Key findings

Background and aims

Counsellors in the Czech Republic are skilled professionals and steps have been taken to provide further training to staff so that they are up to date on current trends and methods in career guidance and how these can be applied with the GOAL target group. Clients were on the whole very satisfied with the competences their counsellors display.

Counselling activities

None of the counsellors is able to spend a 100% of their time working with clients because there is no external support in client acquisition, PR activities, marketing etc. Counsellors are responsible for these activities and they have to travel to clients, negotiate with suitable stakeholders and partners and inform them about project activities at the regional level. This may present a challenge to ensuring that counsellors are trained and developed in the full range of competences required. In particular, counsellors would likely benefit from more administrative support in the future.

On the other hand, it is quite obvious that counsellors are perceived as competent and they received very good rating from their clients. The majority of the clients in both Olomouc and Most reported positively about the professional competency of their counsellors. Clients were mostly satisfied with the clear explanations regarding the content and focus of the sessions. They declared that they got answers to their questions during the sessions and they got useful and helpful information throughout the guiding session.

Defining competences

Working as a career advisor should always involve a set of skills, knowledges and personal attributes that counsellors constantly improve. An essential part of the work of the counsellor is to keep learning, which goes hand in hand with training and improving theoretical and practical knowledges (technique, practical training, and supervision).

While working with at-risk groups, there is an important role of long-term experience in field and skills related to managing crisis situations in the counselling process.

Achieving high standards of counselling competence

Programme staff were asked about the GOAL-specific training they received prior to the start of the pilot. According to counsellors, they appreciate this training and receiving information about current trends and methods in career guidance with respect to target group. The general framework of these procedures has been respected during each session (personal values, communication values, approaches, use of certain tools etc.). According to findings from interviews, these competences can be improved by training, literature research, practice and experience. There is also a possibility of obtaining professional qualifications within the NSK system. Partners and policymakers stated there is a need of formalization of competences career advisor should have: they have discussed possibilities within the existing scope and models – such as using the existing programmes aimed at career guidance within the NSK system, then cooperation with faculties and other relevant stakeholders has been mentioned as well.

Challenges and barriers

Regional counsellors were not 100% focused on career guidance, they had to deal with administration, establishing the partnership networks in the regions, promotion, client acquisition, reporting. In order to improve their competences in career guidance they should be given more administrative support.

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.”

TESTIMONIALS

from clients, counsellors and stakeholders

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