Context and aims
Lithuania did not have outreach as a GOAL intervention strategy. Nevertheless, outreach activities have taken place through partnerships between GOAL sites and their partners.
GOAL programme services should be analysed in a more general context of guidance services available in the system of public employment services (PES). In Lithuania adult guidance services provided within PES services are very well known to clients and public in general. In recent years PES have strengthened and expanded their guidance services thanks to ESF funding. A model of serving clients was changed and from 2017 unemployed persons / job-seekers from their first visit to PES are served by employment counsellor and at a later stage unemployed persons are referred to career counsellors. Because of strong position of PES services there was no point in opposing GOAL services to PES guidance services. The GOAL aimed to explore a possible adults’ guidance model in education institutions taking into account a possible cooperation with PES.
Outreach activities within GOAL were based on current partnerships of the sites, mainly the Lithuanian Labour Exchange local office, Vilnius youth labour centre, Vilnius municipality and several employers and NGOs. Information campaigns were organised and information about the availability of GOAL services was disseminated within partner institutions and in the sites. The monitoring data revealed that 26% clients self-referred to the service, a third were referred by unemployment services (31%), and another third (34%) by educational institutions and educational support services. A very small share of clients (2%) was referred by social welfare services.
Challenges and barriers
Due at least in part to the positioning of GOAL within educational institutions, some outreach challenges faced by other participating countries have been avoided. In particular, GOAL in Lithuania has had good access to relatively motivated clients. A challenge was to attract clients whose greater level of disadvantage results in lower motivation. One site (VJLMTC) made greater efforts to recruit more highly disadvantaged clients. A very small share of clients (2%) was referred by social welfare services. This leads us to assume that social welfare services provide very little guidance and counselling about possible learning. This opinion was expressed by policy actors, that municipal services do not offer counselling on education and career for their visitors.
There is no agreement which institutions would be the most appropriate to reaching the most deprived low-motivated clients. Policy actors during their focus group noted low mobility of counselling services and proposed that the role of NGOs in guidance services delivery should be explored in more detail. 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.