Implications for future programme development
Gaining knowledge about the target groups’ needs and the adjustments of the counselling sessions and tools is an ongoing process. Awareness of the need for flexibility and adaptability is important and the adjustment of tools, according to individual needs, is a continuing process. Networking amongst specialists can be very beneficial in this regard. The use of interpreting services is essential and needs great attention. Care must be taken and standards set in connection with competence and ethics among interpreters.
Implications of policy
The guidance counsellors within the Adult Learning System in Iceland enjoy support with their continuing competence development, the gaining of knowledge and skills in adopting new tools and methods. The job title ‘career-counsellor’ is licensed in Iceland. The Master programme for career counsellors has set general and specific competence standards that influence the counsellor’s skills in acquiring new methods and adjust them to the needs of the target group. Educational- and vocational guidance counsellors work in many places with adults e.g. Directorate of Labour, Social Services, Vocational Rehabilitation Centres, and within the formal school system. Even though they have other undertakings within these institutions, it promotes understanding about the roles and the importance of educational- and vocational guidance for the target group.
Implications for policy
During the GOAL project the sharing of experience and knowledge was considered, by everyone involved, especially valuable. This sharing promoted peer-learning, cooperation and support. This implies that it could be highly useful to develop a multidisciplinary forum where different specialists servicing the target group could come together on a regular basis. The sharing of useful methods/tools, and experiences (good and bad) could enhance the effectiveness of the professionals and organisations working with the target group.
Many of the GOAL clients were not able to take the next step because they lacked the appropriate readiness needed for them to move forward. This indicates that the formation of an efficient referral system between professionals is needed. The system could ensure that clients within the target group would be referred to educational- and vocational guidance when they have reached the necessary ‘readiness’ (there might be a need to reinforce the ability to identify the appropriate readiness for learning- or career development among referral agents).
In light of increasing number of immigrants using the service, there is a need for increasing the access to interpreter services. Analysing and setting competence criteria and ethical standards for interpreting services is necessary. Translation and adjustment of various tools is needed.