Universidad Miguel Hernández (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 1950-1961
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
There is a range of definitions of guidance across Europe, but essentially it is a multi-faceted process, which includes the provision of information and advice, to help people make well informed and individually appropriate life decisions, especially in relation to work and learning and in any point of their lives.
It is pertinent to refer to a broad concept of guidance and aimed at a varied group that includes young people searching for their first job, long-term unemployed older people, active workers who want a change of professional career, etc. It is well known that older workers are a high risk group in terms of discrimination and social exclusion. Employers are often too reluctant to hire older workers or to retain them. Their views of this collective are based on negative stereotypes.
In the case of older people, the holistic approach of guidance and a life course perspective, that emerged at the end of the 90’s can have a special added value, since it bears in mind all aspects of his/her personality (not only those lined to education and work but also family-balance, health, etc).
Older people at risk of unemployment or under employment include a number of groups: people who have been made redundant; those who lack skills and confidence, those who are trying to change career or return after a break, those who are seeking more flexible working patterns, those who need to cope with other kinds of discrimination (minority ethnic communities, migrants, etc) and those with health problems.
Guidance could help them to rejoin employment, after long term unemployment, to enter the labour market for the first time at an advanced age (for instance women whose sons and daughters have grown and enjoy more free time), to change their professional career and to retain workers about to undergo early retirement.
Although guidance services in Spain are traditionally addressed to unemployed they are now provided to any interested individual at any point of his career, but still the age is not considered as a relevant factor. In an attempt to demonstrate how guidance can help to older workers, three hundred and seventy five interviews among guidance beneficiaries (focusing on one specific case-study), social partners (employers’ organisations and trade unions) and counsellors were conducted. The survey was carried out in the province of Alicante (Valencian Community). This data is complemented with some conclusions of a Report of the European Commission evaluating the effectiveness and impact of a Guidance Programme in Spain.

Career guidance, older workers, Spain, social partners.