Lifelong Career Guidance and Counselling - Hämeen ammattikorkeakoulu
Lifelong Career Guidance and Counselling
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Lifelong Career Guidance and Counselling

Research area of Lifelong career guidance

In the HAMK Edu Research Unit’s Lifelong career guidance research area, we focus particularly on the diverse needs of lifelong guidance. The need for guidance lasts a lifetime. The aim should therefore be a continuation of career guidance in which counselling is available to all those who need it, regardless of whether they are within the scope of education, employment or outside the world of work. The field of career guidance is constantly changing. In the Lifelong career guidance research area, the most current questions and themes of career guidance are discussed, as well as what career guidance should focus on, and what should be developed in the near future.

A great many expectations are pinned upon career guidance concerning societal, educational and employment policy issues, as well as expectations arising from the individual’s needs. Career guidance, study counselling and professional guidance are expected to help individuals make meaningful and successful choices, decisions and solutions in their careers and education.
Career guidance – and guidance as a broader concept – cannot be sharply defined. It is often easier to describe career guidance by outlining what it is not. At its broadest, career guidance has been seen as an all-encompassing space for self-awareness, development of activity, and life planning. This perspective is customer-oriented and emphasises the needs of the individual, as well as independence from the operating environment or context.

One way to study career guidance is to make comparisons on the spectrum ranging from context-specific to context-free. The first can be used to refer to career guidance in a particular operating environment, such as at an educational institution or a TE office. It is outlined by certain institutionalised objectives, expected results and operating methods. They define, direct or limit the perspective of career guidance. The activity is more context-free when it starts purely from the needs and objectives identified and set by the person seeking guidance, for example, as produced by a private service provider or a project.

Another possible dimension is studying the time span of career guidance: whether the aim is to study long-term potential and alternative career paths with the customer, or to find the next step in life. There are plenty of variations between these two extremes.

Key themes of our research and development include:

• Guidance for career, studies and life planning
• Multidisciplinary cooperation in guidance
• Participation and agency
• Culturally sensitive guidance

Some examples of our development and research projects:

OSATA Paths to the future

Vocational education and training (VET) in Finland is undergoing a change towards personalised studies and degrees. This means also identifying and acknowledging of previously acquired skills. The importance of skills is growing in work life and both students and staff in vocational education institutions need tools in organizing studies to support the development of valid personal skill sets. OSATA project produces understanding of the development of skill-related identities needed in the changing work life. The results will be used to build future-oriented tools and pedagogical models to support the students in becoming future professionals.

Project results
1) visibility for skills and informal learning previously unnoticed in vocational training
2) tools for students in building their personal goals and skill sets for their future education and careers
3) information on skills needed in future work life and tools for students and teachers in using it
4) tools and framework for VET institutions and their personnel to support the development of skill-related identities and work life skills of their students

The primary focus groups are
1) students in secondary education
2) vocational education teachers and counselors as well as vocational adult education teachers and counselors

Project is partly funded by ESF/ELY Centre of North Ostrobothnia (2016-2019).

HAMK Contact: Anu Raudasoja

Please find more information here:

The student's counseling for the work of the future

The aim of the project is for
-developing processes, models and structures the work of the future in cooperation with the universities of applied sciences
-strengthen teaching staff career counselling skills
-developing of futures career counselling of the education

There are six universities of applied sciences creating a national consortium in the project and the work is being divided into three themes:
– Structures and models for counselling the work of the future – Strengthen the structures and the models of career counselling in University of applied sciences.
– Counselling the work of the future – strengthen the career counselling competence of teachers in University of applied sciences.
– Coordinating the network of six Universities of applied sciences. – Collecting and documenting results, national dissemination of results.
The main actions are
– Developing and modeling the processes and structures of career counselling and pedagogy
– Finding out the possibilities of AI (artificial intelligence) in career counselling process
– Developing education of the futures career counselling.

Project is partly funded by ESF/ELY Centre of North Ostrobothnia (2019-2021).

Please find more information here:

HAMK Contact: Leena Nikander

UOMA - Careers and Competencies for Highly Educated Immigrants

There have been various projects promoting immigrants’ access to training and employment in Finland. The projects have focused on, for instance, developing guidance services for highly educated immigrants in an extensive manner (as an overall process). This is all well and good, but many of these plans have been left in the stage of a produced template, and they have not been piloted during the project. The Careers and Competencies for Highly Educated Immigrants project focuses on piloting and developing templates for a rapid acquisition of additional training for highly educated immigrants, as well their employment and integration into society.
Immigrants have been found to have shortcomings in professional and language skills, as well as in work-related competences, which affects their employment. In response to these challenges, the project aims at the promotion of highly educated immigrants’ transition to employment by improving their ability to complete additional studies which enhance their professional competence. This will be done in accordance with the Career Path – A framework in recognition of prior learning and competencies among highly educated people with an immigrant background project’s (ESF 2015–2018) template for a university diploma Expert of the Finnish world of work. The model is based on the concept that education should increase and deepen students’ expertise and professional skills, strengthen their language skills in Finnish or Swedish, and enhance their understanding of the working culture of their own occupational field.
Project is partly funded by ESF/ELY Centre of North Ostrobothnia (2019-2020).

Please find more information here:

HAMK Contact: Anita Eskola-Kronqvist

International Talents in Kanta-Häme

The target of the International Talents in Kanta-Häme project is to improve the employment situation of the international talents through employment or entrepreneurship living in the areas of Hämeenlinna, Riihimäki and Forssa: also public, private and the third sector can benefit from the internationalization more visibly and permanently.

