A typical GOAL service user in Lithuania is a male under 35, job-seeker/unemployed or early school leaver with a primary or lower secondary education level. The majority of service users reported that they had not previously received guidance, with just 21 of the 100 receiving some kind of guidance as adults. This indicates a lack of tradition for seeking educational guidance and low availability of such services.
The programme staff during focus groups confirmed that there were differences among service users’ categories in different sites. Programme staff from VJLMTC described their main target within GOAL programme as employed persons sent by their employers for skills evaluation and retraining, and unemployed adults having qualifications which did not correspond to modern requirements or were no longer in demand in the labour market. Many of unemployed clients under 29 years have just finalised general education school or have dropped out because of some reasons. There was also a group of clients who were in their fifties and older but they were not needed by employers especially if their occupation required physical strength and good health. Another group was persons who came to the site because they wanted to requalify or learn some additional skills. And there was a group of persons who returned from abroad, wanted to learn some occupation and then emigrate again.
Programme staff from VAEC described their target group as those without lower or upper secondary education level, either drop outs or those receiving social benefits. They came to VAEC to finalise their general education so as to progress to VET or higher education or, as in case of GOAL, they found out about services from friends, colleagues or family, and came for counselling about the change of their career according to their interests and about possible training options for receiving a qualification. In this respect counselling sessions focused on interests and personal characteristics were very appropriate because clients started making their plans so as to avoid mistakes in making decisions about their career orientation. In Wave 2 the site managed to attract and consult more female clients of older age who typically had not finalised their lower or upper secondary education and, in addition, were not satisfied with their current employment situation or were unemployed. The data reveal that current GOAL service users are motivated to seek guidance because they have shown up for a session after hearing or reading about it and are determined to learn new things and even gain a new qualification. Programme staff reported that it is easy to work with motivated clients who want to change something in their life. Programme staff and policy actors admitted that the largest challenge is reaching unmotivated people. Very often due to their low education level potential clients have difficulties not only in finding the relevant services, but also in expressing their interests.
A question about defining and estimating a GOAL-type target group was raised by policy actors who complained about a lack of evidence on how many low-motivated and low-educated adults there are in Lithuania. Taking into account the rather high education level of the Lithuanian population (in 2015, 80% of population over 15 have gained at least upper-secondary education), and that level of education is gradually increasing, a focus of GOAL on low-educated adults is still relevant for Lithuania in terms of reaching this target group. Statistical data shows obvious differences between town and rural areas in education level: 29% of the rural population has an education level below upper-secondary, whereas in towns this share is just 15%.
GOAL sites provide very targeted services: either general education or vocationally oriented training. Policy actors during focus group said that what seems to be lacking is a linkage to and focus on guidance that helps to identify adults’ literacy problems and offers possible ways for improving literacy. The results of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Survey of Adult Skills revealed a relatively high prevalence of poor literacy, numeracy and digital problem-solving skills. Low educated people may lack literacy skills and thus be severely hampered in their efforts to learn or find a better job.
 OECD (2016). Skills matter: further results from the survey of adult skills. http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/Skills-Matter-Lithuania.pdf