At different times of their life pupils must be able to choose the right path for their studies and training or their future professional activities.
Two definitions of guidance selected by the Forum orientation in 2010 are still relevant today:
“Guidance refers to a series of activities that allow the citizen, at any time in his/her life, to identify his/her abilities, skills and interests, to make informed decisions for the choice of his/her studies and training as well as for his/her professional activities and this with the joint concern to support both the development of his/her personality and of the society.”
“Guidance accompanies and emphasises lifelong learning and helps individuals avoid or shorten periods of unemployment. High quality educational and vocational guidance not only support the personal development and the chances of finding a job of an individual, they contribute more generally to a broader and more sustained social and economic development.” (International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance, IAEVG)
In the Luxembourgish education system, guidance decisions are taken at various levels.
In primary school, a first orientation decision is made at the end of cycle 4, between classical secondary education and general secondary education (see also Transition from primary education to secondary education).
Then, at secondary school, pupils have to choose their specialisation. Every school is required to develop a guidance approach to help pupils make relevant choices that match their interests and skills and give them the best possible chance of success.
Each secondary school has a Cellule d’orientation et d’intégration (Guidance and Integration Unit) responsible for supporting young people in the guidance process and integrating newly arrived pupils. Guidance procedures are documented and implemented by the Cellule d’orientation et d’intégration in accordance with the reference framework for educational and vocational guidance issued by the Minister for Education, Children and Youth. The entire school community is informed of the availability of the members of the unit and, where applicable, the location of its offices.
Guidance in secondary school
Throughout secondary education a series of orientation, information and counselling activities are offered in secondary schools as well as at the national and regional level:
- information and counselling:
- publications and information material;
- information on higher education and the job market;
- events such as the YEP! Schoulfoire and the student fair (Foire de l’étudiant);
- information sessions for pupils and parents of a class or secondary school;
- exchanges with graduates from the various sections;
- at the level of support and design of a training project:
- pedagogic projects in a class or in all classes of the same year
- tutorial programmes in some secondary schools;
- orientation guides developed by the Maison de l’orientation (House of Orientation);
- individual meetings;
- individual support, psychological tests and the design of professional projects.
In parallel, transcript supplements (compléments au bulletin) in the lower classes help pupils become aware of their skills and potentials.
Some activities focus more particularly on professional choices:
- work placement, more specifically at the end of the class of 5e of general secondary education;
- information and raising awareness for trades and professions:
- a documentation centre on trades and professions (Beruffsinformatiounszentrum, BiZ);
- websites (e.g. maiberuff.lu);
- meetings with representatives of companies or graduates in various professions;
- short-term work placements (e. g. Job Shadow Day);
- visits in companies;
- development of entrepreneurship (Jonk Entrepreneuren).
SePAS and CePAS
Every secondary school has a Service psychosocial et d’accompagnement scolaires (SePAS, Psychosocial Counseling and School Support Services) with a multidisciplinary team (psychologists, social workers, social pedagogues, education and career counsellors). Activities include psychological, psychopedagogical and social support for pupils, prevention (addiction, violence, AIDS, school dropout, etc.), mediation between partners of the school (pupils, parents, teachers, official bodies...).
All the SePAS work closely with external actors to promote integration in the professional world and in society.
The SePAS are supported by the Centre psychosocial et d’accompagnement scolaires (CePAS, Psychosocial Counseling and School Support Centre).
Support for the transition to working life from the Service national de la jeunesse (SNJ)
The mission of the local antennae of the Service national de la jeunesse (SNJ, National Youth Service) is to support young people in their transition from school to work. They can be found on eleven sites throughout the country so as to be close to young people and their daily life. The staff are specialised in supporting young people and implementing programmes to help them return to school or work.
Their actions are aimed at young people who:
- are still at school, but who are about to leave their educational establishment without having a concrete solution;
- have left the school system without a diploma.
The SNJ’s local agents offer young people:
- advice and information on training opportunities and working life;
- individual support to help them integrate into their studies or working life;
- alternatives to inactivity like voluntary service.
