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Access to vocational guidance for people at risk of social exclusion Edited by Dr Pamela M Clayton

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CHAPTER SEVEN

CONCLUSIONS

Pamela Clayton

University of Glasgow

‘Social exclusion refers to the structures and processes which exclude persons and groups from full participation in society ... (It) can be succinctly described as cumulative marginalisation: from production (unemployment), from consumption (income poverty), from social networks (community, family, neighbours), from decision-making and from an adequate quality of life ... It is not just about lack of money, but may also be about isolation, lack of work, lack of educational opportunities and discrimination’ (Irish national report, page 98 of this volume).

Measuring the extent of social exclusion is difficult. The availability of statistics is not uniform among the participating member states and each presents difficulties of various kinds. For example, Ireland has little statistical data on disability; the United Kingdom has extensive statistical datasets in many areas but changing definitions of categories make it difficult to evaluate long-term trends. Many individuals fall into more than one category. Nevertheless it is possible to see which groups are most at risk of social exclusion.

It is commonly, and correctly, acknowledged that the disabled and the long-term unemployed (especially older men) are at risk of social exclusion. The longer people remain unemployed, the less their chances of obtaining jobs. The number of disabled jobseekers is increasing in Finland and the Italian research found that disability of all types is increasing. All the European Partners included these two groups among their target groups. There are, however, many other groups at risk, including some who are currently employed, and especially those on low pay, in precarious employment and older workers. Other groups affected by structural change are women returners, immigrants, refugees and ethnic minorities. Among the last three groups, refugees (and asylum-seekers in certain countries) are at particular risk of social exclusion. This is illustrated by Interview 2 in Case Study no. 2, CILO of Chivasso. Even in Finland, which has a very small percentage of foreigners and no official rhetoric against refugees (or asylum-seekers), their unemployment rate in 1995 was 70 per cent, against around 50 per cent for foreigners in general and 17 per cent for the population in general.

At even greater risk of social exclusion - indeed, most are socially excluded, not merely at risk - are small outsider groups such as Travellers in Ireland and Romany and Irish Travellers in the United Kingdom. These are one of the main groups living in extreme poverty, with poor living conditions and health, low life expectancy, mainly illiterate and facing discrimination at all levels. All Partners included minorities of various kinds as worthy of special attention.

Ex-offenders find extreme difficulties accessing employment and often fall into the ranks of the homeless, who share many of the disadvantages of Travellers and the Romany. Both the Italian and British researchers chose to include case studies which target the homeless and people in housing need: one of these, the Fondazione San Carlo (case study no. 8 and see also p. 237 for the Forum movement), provides temporary accommodation. Services which target offenders or ex-offenders were included by all the researchers: of particular interest is the Valtti Project in Finland (case study no. 44).

All four European Partners focused on women: in Ireland and Italy they suffer greater unemployment than men, and female unemployment in Finland has begun to increase faster than male; and the actual numbers unemployed (in all countries, including the United Kingdom where at all ages women suffer less unemployment than men according to LFS figures) may be greater than even these if discouraged workers are taken into account. Everywhere in the EU, employed women earn less than men, even on a pro rata basis, that is, taking into account hours worked, and are disproportionately employed in low-paid sectors and at low levels of work. A particular barrier for women with dependent children, especially in Ireland, where provision is very poor, and the United Kingdom, where it is very expensive and provision is uneven, is the necessity to pay for childcare, including afterschool care. It is remarkable that British women have such a high rate of labour market participation, given this barrier. Women are often worse qualified than men, too, and are less likely to access training. Female lone parents in Ireland and the United Kingdom have very low rates of labour market participation and a very high incidence of poverty.

A phenomenon peculiar in our study to Italy (and which also applies to Greece) is the high rate of self-employment. Few of these are professionals or entrepreneurs: the majority are people whose work would formerly have taken place in core employing organisations but who now carry out such tasks as peripheral subcontractual work (included among ‘atypical contracts’ in the Italian study). The self-employed have little social protection or political representation and insufficient access to ongoing training.

In some cases whole areas are at risk: the south of Italy; the rural West of Ireland; remote parts of Scotland and other outlying areas of the United Kingdom; declining industrial areas in Northern Italy and the United Kingdom; deprived city quarters in Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. This last does not apply to Finland, where social housing is mixed class - a model we would advocate to policy-makers elsewhere - but the other Partners included locally-based services set up to combat this kind of exclusion.

