THE ROLE OF CAREER COUNSELLING IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Career guidance and counselling are ubiquitous for it exists everywhere human beings are found. This means career counselling can be seen as the process of assisting individuals in the development of lifelong work, focusing on workers role and interactions with other life roles such as proper orientation and current global trends in the world of work, counselling on dignity of labour and entrepreneurial characteristics such as determination, need for achievement, taking initiative, calculated risk-taking, creativity and innovativeness, and leadership among others.
DEFINITION OF TERM
The National Career Development Association(NCDA)(1997) defines career counselling as the process of assisting individuals in the development of life- career with a focus on the definition of the worker role and how that role interacts with other life roles. According to kolo (1999), career is a lifelong sequence of work, educational and leisure experience. This implies that career refers to the totality of ones activities, hobbies and training that gives him satisfaction throughout life
From the definitions proffered above, career counselling can, therefore, be seen as the process of assisting prospective job trainees ( students and apprentices) make useful career decisions that may enable them to make appropriate career choices or adjustments which will bring about satisfaction throughout their life span .
The purpose of career counselling includes but not limited to identification of personal preferences, exploration of career options, collection and collation of data about careers, making decisions about careers, implementing change from the present situation and assisting with employment seeking or job application issues.
TYPES OF CAREER COUNSELLING
There are different types of career counselling including, career (vocational), marital, personal-social and educational counselling among others.
But for the purpose of this paper, our focus would be on vocational counselling and entrepreneurship skills development and its consequent impact on economic development.
THE ROLE OF TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Vocational education is the acquisition of necessary occupational and technical skills and their application in solving practical problems. It is also known as technical education. It is a major way of equipping people with entrepreneurial skills. It involves personnel who are technically oriented to be involved in the planning, implementation and teaching of various technical programs geared towards production.
Ever since the industrial revolution in the late 18th century, progress and prosperity have been closely identified with economic development (jomo 1993). The economic competitiveness of a country depends on the skills of its workforce. The skills and competencies of the workforce, in turn, are dependent upon the quality of the country’s education which is perceived as one of the crucial elements in enhancing economic productivity (min 1995). Based on social efficiency theory, schools should prepare and supply future workers with appropriate knowledge and skills to enhance their productivity and therefore, promote economic growth (Finch 1993; LaBarre, 1997)
Nevertheless, vocational education has sometimes become a tool for addressing the economic, political, and social crises that are threatening the political and economic stability of some nations. Rising unemployment, lack of skilled workers, high dropout rates, and the changing demographic nature of the workforce have placed the issue of workforce education high on the educational reform agenda. ( Giroux 1991)
Traditionally vocational education has prepared students for specific skills. However, in the post –taylorist work environment, workers are expected to perform more broadly-defined jobs (Hirsch & Wagner,1995). Therefore, a broad-based education is required. In the new economic environment, vocational education is expected to produce an educated, skilled, and motivated workforce (Mustapha 1999)
Some of the challenges of technical education development include;
From the challenges and recommendations on the role of technical and vocational education and training, it is suffice to say that the above points to the conclusion that career guidance and counselling is about creating a better economy that would work for the working people, as educators and employers believe that technical and vocational programs are more appropriate than academic programs for developing new skills and the ability to use contemporary technologies.
In terms of employability, exposing students to proper career counselling will go a long way to reducing the over-dependence on the government for employment. The need to boost technical and vocational education and training has become more imperative in this dispensation where existing vacancies in public and private establishments appear to be too slim to accommodate the teeming unemployed graduates. Students should be encouraged from the beginning to consider self-employment as a plausible option because government establishment is already saturated.
SAPHIRA GLOBAL CENTRE FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT