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EMPIRE Empowerment through mentoring to promote the importance of real work experiences

Career guidance services have the potential to contribute significantly to the development of human capital.Nonetheless researches and policy reports (Career Guidance in Europe’s Public Employment Services,commissioned in 2005 by European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and EqualOpportunities) have expressed concern that occupational information alone and traditional matching of peopleand jobs are not enough. Advances in the use of technology (cyber-counselling) and the introduction of newmethodologies like mentoring could enrich the career counselling profession’s contributions to individualdevelopment and expand access to a broader range of customers.The goal of the present project consists of initiating and testing “blended” mentoring (mix of on-site and onlineevents) schemes in order to give to career counselling and development services the opportunity to adoptmentoring in their ordinary practice.EMPIRE is building up strong ties (network) between those actors who provide career development work andenterprises and their associations. Through the analysis derived from a series of focus groups, the partners willlay down the base for the piloting of tailored blended-mentoring schemes to be run with different target-groups. Amentoring kit will be prepared and used for the preparation of mentors. The final piloting phase (partly based onan on-line support service) with mentees (i.e. the customers of career counselling services) will produce severalCareer/professional plan and a reflection journal collecting the daily impressions of mentees and mentors. Theexperience as a whole will produce a set of guidelines/recommendations for career development agencies.EMPIRE will introduce new methodologies in career exploration and planning, and will promote technologicaldevelopments especially through cyber-counselling for career planning.The impact envisaged is to contribute to meet the Lisbon strategy through: an enhanced quality of careerguidance services on a cost/effective level: better levels of employability and an increased adaptability ofworkers.

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