The Voluntary service allows young people under the age of 30 to become active in the context of a specific project of general interest. It is an opportunity for them to learn and decide on their orientation while gaining practical experience during a fixed-term full-time activity. The minimum duration is 3 months while the maximum duration may, in principle, not exceed 12 months. For some programmes, activities take place in Luxembourg, for others in Europe or even outside Europe.
All the SNJ’s offers to support the transition to working life can also be found at hey.snj.lu.
Services "Info études" and "AideFi"
The services Information études supérieures (Info études) and Aides financières (AideFi) of the Ministry of Research and Higher Education are aimed at secondary school pupils, future students, students and people who want to resume their university studies.
Info études provides information on higher education and professions, admission requirements and university enrolment procedures.
AideFi manages state financial aid for higher education.
Service d’orientation professionnelle de l’ADEM
The Service d’orientation professionnelle de l’Agence pour le développement de l’emploi (ADEM-OP, ADEM Career Guidance Service) offers guidance sessions and collective information sessions for young people and adults to help them choose an appropriate professional path. It manages the Beruffsinformatiounszentrum (BiZ, Vocational Information Centre), providing a large number of media. ADEM-OP is also in charge of finding initial apprenticeship/adult vocational opportunities..
Maison de l’orientation
The Maison de l’orientation (House of Orientation) is intended for anyone of any age seeking guidance on educational and professional matters. Staff at the centre will help them identify their abilities, skills and interests so they can make enlightened decisions when choosing studies and training courses, considering their professional plans.
It serves as a one-stop shop and joint platform for guidance, and is open to the public all year round (including during school holidays) from Mondays to Fridays, from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00. Consultations are free and possible without appointment.
The Maison de l’orientation brings together in one place in Luxembourg most of the State services responsible for guidance, thus facilitating access to information and individualised support.
The Centre psychosocial et d’accompagnement scolaires (CePAS, Psychosocial Counseling and School Support Centre) supports pupils who require diversified psychosocial care and support and has developed various tools (workshops, creative spaces, intervention groups, alternative learning methods, etc.) to promote the well-being of pupils in their school environment.
The Service d’orientation professionnelle de l’Agence pour le développement de l’emploi (ADEM-OP, ADEM Career Guidance Service) provides information on trades/professions and on finding vocational training opportunities.
The local antenna of the Service national de la jeunesse (SNJ, National Youth Service) in Luxembourg-centre offers individual support to help young people achieve their educational or professional goals.
The Service de l’intégration et de l’accueil scolaires (SIA, School Integration and Welcome Service) welcomes families who have recently arrived in Luxembourg and informs and advises pupils and their parents on all matters relating to the Luxembourgish school offer.
The Agence pour la transition vers une vie autonome (ATVA, Agency for the Transition to Independent Living) is part of a network for school inclusion set up by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, along with eight competence centres for specialised psychopedagogy.
ATVA’s educational and psychosocial staff facilitate, on a voluntary basis, the transition to an active life for young people with specific needs confirmed by a specialised diagnosis carried out by a competence centre for specialised psychopedagogy.
The Service de la formation des adultes (SFA, Department of Adult Education) offers a wide range of high-quality adult education courses in several languages and at different levels (beginner, intermediate and advance) to promote lifelong learning,
Three types of training are offered and coordinated by the SFA:
- the back-to-education option, which gives access to recognised diplomas and training courses;
- basic education to learn how to write, read and calculate;
- general and civic training for adults.
The Service Information études supérieures (Information Service for Higher Education) of the Ministry of Research and Higher Education welcomes anyone looking for information on higher education. The information desk is open Monday to Friday from 13:00 to 17:00. The services offered are:
- information on higher education (entry requirements, enrolment procedures, recognition of study programmes);
- information on professions (training for professions requiring a higher education qualification, conditions of access to regulated professions);
- one-to-one interviews with pupils and students, parents of pupils and adults in career transition.