In Ireland, the poorest nation in our survey, the major effect of social exclusion is widespread poverty. It is estimated that one-third of the population (and one-quarter of all children) live on 60 per cent or less of average disposable income. The largest group of poor households is headed by an unemployed person, followed by those headed by a full-time carer. The main groups of poor people include farmers and women working in the home as well as the disabled, retired and able-bodied unemployed. Alone in the four countries surveyed here, Ireland still has many large families and these are more prone to poverty. As in the United Kingdom, however, lone parenthood, marital breakdown and indebtedness to moneylenders lock many into a vicious cycle of poverty and despair. Indeed, one researcher has estimated that, (based on the numbers on some form of income support, 30 per cent of the British population suffer social and economic exclusion (Macfarlane 1997), even though this is a wealthier country than Ireland.

Many of the disadvantages suffered by those at risk of social exclusion cannot be tackled at the level of the individual; those at risk are:

‘restricted by a series of handicaps which neither they, nor their families, are able to redress’ (Italian national report, page 37 of this volume).

Lack of skills and low educational qualifications, however, generally increase the risk of unemployment and difficulty of labour market (re)entry. Furthermore, as the Italian study points out, the effects of long-term unemployment include the loss of confidence and motivation; the obsolescence of skills; and the loss of labour market information through detachment from informal networks. Intervention in these areas can have a positive effect.

On the face of it, the answer for those lacking skills or qualifications is to obtain them; and given the profile given in recent years to lifelong learning, it might be thought that returning to learning would be unproblematic. In fact, this depends very much local or national circumstances.

 

ACCESS TO LIFELONG LEARNING

In Italy there were in the past few opportunities for lifelong learning but two recent agreements are set to develop training for the employed and those at risk of unemployment and to create continuing education centres. Funding is available to finance training for adults, including those on atypical contracts. In Ireland, on the other hand, there is a well-established National Training Authority (Fas) which, along with other state bodies such as the VECs and the Area Based Partnerships, and the voluntary and community sectors, provides for the unemployed a range of lifelong learning opportunities ranging from literacy and basic education to advanced vocational training. In addition, those unemployed for 12 months or more may enter high school or higher education institutions, full-time or part-time, while still claiming state benefits.

In Finland and the United Kingdom, comprehensive reviews of lifelong learning have taken place in the last few years. Both countries have a long history of adult liberal and informal education, although industrialisation in the United Kingdom long preceded that of Finland, and both experienced steep rises in unemployment followed by recognition of the need to increase the skills of the workforce. In Finland, however, an official lifelong learning policy began in the late 1960s (that is, about the time Finland was transformed from a rural agricultural to an urban industrialised society), and since then it has been the central plank of educational planning. A nation-wide network of adult vocational training centres was set up in the 1970s. In the late 1980s all vocational schools were obliged to organise vocational training for adults, and adult continuing education centres were instituted in all the universities, to provide continuing education, open academic education, and labour market training including, since the big rise in unemployment in the 1990s, employment training for graduates. Open university education is also provided by summer universities. In addition, there are study circle centres, private and voluntary sector providers of education/training and employer-provided training.

The provision of lifelong learning has been much more decentralised in the United Kingdom and opportunities vary between different local areas. Overall, however, there is - for those who can access it - a wide range of provision, including liberal education, Access and pre-Access courses to prepare adults aiming at university entry, courses for qualifications from basic to postgraduate, community education, skills training, inservice training, EDPs, and special programmes for labour market returners and the unemployed (of varying effectiveness in the latter case). Providers include central and local government, universities, including the Open University, colleges of further education, semi-state agencies such as the TECs/LECs, trade unions, employers, ILMs, and the voluntary and private sectors. Learning may be, for example, face-to-face, distance, open, computer-mediated or any combination of modes of learning. In Finland, the United Kingdom and elsewhere, however, actual participation in adult learning increases with socio-economic status and level of initial education. The least likely to access lifelong learning, particularly that which confers high-status qualifications, are adults at risk of social exclusion.

