TECHNIQUES AND APPROACHES TO ACHIEVING GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING FUNCTIONS
The first seven years of the 1990s were years of economic expansion in significant parts of Europe, North America and Asia, yet many countries worried about how well they could compete in the face of the globalization of trade. They examined their economic and educational policies and programmes to ensure that they would have competent, competitive and even entrepreneurial work forces. Typically, their recipes for future economic success included strengthening the career guidance services for learners and for workers in the labour force. As the international economy grew more worrisome and as economic management became a priority within an increasing range of countries, the development of competent labour forces was seen as increasingly important to the future economic well being of countries.
In the past a number of countries have followed policies that did not particularly welcome the private sector as an important part of society, but now as some governments downsize they look more and more to the private sector to provide growth in employment and to be good 'corporate citizens'. The years of neglect of the private sector is reflected in the lack of knowledge about basic labour market information (e.g., occupational descriptions, occupational classification system, job requirements, pay rates, hiring practices and job forecasts). The lack of this information and the lack of occupational structures for the gathering and classification of the information have presented problems to technical and vocational educators in deciding what programmes to offer. It also presents a problem to counsellors to provide vocational guidance when very little vocational information is available.