In building GOAL-like programmes, actions should be taken to alleviate the constraints which GOAL faced in Lithuania: fragmentation of the system and poor coordination of similar guidance initiatives of different actors; lack of systemic/clear financing mechanisms; absence of counselling specialists’ standards, competences profiles and low offer of continuing professional development measures; and a lack of guidance tools tailored specifically to target groups.
Before the development of GOAL-like programmes/services it would be beneficial to perform a comprehensive national level analysis of institutional networks serving low-motivated, disadvantaged clients and barriers that clients face in reaching services. This would help to identify the duplications and the gaps in institutional framework. The staff acknowledged that such services should be built on the real needs of existing and potential clients. They welcomed the project but on the other hand they admitted the constraints faced by GOAL – in the absence of targeted funding the sustainability of outcomes achieved is questionable and episodic, and project-based services are in some cases may be regarded as unsustainable or of poorer quality by their clients or partners.
When strong PES or similar system for counselling job-seekers and unemployed exists, a political support should be secured to expand alternative services such as GOAL.
The success of GOAL-like services to a large extend depend on outreach activities. However, more extensive outreach efforts are likely to have implications for programme resources and costs.
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. The neutral and independent character of the service should be regarded as one of the important quality criteria.
The Lithuanian GOAL project was to a large extent built 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 would have to consider carefully how sustainable partnerships can be built, especially with local policy level organisations and NGOs, given the importance of partnerships and networks to each stage of the guidance process.