Since the 1980s there has been an increasing focus in many European nations on the link between education and the economy. One manifestation of this link is the merging of the Departments of Education and of Employment into a single ministry, the DfEE. Only in Finland among the member-states in this survey, however, has there been such a focus on the need to combat social exclusion, support personal development, strengthen democratic values and sustain communities and social cohesion, as well as to promote national competitiveness. The latter has been the main thrust of policy development in the United Kingdom, although both the previous and the present government include combating social exclusion (or promoting social inclusion) as aims. The previous government rightly recognised the importance of tailored courses, outreach, workplace learning and childcare, and set training targets. The present government has taken policy forward with a series of measures, such as the New Deal, which included education/training, for the unemployed under 25, the UfI, Learning Direct and other measures described in Chapter Four. It is too early to assess the effects of current policy, but the previous policy for lifelong learning was undermined by funding cuts, poor promotion of NVQs - and by lack of impartial information and guidance.

Ideally, lifelong learning should appear to its participants as a seamless web, albeit in a variety of settings and through a variety of routes. A holistic model of access to lifelong learning would include the involvement of and synergy between:

education/training providers (schools, colleges of further education, adult and continuing education departments and colleges, institutions of higher education with a focus on non-traditional students, community education services, the voluntary sector, training organisations, etc.);

EU, national and local economic development organisations and policy-makers;

the workplace, including SMEs as well as large employers, and with the active involvement of trade unions;

and the areas where people live, with special attention paid to inner cities, outlying housing estates and rural areas.

Access for disadvantaged groups would be free and the necessary supports would be given, including free childcare, travel grants, bursaries and so on and continued payment of state benefits for those with no other income. Even with such a system, however, access would prove difficult for many without full information and advice; and even then it would require specialised guidance for would-be learners to choose for themselves the most appropriate programmes for their needs, interests and future labour market benefits. Hence we would add to this ‘web’:

adult vocational guidance and counselling services

The maintenance and creation of such a seamless web would depend in large part on the collection and diffusion of information between the strands outlined above: adult guidance networks, properly resourced and organised, could form the hub of such an information network.

In practice, such a seamless web does not exist, and even where an individual has discovered a suitable programme, practical barriers such as lack of finance, inadequate educational background, lack of confidence, geographical immobility, the need for childcare and the necessity to juggle study and work may impede him/her from taking up the opportunity. Some of these problems can be overcome with the help of vocational guidance; not only can clients be enabled to choose appropriate courses - and research into the outcomes of good experiences of adult learning consistently finds that learners report enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem - but they can also benefit from confidence-raising programmes. Unfortunately, if access to learning is difficult, access to guidance is even more problematic.

 

ACCESS TO VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE: ISSUES FOR POLICY-MAKERS

It has long been argued that something could be learned from the discontinuities characteristic of many women’s careers (Lemmer 1991; Watts 1980); but a qualitative study of 77 women found that across all ages and socio-economic backgrounds, few women had ever received much career advice or guidance (Taylor and Spencer 1994). A large-scale Danish study of participation in guidance by unemployed people found that 22 per cent claimed to have received no guidance (Plant 1995). In countries with less provision than Denmark this percentage is likely to be very much higher; and our target groups are not confined only to the unemployed. Women and the long-term unemployed, especially men, have become the main target groups for vocational guidance; but in many, but by no means all, services, women form the majority of users. Ethnic minorities too are willing to use services where they exist. Ethnic majority men, including the low-paid employed, with no or low qualifications are the hardest group to access.

 

The provision of adult vocational guidance and counselling

Given that our proposed solution to accessing appropriate lifelong learning, especially for those at risk of social exclusion, is access to adult vocational guidance and counselling, it seems clear that the first access issue is the state of provision. This can be summarised in one sentence:

There is no universally available, statutory provision in any of the participating member-states, and to our knowledge elsewhere in the European Union, of lifelong vocational guidance and counselling that is free and accessible to all adults at risk of social exclusion.

Among the member states of the European Union, only France grants a legal entitlement to adult vocational guidance and counselling, in the form of the bilan de compétence (Chisholm 1997), but this does not meet the continuing needs of the socially excluded.

