The number of service users for whom monitoring data was recorded differed across the six GOAL countries, ranging from a low of 76 in the Netherlands to a high of 418 in Flanders. However, in the Netherlands, that small figure masks a much larger number of clients who used that country’s Literacy Screener tool: 1525.
Across the six countries as a whole, client gender mix was evenly balanced, although it was not necessarily balanced within each country. More than seven in 10 service users (71%) were aged 35 years or under, with the most common age range being 19-25. More than eight in 10 clients (84%) were citizens of the country in which they received counselling. Just over seven in 10 (71%) were native speakers of their country of residence’s primary language.
One in five GOAL clients (20%) had no qualifications beyond primary education, while three in five (59%) had completed lower secondary education. Although the GOAL project was targeted at adults without upper secondary education, a significant percentage of clients (21%) had qualifications beyond the lower secondary level.
More than half (56%) of GOAL clients were unemployed, and another 21% were economically inactive. One in three (34%) had some previous experience of adult guidance. Clients cited a number of barriers they had faced with regard to improving their qualifications or career prior to coming to GOAL, with the most common being the cost of education (28%), low motivation (25%), health problems (19%), family commitments (18%) and lack of confidence (18%). Overall, general self-efficacy was high and self-reported attitudes to learning were positive.
The most common goals at the start of GOAL counselling were: achieving a specific qualification and engaging in learning to find a job. At the start of GOAL, most clients had at least a rough idea of the type of work they would like to do in the future.