence, the provision of career guidance is traditionally based on the distinction between educational guidance (Bildungsberatung) in the educational sector and vocational guidance (Berufsberatung) in the vocational training and employment sector. Cooperation across the sectors is in this context crucial.

Beginning with an introduction into the German educational system, the publication follows the life course describing guidance provisions in schools, vocational education, higher education, and for employment, unemployment and continuing education. Additional sections deal with guidance for special target groups and guidance through the internet. With chapters on quality and professionalism in guidance and on European cooperation, the publication also considers systemic issues of professional development. Social and economic changes remain a permanent challenge for further developing lifelong guidance in the context of lifelong learning needs.