It might be argued that state employment services carry out such a service and since these are always locally-based they obviate the need for a separate service. In fact, there are many objections to such a proposition and clients are often unenthusiastic about the service they have received:

‘The Public Employment Service is more difficult, more bureaucratic’ (interviewee at CILO of Chivasso, case study no. 2).

A learning disabled young woman also had a poor experience of the Employment Service:

Far from recognising that she had special needs, "they were always asking me why I didn’t have a job" (interviewee at Rehab Scotland’s Open Doors Café, case study no. 22).

In general it is necessary to be unemployed (though not necessarily eligible to receive state benefit, and Finland is an exception here, as shown below) to use state services, whereas social exclusion may co-exist with employment; for the registered unemployed there is a strong coercive element, since the basic function of the service is to police claimants and attempt to reduce the unemployment count rather than to point clients towards solutions that are best for them in the long term; even if such services re-train their staff and change their approach to approximate that of an empathic, holistic, client-centred service, the collective memory of the former bureaucratic, coercive and in some cases unpleasant service will take a long time to disappear.

Among the countries in this study, Finland comes closest to our ideal in its non-coercive (because voluntary for the client) state provision of guidance and counselling to the long-term unemployed and the disabled through the Employment Service (see case study 43). In addition, since 1993 the Finnish service has provided educational and vocational guidance, both individual and group, which is free not only to unemployed jobseekers but also to employed persons seeking to develop their careers or change direction. The larger offices have careers libraries and information officers. As well as specialist services for the disabled, the Employment Service tracks the labour market progress of immigrants. Nevertheless, the public services are criticised for proferring mass solutions rather than an individual, holistic approach; for concentrating on selected target groups; for increasing the amount of coercion used; and for keeping clients waiting for guidance, in some cases for months.

The United Kingdom Employment Service, through the New Deal, is moving in the direction of a more empathic service to selected groups of unemployed people, but there is still a strong coercive element in the programme framework which is necessarily absent in a true guidance service. The recent devolvement of non-coercive services to the Italian regions, through the CILOs (see case study no. 1), which moreover have a wider range of target groups than the long-term unemployed, is a very welcome and promising initiative.

 

Developments in policy and practice

There have been some policy developments in the provision of adult vocational guidance and counselling, most notably in Italy. Here there have been major changes since 1997 (in other words, since this research began), including the devolution to the Regions and Provinces of active labour market policies, such as the provision of adult vocational guidance. This does not mean that vocational guidance and counselling did not exist at all. Local employment agencies in certain areas developed programmes which included work placements and counselling; but the heavy involvement of the social partners in these and in the territorial agreements favours redundant workers at the expense of other groups. Much more inclusive were the job centres, such as the CILOs of Piemonte, which operate at the level of the commune. Objectives for the new national strategy include synergy, between different institutional levels, between the social partners and other economic actors, and between education/training and the local labour market. Italy, then, has leapt from a situation where vocational guidance was virtually unknown to one where it is on the official agenda at the highest level.

In Finland, as noted above, changes in the role of the Employment Service date from 1993. In addition, guidance is increasingly incorporated into labour market training programmes; and university careers services are expanding their role to include skills training for graduates.

Despite official rhetoric on the need for adult vocational/educational guidance, and many demands for increased provision, there is little sign of rhetoric becoming reality in the United Kingdom. The Scottish Office is far more aware than equivalent state departments in the rest of the country, and has funded or part-funded several worthwhile initiatives, such as information and basic training materials for practitioners, adult guidance networks throughout Scotland, some targeted services and the establishment of a Scottish Guidance Group. In the United Kingdom generally there is, in practice, a range of provision for adults found in, for example, ‘one-stop shops’, colleges and universities, community education services, community-based projects, local economic development initiatives, mobile services and Unemployed Workers’ Centres and embedded in educational and training programmes. Provision, however, is neither uniform nor universally available: it is ample in some areas, absent in others.

