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Launched in November 2019, the digital webchat service CAESO offers personalised, free careers guidance to Monaco’s secondary school pupils.
“How do you become a physiotherapist, lawyer or electrician, or get into marketing?”, “Which course option should I choose?” “What is ParcourSup and how do I use it?” Or even “What changes will the baccalaureate reforms introduce?” From Year 10 (Troisième) onwards, pupils – and their parents – start to ask a lot of questions about their future at school and beyond to a career. “Careers guidance is a very important issue for pupils and their families who need help to navigate an ever richer selection of training and education options, the baccalaureate reforms and the changes in requirements for access to higher education” explains Nicolas Rodier, a technical advisor at the Department of Education, Youth and Sport. It is for this reason that the Prince’s Government has decided to help the Principality’s secondary school pupils, supplementing existing support (such as careers guidance counsellors) with a 100% digital coach. Through the Extended Monaco, Smart Principality program, a digital careers guidance application has been developed. It has been named CAESO, short for Coach d’Aide aux Études Supérieures et à l’Orientation (Higher Education and Careers Guidance Coach).
Following a trial phase, since the start of the school year in 2019 CAESO has been rolled out by the start-up company Ovvy to all pupils from Year 10 (3ème) through to Year 13 (Terminale) in both state-run schools and private schools operating under contract. For Nicolas Rodier, the introduction of this 100% digital approach “supports pupils as they develop their personal and career plans”.
Specifically, CAESO offers the opportunity to learn about more than 850 careers and 100,000 training and education courses. “There are four steps to the process. First, pupils complete a questionnaire to help them understand themselves better. They then receive key information to familiarise them with the employment market, including an introduction to selected careers, all the while expanding the range of possibilities. CAESO develops a personalised action plan and gives pupils advice on how to accomplish it,” explains Fatma Chouaieb, CEO of Ovvy, who attended the Careers Agora on 4 February 2020 to collect feedback from Monegasque students. She added: “CAESO is constantly being updated with new information and functionality to help guide young people”.
“After using CAESO, pupils have some ideas about careers, information about training and education, Parcoursup and the baccalaureate reform, and recommendations for post-baccalaureate study options that are appropriate to their career plans” emphasises Nicolas Rodier
The aim of this tool is to empower students and boost their self-confidence when it comes to their future plansNicolas Rodier, Technical advisor at the Department of Education, Youth and Sport
Axel Dubost, who is leading the effort to introduce this digital coach at the Digital Transition Office, adds: “Using a chat tool specially designed for young people, recognised personality assessment techniques and comprehensive databases of career, training and education options, CAESO helps pupils to gain a better understanding of themselves and to find out about professions and career paths that suit their profiles, expectations and values”.
The free webchat tool is accessible via the website www.caeso.mc. Using their personal access code, which was handed out by Ovvy in class, pupils (with parental permission) log in from their own phones or using the computers and tablets provided by schools. They can then interact with CAESO as they see fit, consult their profile page, edit documents and develop their plans.
To help students master this new tool, 20–30 minute workshops led by the start-up Ovvy are being held in classrooms during the school year, supporting take-up and use of CAESO. Each school has also identified CAESO advisors to offer help on a day-to-day basis throughout the year. These advisors are careers guidance counsellors, school counsellors and librarians, who can answer any questions about the webchat service and, of course, the suggested career paths. Pupils can, if they wish, share their information with these advisors and with their parents by making their profile page public, but this is absolutely not mandatory. The data shared between individual pupils and CAESO is completely confidential. In accordance with Monegasque legislation, pupils can consult, download, change or delete the information they have provided to the webchat service by simply submitting a request.