The project seeks to find solutions to challenges of employment of international talents: The target group of the project is 100 customers including 80 persons with foreign background. The target groups of the project are highly educated experts with foreign background, Finns born and raised abroad and Finns studied and worked abroad. Exploiding publicity and several social media besides of the official channels are used in customer acquisition.

The project focuses on enhancing the knowledge, language skills and setting goals and based on those targets creates progression route for each customer. The project also finds out the needs of the local companies in recruitment and business expansion and can thereby match employee candidates with them. For those customers who need YKI 5 / C1 level language exam the project organizes Finnish language course at the University Of Applied Sciences Of Häme. Apart of that University Of Applied Sciences Of Häme also offers mentoring services for new entrepreneurs.

Please find more information here:

HAMK Contact: Anita Eskola-Kronqvist

TESSU2 – Towards genuine transdisciplinary co-operation and guidance competences in One-Stop guidance Centres

TESSU2 – Towards genuine transdisciplinary competence in cooperation and guidance at the One-Stop Guidance
Centers –project helps the One-Stop Guidance Centers to assess and improve their ability to provide services and
their cooperation and guidance competence.

The transdisciplinary One-Stop Guidance Centers for young people are the most important activity started in Finland in
the framework of the Social Guarantee for Young People. The One-Stop Guidance Centers around Finland act as low
threshold meeting places and offer young people under 30 years of age personal advice, guidance and
transdisciplinary support at one single service point. At the moment, more than 60 One-Stop Guidance Centers
operate in different municipalities, forming a national network.

A One-Stop Guidance Center is an operating environment, where actors from the public, private and third sectors offer
transdisciplinary services together related to employment, education, life management and well-being. Well-functioning
transdisciplinary cooperation requires good internal interaction within the One-Stop Guidance Center, organising
cooperation successfully, cooperation to support the resources of the One-Stop Guidance Center’s employees, and
competence management.

TESSU2 – Towards genuine transdisciplinary competence in cooperation and guidance at the One-Stop Guidance
Centers –project helps the One-Stop Guidance Centers to develop their activities, so that transdisciplinary cooperation
creates an integrated operating method and culture, both at the One-Stop Guidance Centers and in their networks.
This will further improve the availability of services at the One-Stop Guidance Centers as well as their ability to provide

Through training processes, the TESSU2-project supports the personnel of the One-Stop Guidance Centers in the
development and establishment of genuine transdisciplinary cooperation and guidance competence as well as the
creation of shared transdisciplinary knowledge capital. The project will help One-Stop Guidance Centers to act as
transdisciplinary teams that engage in peer learning and are steered together, in which the personnel of the One-Stop
Guidance Center develop and assess their own activities together systematically and by learning from each other. At
the same time, the project helps the One-Stop Guidance Centers to see what kind of shared competence and
knowledge capital a One-Stop Guidance Center should have and how to gain competence. The training processes of the project will create different kinds of products, methods and practices for developing transdisciplinary cooperation
and guidance competence, which will be published online.

TESSU2 – Towards genuine transdisciplinary competence in cooperation and guidance at the One-Stop Guidance
Centers is a joint project of the Schools of Professional Teacher Education of Jyväskylä and Häme Universities of
Applied Sciences, as well as Åbo Akademi University. The project’s partners include the KOHTAAMO project
(European Social Fund – ESF), the URAA! project (ESF), and the other One-Stop Guidance Center support projects
that received a funding decision in 2019. In addition to this, the project works in close cooperation with Koordinaatti,
the Finnish national centre of expertise for youth information and counselling, as well as the project ONNI –
Psychosocial support and work for the One-Stop Guidance Centres (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of
Economic Affairs and Employment).

TESSU2 continues where the TESSU – Together for Guidance and Counselling (ESF) -project (2015–2019) ended in
supporting the One-Stop Guidance Centres.

More information in english:

HAMK contact: Jaakko Helander

OSMO2 – Multicultural competences in One-Stop Guidance Centers

The OSMO2 – Multicultural competences in One-Stop Guidance Centers’ project continues to apply the proven
methods of developing multicultural competences together with local and regional One-Stop Guidance Centers
(Ohjaamo) and in close cooperation with the KOHTAAMO, ONNI and URAA! projects, the Koordinaatti centre of
expertise and any other support projects for One-Stop Guidance Centers.

Competences are developed with the help of requirement analysis, sparring, training and coaching services and online
material. The objective is to ensure the accessibility of guidance and One-Stop Guidance Centers from a multicultural
perspective and to increase the ability of the One-Stop Guidance Centers’ personnel to serve customers with an
immigrant background in transdisciplinary cooperation.

The aim of the OSMO2 project is to increase awareness of the multicultural guidance toolbox developed in the OSMO
project as a tool for developing multicultural competences. In addition, the project is about developing structures and
operating models to increase accessibility, equality and participation also from a multicultural perspective together with
One-Stop Guidance Centers. The development work will form the basis of the Handbook for Multicultural Guidance,
which will introduce good practices and recommendations.

HAMK contact: Soili Rinne

EMPLOYMENT SERVICE POINT: Assessment and development research of multidisciplinary employment services provided by public and private operators

The Employment service point is a joint project of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) of Southwest Finland, the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) and Työelämän Infopiste Oy, piloting how a private company handles employment services together with the employment authorities.

The objective of the study is to assess and develop the Employment service point in terms of the
– multidisciplinary nature and quality of guidance
– culture of working together and
– common basis for the operational models and a sustainable value base.

The study is based on action research, which includes both data acquisition and joint development. The project will run from 2 May to 29 November 2019. A research report and separate articles will be published during autumn 2019. The study has been commissioned by Työelämän Infopiste Oy.

Principal Lecturer Jaakko Helander and Project Researcher Taru Lilja are in charge of the project research.