In Ireland, on the other hand, such services are almost entirely confined to those in second and third level education. There has been in recent years an expansion of services for employees and jobseekers; the NRB (case study no. 9) provides guidance for disabled people; guidance is embedded into ‘return to work’ courses and training programmes and provided free in unemployed resource centres and for a fee by private agencies. Nevertheless, the Irish case studies represent a difficult search for professional adult guidance services which target socially excluded groups and such guidance is often embedded in more general services or issue-based organisations, as is also the case with some of the Finnish and British case studies. The biggest access issue for Ireland, as the conclusions to Chapter Three make clear, is the shortage of provision and lack of cohesion. Some of the case studies, in fact, represent rather the kinds of service which guidance services need to access, rather than guidance services in their own right. These can, however, be useful in reaching one of the hardest groups to access and the least tolerant of the step-by-step approach that is often the most effective in the long run - under-qualified and unemployed men: ‘When money or work are under discussion, men touch upon other matters as well’ (Finnish national report, page 286 of this volume).

We can, then, discern several types of service:

Service offering vocational information, advice and guidance only

Multi-functional (1): offering information, advice vocational guidance and counselling plus training or direct access to education/training

Multi-functional (2): offering information, advice vocational guidance and counselling plus other forms of counselling, for example, for indebtedness, problems with state benefits, housing, family, relationships, health, the law

Multi-functional (3): the ‘one-stop shop’, information, advice vocational guidance and counselling, other forms of counselling, training, and often a careers library, open learning centre. This may be a single organisation or a cluster of separate but related agencies in the same building or hall.

Projects or programmes where vocational guidance is an integral part

Project, programme or organisation offering related services and with direct links with or system of referral to a guidance service (e.g. Disabled Drivers Association, case study no. 15)

Potential site for vocational guidance, either integral, in partnership with a service or as an outreach centre (e.g. Travellers Visibility Group, case study no. 17 and the Italian Social Co-operatives, of which Cooperativa O.R.SO. is a good example, case study nos. 4 and 5)

There is an issue concerning whether services should be specialised or mainstream. On the one hand, a mainstream service can offer more facilities, is likely to have more and more permanent funding, better qualified staff and inservice training programmes; on the other hand, a specialised service can develop more expertise in its target groups(s). Without going too deeply into the matter here, we would make the following points:

there should be collaboration between mainstream and specialised services, in particular exchange of information and expertise, and access by specialised services to mainstream facilities

until mainstream services have developed the expertise to deal with special client groups, specialised services should be supported

there are some clients who will always need entry through a specialised, empathic service, and so there will always be a need for specialised services

nevertheless, it is important that mainstream services with a permanent funding base be enhanced to take on the values and practices of the best specialised services and in some cases to replace them

For mainstream societies to replace specialised services completely would require the ‘mainstreaming’ of all groups within society and the end of social exclusion; it is, therefore, an outcome to be desired.

 

What can vocational guidance services usefully do?

The basic functions of such services were outlined in Chapter One of this report and will not be repeated here; but the case studies reveal additional functions which are particularly important when dealing with disadvantaged individuals.

Network Occupazione Lecco (no. 3), for example, looks for new sources of employment and areas of strong labour market demand. Up-to-date labour market information, therefore, whether collected by an individual service or a service network, is a vital function.

Groupwork can help to reduce loneliness and social isolation and improve social skills (e.g. Fountain House Näsinkulma, case study no. 38).

Services can help prepare clients for working life in general and introduce non-nationals to the new working culture (e.g. CeSIL, Helsinki Employment and Training Project for Immigrant and the Ingrian Centre, case study nos. 7, 40 and 41).

Services can give clients as much time as they need (e.g. Community Service Volunteers, case study no. 28).

Selected services can serve as sites for developing and testing innovation, such as refining working methods (e.g. the Action Based Counselling developed by Gorbals Initiative, case study no. 32) or introducing mentoring or befriending schemes (e.g. W.I.N.N.S.J. and the Scottish Refugee Council, case study nos. 13 and 31).

They can form part of a smooth progression path to literacy/numeracy, education/training, work placements and so on.

They can contribute to the collection of information, for example, on foreign qualifications.

 

What qualities are needed in a vocational guidance service to combat social exclusion?

