Guidance activities and processes
Guidance activities and processes: quantitative findings
Reasons for seeking guidance
The most common reasons for guidance activities as indicated by clients were exploring educational opportunities and assistance with job search. This corresponds with the main focus of the session – discussing learning opportunities. Analysis of data by target group profile suggests that that guidance services should offer a package of services because different target groups come to guidance for different reasons.
Duration of sessions
In the Lithuanian model the majority of clients received individual face-to-face consultations with a duration of sessions 31 minutes and longer.
The data collected about clients showed a dominant route to services: one third of clients were referred by (un)employment service, one third were referred by educational institutions / support services and a smaller part (26%) found out about services individually.
Validation of Prior Learning (VPL) typically was a part of the session but only a small share of service users recognised it as such. Moreover, a very small part of clients indicated VPL as one of the reasons for seeking guidance. This indicates that VPL should be better integrated into the guidance sessions and that in general it needs better awareness raising among population.
Guidance activities and processes: qualitative findings
Although each case is different and there is no standard duration, a guidance session can be roughly divided into the following phases: introduction, clarifying of personal objectives, mapping the client’s current situation, identifying career or education perspectives, choosing learning and job possibilities, agreement on next steps taken by client. During follow-up sessions, clients informed about progress, obstacles encountered, performed additional tests needed and further discussed training opportunities.
According to programme staff the majority of clients needed more than 2-3 sessions. When comparing work with motivated clients who know what they want and those who are in doubt about their future the staff said that much more time was required to work with the latter group.
According to programme staff, the underlying philosophy of guidance services was to take into account each individual client, therefore, the sessions were dedicated to better identifying clients’ needs, skills and competences. The methods and tools chosen depended on each client case. This implied that counsellors would be highly flexible and able to adapt to the clients’ needs with strong interpersonal skills.