SA Journal of Education, Volume 40, Supplement 1, April 2020

Career counselling and sustainable decent work: Relationships and tensions

Mary McMahon, Mark Watson


The concept of decent work is intuitively desirable, an ideal to strive for, and a human right. Awareness of the decent work agenda has been raised in career counselling and is posing challenges about what role, if any, career counselling can play towards the achievement of sustainable decent work for all. Feeding into the social justice values of career counselling, the decent work agenda has drawn considerable attention. To date, however, limited suggestions have been provided about career counselling’s potential contribution toward the achievement of decent work for all, the focus of this special issue. In this article we consider the contexts of decent work, career counselling, and social justice and the relationships and tensions between them. In particular, we raise questions about what exactly is being asked of career counselling in the promotion of decent work. In view of proponents of the decent work agenda in career development questioning whether decent work is achievable for many people, especially in developing countries, the purpose of this article is to consider the potential role of career counselling in the contemporary and emerging labour market.

ORCiD iDs of authors:
Mary McMahon -
Mark Watson -

Full Text: PDF