Disadvantaged individuals generally suffer more than a precarious relationship with the labour market: they often lack confidence, lack resources and have other difficulties in their lives which affect their chances of employment. Services therefore need to be:

client-centred (recognising each person as a distinct individual with specific needs)

holistic in approach (addressing the whole person and his/her personal circumstances)

empathic but also realistic

non-bureaucratic but effective in carrying out their remit and in evaluating their performance

targeted to specific groups, with expertise in their life circumstances, while retaining the focus on the individual and avoiding stereotyping or treating different ethnic groups, for example, as if they were all the same (the challenge here is demonstrated by the Extra Centre, case study no. 9, which in one year dealt with people from 67 different countries)

locally-based and responsive to changes in the local economy

firmly located in networks with a) similar services, including state Employment Services; b) other services and agencies designed to combat social exclusion; c) local employers and employers’ organisations; d) trade unions (as is most commonly the case in the Italian case studies); e) local community organisations and clubs; f) providers of adult education and training; g) local schools

accessibility - this will be dealt with in more detail below

 

What are the problems for existing provision?

As already stated, existing provision is characterised by its scarcity and uneven distribution; but many services that are already in place are operating under difficult circumstances. As well as expanding provision, and preferably giving it statutory status, many improvements could be made to enhance existing services. In large part these require the support of policy-makers.

the nature of funding: short-term, multiple funders

Many services struggle with short-term funding from a variety of sources, with different accounting dates and requirements. This results in too much time being spent on accounting (some funders demand monthly audits, which are inappropriate for non-routine operations) and seeking further funding, time which could be spent serving the needs of the client or making medium-term plans, instead of merely reacting to demands on a day-to-day basis. Funders all too often pay late and this results in cash-flow problems and short-term contracts for staff, resulting in high staff turnover, which is in the interests neither of the organisation nor of its clients. One useful policy recently introduced by the DfEE is that of advancing money to projects once ESF funding is assured. In some cases funding ends or is greatly reduced and the service ceases to exist or has to reduce its functions or client numbers. Funding should be long-term and co-ordinated. Services should also be protected from the effects of local political re-organisation, such as that in the West of Scotland, which resulted in reduced funding to some very good services.

over-reliance on European funding

The important and valuable role played by EU funding cannot be over-emphasised; but projects which have proved their worth should be continued using national funding. All too often, the end of EU funding means the end of the project or programme. With the accession of new, and poorer, member-states, much funding is likely to be switched away from the current beneficiaries.

the low profile and lack of awareness of guidance among the general public

Generic publicity for vocational guidance is needed to inform people nationally as well as locally about this relatively new occupation, for example, through the use of the mass media, and in particular television, which probably reaches the widest audience.

insufficient funding for a fully effective service

Extra funding, for particular services and for the support of guidance in general, should be awarded on the basis of a careful evaluation of needs. The areas which should be considered are:

the optimum number of personnel needed to serve the target area. Waiting times should not be so long that an applicant loses hope or confidence in the service. Some clients need longer periods of guidance than funding might allow and continuing guidance after a client has left the service or started employment is sometimes helpful

training and qualifications for guidance staff - it is not necessary for staff to be university-educated, but it is necessary for them to receive good initial and ongoing training, both in guidance procedures and in the needs of socially excluded groups. The promotion of equality of opportunity as regards access to vocational training and their effective participation therein for disadvantaged groups such as migrant workers, refugees and people with various types of disability means that it is important to have guidance workers who are specially trained to understand the particular circumstances and needs of such groups. In Finland, there is training in guidance only for Employment Service vocational guidance psychologists and information officers and for educational careers service personnel. There is no generic training available to, for example, the non-state services which are currently developing to serve the needs of specially disadvantaged groups. In the United Kingdom and Ireland most guidance counsellors working in the Careers Service have postgraduate qualifications, but adult guidance is generally only a minor part of the curriculum and the majority of those qualified in this way go into the educational services. In the United Kingdom, NVQs in guidance have now been developed up to level 4; so far, however, it is estimated that the great majority of people delivering vocational guidance to adults are inadequately qualified and trained. On the other hand, where properly qualified personnel are required, there is likely to be a staff shortage, such as that suffered by the CILOs in Italy. The use of conscientious objectors there to perform routine tasks is interesting, and in countries without conscription these could be replaced by jobseekers on work placement - but they too would require basic training, for reasons outlined below.

