In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, career counsellors play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate their career paths. Recognising such a need to adapt to the digital era, HdBA, Saxion, eMundus, University of Padova, and University for Continuing Education KREMS have come together to collaborate on a groundbreaking project called CGC-Digitrans. This innovative initiative aims to empower CGC professionals to better support their clients in developing essential digital skills. Moreover, the project also aims at counselling in multi-actor-networks between individual employee, employer, TVET provider and CGC-professionals.
The project is built upon four foundational building blocks: the phases, theoretical background, attitudes, and the tools/assessment required to assess clients’ skills. In this blog post, we’ll explore each of these building blocks to understand the significance of CGC-Digitrans. Building Blocks describe basic self-contained elements of our method, which are combined in the understanding and application of the method. Here below, the Building Blocks are presented in detail.
Building Block 1: Phases
The main block of the method is the phases. The phases not only help to develop an understanding of the process of the method but also represent the building block to which all others can dock. Although real processes don’t always proceed in a linear fashion, process models do. However, both jumps and regressions are possible. Counsellors are to modify their methods in response to the client’s requirements and advancements. Currently, the identified phases are:
Engagement (request / contracting, initial situation)
Assessment (situation, self-assessment and awareness)
Planning (based on needs analysis; senses of direction, goals, solutions, orientation, and planning, agreements)
Action (activities, implementation)
Results (achieve, record and document results)
Evaluation (reflect and evaluation the process).
Counselling will mostly concentrate on stages 1-4. Phases 5 and 6 go beyond a traditional counselling approach since they are strongly related to the execution of additional training and other activities. In such phases, counsellors are still in a support stage.
Building Block 2: Theoretical Background
The foundation of any successful project lies in a robust theoretical framework. In the case of CGC-Digitrans, this building block forms the cornerstone of the initiative. The project recognises the profound impact of digitalisation on today’s job market. It acknowledges that digital skills are no longer a luxury but a necessity for individuals seeking employment or career advancement.
To address this challenge, the project identifies as crucial the concept of the learning helix and the evidence from literature of involving different actors on multiple levels (multi-actor counselling). Moreover, this differentiation is further supported by using, as a guiding principle, the integral approach. System Theory applied to the context of career development has been explored to further benefit the idea of the roundabout and create a comprehensive framework that guides counsellors in helping their clients navigate the digital landscape effectively.
Building Block 3: Attitudes
A successful career counsellor not only possesses knowledge and competencies but also embodies the right attitudes and mindsets. Building block three of CGC-Digitrans emphasises the importance of fostering positive attitudes among counsellors, such as adaptability, empathy, and a growth mindset.
Counsellors must embrace the digital era with enthusiasm and empathy, recognising the unique challenges their clients may face. They need to be flexible in their approach and open to continuous learning, serving as role models for their clients’ own digital skill development journeys.
Furthermore, also the attitudes of clients and organisations involved in this process have to be considered. Therefore, crucial attention has been paid to highlight the attitudes towards critical points that can make the difference for reaching the ultimate goal of this project.
Building Block 4: Tools and Assessment
The fourth and final building block revolves around the practical tools and assessment methods that counsellors can use to evaluate and enhance their clients’ digital skills. CGC-Digitrans provides a repository of resources to support this matter, which includes digital skill assessment tools and a general assessment of digital maturity at the company level.
Assessment is a crucial aspect of the project, enabling counsellors to identify their clients’ strengths and areas for improvement. By leveraging these tools, counsellors can tailor their guidance to meet each client’s specific needs, ultimately leading to more successful career outcomes.
In conclusion, the CGC-Digitrans European project represents a collaborative effort among universities in Germany, Italy, Austria, Lithuania, and the Netherlands to address the pressing need for career counsellors and guidance practitioners to adapt to the digital age. By establishing a solid foundation built on theoretical background, competencies, attitudes, and practical tools/assessment, the project is poised to make a lasting impact on the way career counselling is conducted in the digital era. As digital skills continue to be a key determinant of career success, initiatives like CGC-Digitrans are crucial in ensuring that individuals are equipped with the skills they need to thrive in the ever-evolving job market. Through this project, career counsellors are not just guiding their clients; they are empowering them to excel in the digital age.
What do you think? Are there other important building blocks with which methods can be built?