Implications for future programme development
It is important to comprehensively define the tasks and competences of adult education counsellors. The specifics of the different educational organisations (differences between secondary schools, adult education centres and ISIO centres) must also be taken into account. We will thereby help to strengthen the professionalisation of the counsellor’s role in adult education.
The ratios/shares taken by individual tasks and the division of tasks between teams in a specific educational organisation must be defined. To plan the scope of guidance work at the annual level.
To strengthen and bring together youth and adult counsellors in teams at the secondary education level. The systemic bases for this should also be defined.
Adult education counsellors need specialist knowledge, skills and competences. They therefore need basic and further training, which should be planned and implemented at the national level.
Counsellors require expert support at the national level. In Slovenia, this expert support may be provided by the SIAE and IRSVET (national public institutions).
A provider needs sufficient numbers of staff and counsellors, with due regard paid to the fact that guidance work with low-skilled adults is more demanding in terms of time and content – a fact that must be considered when setting the standards/staff numbers per number of clients.
Implications of policy
The Resolution on the National Adult Education Programme 2013–2020 also sets out the importance of developing adult education professionals. Among its objectives are the training of sufficient numbers of adult education professionals for different target groups and needs, the adapting of teacher and adult education training to different target groups, and the provision of advanced adult education training and the training of professional staff as a nationally important activity, programme and public service (ReNPIO 2013–2020, SIAE, 2014, p. 52). The latter also includes adult education guidance activities.
Implications for policy
We propose that regulation of the tasks and competences of adult education counsellors remain, at the systemic level, the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, within which, in relation to the regulation of guidance activities in secondary schools and integration of guidance for young people and guidance for adults at secondary education centres, the activities of the two sectors (adult education and secondary education) must be brought together. In this the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport should also coordinate with other departments, particularly the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, under whose auspices guidance work at employment services takes place.
The systemic dimension and adequate legal bases for the field must be secured (e.g. annual adult education programmes under the ReNPIO 2013–2020, drafting of a new Adult Education Act and new implementing regulations, e.g. Guidelines for Adult Education Guidance).
It would make sense to make regulation of this area as one of the tasks of national coordinating bodies for the development of adult education in Slovenia. There are several coordinating bodies charged with directing the development of adult education at the national level. A decision will have to be made on the most appropriate body for directing the development of adult education guidance. We suggest that the proposal on this be formulated by the national GOAL group.
Stable financing of adult education guidance must be secured and proceed from the defined standards and norms (the number of adult education guidance staff must be defined, along with all the necessary conditions for the operation of this activity).
The two national institutions (SIAE and IRSVET) should receive funds for the development and monitoring of adult education guidance (in line with the type of organisation).
Partner cooperation should be strengthened at the national and local levels by means of systemic, financial and professional incentives.
It is important to make the most of the incentives that come from the EU following the joint strategic guidelines, for example using the European Social Fund and the Erasmus+ programme etc. A process of exchange between counsellors from EU countries should be supported; this will allow them to familiarise themselves with examples of good practice and undertake training in other countries, thereby strengthening their competences, particularly in relation to the guidance of low-skilled adults.