We can divide those involved in the GOAL programme into two main groups: the unemployed and those in employment. In both of these groups, there were more women than men, and one third of all clients were aged between 46 and 55. The majority were Slovenian citizens who spoke Slovenian as their native language.
The most demanding group that we wished to include in the GOAL project comprised persons over the age of 50, as statistical data shows that this group has the lowest levels of participation in lifelong learning nationally and has, on average, lower levels of education than other age groups. Despite the active involvement of partner organisations in both regions it remains a challenge to reach this group.
When joining the guidance process, clients had clearly defined objectives. Most of those who had sought guidance in order to continue their education wished to improve a specific skill or acquire a specific qualification, while most of those who had sought guidance for reasons of employment knew which area they wished to work in or which profession they wished to take up. The majority of clients also had a positive attitude towards learning new things and achieved the maximum score on the self-efficacy scale. This shows that Slovenia had an almost ideal group of participants; at least theoretically, this should have given positive outcomes at the end of the guidance process. We can partly explain these results by stating that individuals choose to seek guidance of their own volition. We included individuals who had chosen to enter the process themselves and who therefore displayed a large degree of initiative. Of course, we cannot wholly exclude the fact that those individuals might be giving answers they regard as more “socially acceptable”.
Over 70% of the over-50 and unemployed target groups chose “improving skills in a specific area” as the reason for opting for education. This was logical, as improvements to skills provide the unemployed with the opportunity to improve their position on the job market, while for the over-50s it becomes a necessary precondition for retaining employment. The reason most commonly stated by migrants was the acquisition of a qualification; this can be explained by the requirements they are obliged to meet in order to obtain a permit for residence and work in Slovenia.