Key findings

Developing and sustaining partnerships and networks

Developing partnerships and networks: programme aims

According to the needs and strengths analysis report, the main topics the GOAL project team attempted to address were the fact that participation of adults in non-formal education is below the EU 28 average, that persons with low or no qualifications are less likely to attend a suitable further education programme and the fact that there is no systemic guidance support for this particular target group at the national or regional level.

As it is mentioned in the needs analysis, career guidance for unemployed as provided by the Labour Office is not particularly sufficient. Despite the initial worries in the project implementation about, among others, reaching the target group, the GOAL project team has to point out that in the later stages of the project, an intensive cooperation with regional branches of the Labour Office has been established. Representatives of the Labour Office provided regional counsellors with suitable clients and the GOAL project offered a more sophisticated approach to the clients. Regarding the cooperation with regional branches of the Labour Office, the level of cooperation is currently at a very high level and beyond initial expectations.

Existence and scope of partnerships and networks

Cooperation with Labour Office is crucial in the Czech Republic, because they are the most important institution with regards to access to the target group of low skilled adults and the unemployed. The cooperation should also be done within the existing networks (e.g. networks of high schools etc.) and should include schools in order to get access to dropouts from the upper secondary education. Career counsellors must have extensive knowledge about adult education and validation system (e.g. National Register of Qualification). Within GOAL, regional counsellors have learnt that the most effective tool remains direct contact with the client. The GOAL project enabled this kind of opportunity for these clients, with the approach appearing to have a positive impact on psychological aspects and the confidence of the counselled clients.

Challenges and barriers

The initial worries of the project team focused mainly on cooperation with strategic partners (Labor Office) and on target group acquisition. Usually, the target group is very hard to reach given the fact that they don't have good experiences with services provided by schools or by the Labour Office. Within the GOAL project implementation, the project team managed to overcome both issues. Despite initial obstacles, the project team managed to highlight the benefits of mutual benefits and cooperation and convince them that regional counsellors are not their competitors. The eventual level of cooperation was at a very high level and was considered mutually beneficial. In terms of funding, there is a need for discussion which should be focused on finding a systemic solution and approach at the national level, because these services might help a client to determine his goals and motives but if we take into the account financial possibilities of this particular target group, they are usually not able to fund courses themselves. Within WAVE 1 attempts were made to establish cooperation with prisons, but this route was not possible as prisons already run their own programmes for inmates.

Strengths and achievements

The partners consider career guidance services provided within the GOAL project as a great tool to support the target group. They all expressed their willingness to participate in a similar project in the future. Regional counsellors would like to maintain contacts and exchange information with partners after the termination of the project. They would like to maintain cooperation at the highest possible level in order to have access to information. Maintaining the cooperation with relevant partners that has been established with regional partners is one of the biggest achievements of the project. In order to make this initiative sustainable it is necessary to resolve funding, since this target group is not able or willing to pay for the desired courses themselves.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A COUNSELLOR

Iceland
Iceland

"GOAL interview: a client came to discuss a program for validation of employability skills, in which she is going to participate."

"In-house discussions with other counsellors and project managers on an unexpected issue with a student. We tried to solve the issue together. We had to contact another school."

Lithuania
Lithuania

“Presentation for unemployed people about possibilities to get involved into the Goal project and get free of charge orientation and guidance.”

“Orientation and guidance of adult people. 2 clients are consulted: they are unemployed and have plans for learning a new profession in order to find a job.“

Netherlands
Netherlands

“The prison population and educational needs of the detainees are far from homogeneous.”

 “Usually, there are 6 to 8 detainees at a time, each with an individual program. I guide them. The guidance can be focused on basic education, vocational education or specific courses detainees are taking at that time”

Slovenia
Slovenia

"Working with clients gives me energy and brings me joy, because between individual sessions I can see progress, changes, new beliefs, enrolment in education programmes and I can build good relationships with my clients."

 

"The feeling that I do a lot of good for my clients is priceless."

Czech Republic
Czech Republic

“At the start of every session, counsellors try to gather information about the client, his or her position within the family and wider friendship circles, and his or her health. They also explore the client’s feelings, ideas and motivation.”

“Based on the client’s answers, the counsellor selects ways to proceed in order to meet the client’s needs and goals.”

Flanders
Flanders

"All information, agreements made and steps taken during sessions are written down in the registration system"

“Even the names of persons clients have been talking about are registered in order to remember the whole communication line and, more importantly, to avoid them having to say things twice. It creates a sense of trust with our clients.”

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