Guidance activities and processes
Implications for future programme development
Two clear issues emerge that have implications for programme development. The first relates to the guidance offer in Lithuania: if situation does not change in terms of policy attention and funding, the sites are not able to provide as many counselling sessions as needed. The staff had unanimous opinion that one session is sufficient only for a minority of clients and usually two to three sessions is a must. In Wave 1 the sites provided one session and in Wave 2 they provided two and more sessions; however, in practice it is not possible to guarantee this to every client in need because for counsellors counselling is not their main job.
The second implication relates to transparency and independence in the referral of clients to educational programmes. Although housing GOAL within educational institutions appears to be very effective in getting the target group to come to counselling sessions, the advice received and opportunities on offer may be influenced by the educational institution’s (understandable) need to recruit students.
Implications of policy
The GOAL service providers were adult education institutions themselves. However, adult education institutions’ financial indicators rely on larger number of students, therefore, competition among education providers is great. In such a context it is difficult to guarantee impartiality in service provision because there is a high chance that clients will be referred mainly to learning opportunities within the education institution.
Implications for policy
GOAL experience showed that GOAL sessions were more than just informing about learning options and education institutions. GOAL clients in addition to information services also sought support in tackling with self-esteem and ambition. In addition, GOAL staff measured that for high-quality services more than one session is needed. This makes services quite expensive. Still the GOAL experience proved that it is beneficial to keep such services in education institution and to provide a targeted support to education institutions which are self- motivated and have staff to provide such services. For adult education institutions counselling services it will become increasingly important if they want to attract more students in the context of decreasing population.
GOAL experience showed that there is no a one-fit-all counselling model for all clients. Still it would be beneficial to promote successful practices, methods and tools and to take care that information where adults could receive guidance services would be disseminated and accessible to low-educated persons. The qualitative information collected showed that potential guidance clients and partners (i.e. potential referring institutions) are not aware that such services may be provided in educational institutions.