Key implications

Developing and sustaining partnerships and networks

Implications for future programme development

The following factors influence the quality of collaboration/ partnerships: clear goals of partnership, clear objectives and roles of partners, shared interests of all parties, willingness to cooperate, and the availability of funding. In order to build and sustain effective partnerships, the benefits of cooperation must be clear to all partners. Failure to do so represents a serious challenge to future programme development, as guidance is only one of several competing interests that potential partners share.

The research also emphasised that the sustainability of partnerships is dependent on financial mechanisms being in place to support these partnerships. The Lithuanian GOAL project builds on existing partnerships, which should mean these partnerships are sustainable beyond the life of the programme, but there may be an impact on the quality of the partnerships. Future programme development will have to consider carefully how sustainable partnerships can be built especially with local policy level organisations and NGOs, give the importance of partnerships and networks to each stage of the guidance process.

Policy implications

Implications of policy

The challenge of establishing sustaining partnerships is partly due to non-existence of national / municipal financial and non-financial schemes to support guidance services. The only exception is counselling of unemployed implemented by PES. Guidance services to other groups are implemented on the basis of projects and depend on interest of organisations delivering the services. With no regular funding they are not motivated to expand services and related partnerships.

Implications for policy

Policy actors, programme staff and partners acknowledged the role partnerships play in delivering effective guidance and admitted that the current system is rather fragmented, with underdeveloped mutual links and exchange of information. This is caused (at least in part) by the competition amongst education institutions for students; because of this competition, counselling appears to have a strong focus on attracting potential learners to particular education institutions. Counselling thus runs the risk of being institution-centred rather than client-centred.

Because of their competition for learners, there is a threat that educational institutions prefer to act in isolation and do not see the potential of partnership. A possible solution would be establishment of central focal institution in adult education that would foresee national and regional challenges and would have good networks with regions.

The role of NGOs in guidance services delivery should be explored in more detail. NGOs work is based on another principles than state-owned and municipal institutions. NGOs work with population groups at social risk, they have a good reputation in local communities. It is very likely that investment into the services provided by NGOs would be more cost-efficient than funding regular VET or adult education institutions who don’t have a good access to low-skilled and low-motivated adults.

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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