resources with which to conduct ongoing evaluation of the service and to track clients who have left the service, in order to ascertain their progress. It is true that the outcomes of guidance are often hard to evaluate. Some outcomes, such as increased confidence and motivation (known as ‘soft’ outcomes), are hard to quantify and it is gratifying that funders such as the ESF do value these as outcomes, as well as ‘hard’ outcomes such as progression to education, training or employment. Furthermore, guidance is not a ‘quick fix’ solution and it may take up to three years for the guidance process to bear fruit; by this time services are rarely still in contact with their former clients. External evaluations should also be carried out from time to time but not in a manner that disrupts the smooth working of the service. Where effective services have been subjected to a rigorous external evaluation, they have been shown to help both individuals and the local economy (see case study no. 36, New Routes).

resources for appropriate networking, including adult guidance networks and structures linking guidance services to providers of education and training, employers and trade unions, state Employment Services and other agencies involved with the target group.

support services for clients, such as the provision of a crèche or play area for accompanying children (preferably with trained assistants, as in Meridian, case study no. 25); a careers library or an open learning centre; grants for travel to the service or to interviews, clothes or tools (see Routeways, case study no. 23); access to education/training bursaries

ICT for use by staff and clients, to gather information, for networking and for computer-mediated distance learning

suitably arranged accommodation which, for example, permits clients to check information for themselves or to have private interviews

last, but by no means least, the resources, ideas and training to enhance access to the service, in whichever ways outlined below are appropriate for a given target group. Not only are those most likely to benefit from guidance the least likely to access it, they are often the hardest groups to reach.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SERVICES ON ENHANCING ACCESS

The recommendations in Chapters Four and Five are particularly rich in examples of enhancing access, so these will merely be summarised here.

 

Targeted information about the service

Such information should include what the service does, what practical help it can offer, what facilities it has and about guidance in general (given that national initiatives seem not to exist). Targeted marketing has involved cafes and pubs; libraries and churches; gymnasia; hospitals, clinics and health centres; immigration centres; state Employment Services; centres and clubs for the unemployed; and many more (see in particular pp 228-9). GALDUS (case study no. 6) is a very good example of precise targeting. Some services have even attracted clients by 'knocking on doors' in targeted areas. One particularly innovative example of publicising the service is that of the 'Lone Ranger Drama Group' (One Plus One Parent Families, case study no. 24). It is important that leaflets, posters and so on should be written in plain and comprehensible language, and where appropriate in ethnic minority languages. General marketing has proved less effective than targeted marketing and so should not replace targeted publicity, as shown by the experience of the Employment and Training Project for Immigrants (case study no. 40), but it still has its value: this includes items in national newspapers, and on radio and television; city bulletins delivered free to all households; local radio and television; and the Internet.

 

Networking

It is extremely beneficial to network with other guidance services, Employment Services and specialised agencies, so that they look out for people who would benefit from vocational guidance; with employers providing work placements or about to make workers redundant or take on new staff; with trade unions, who provide the best access route to workers at risk of redundancy; with local clubs, associations and resource centres for the unemployed. The Ethnic Minority Enterprise Centre (case study no. 29) is one example of a service which maintains particularly close and valuable links with both the Employment Service and, importantly, with employers.

 

Active collaboration with other types of agency

Examples include joint projects (e.g. Tallagh Partnership Ltd, Rehab Scotland and One Plus One Parent Families, case study nos. 19, 22 and 24) and the close relationship between the Laptuote Foundation (case study no. 37) and the Mental Health Office and others to ensure additional support for clients with psychological problems.

 

Outreach

This means taking the service to where people are, using familiar, non-threatening locations, such as visits to Traveller sites or local centres (e.g. Pavee Point and the Ethnic Minority Enterprise Centre, case study nos. 18 and 29). One particularly innovative initiative is the involvement of the public-health nurse in making the first contact (Vire Project/Vantaa Crisis Centre, case study no. 42); another is the Rehab Scotland Open Doors Cafe (case study no. 22), staffed by learning disabled people and operating as both PR and an access point. Outreach is also valuable for people in isolated areas or detention centres (e.g. IRD Duhallow and the Scottish Refugee Council, case study nos. 14 and 31). Mobile services using guidance buses (Routeways, case study no. 23 and Step Up to Adult Learning, p. 232) are another form of outreach, as are telephone helplines with the option of a follow-up guidance interview (e.g. Continuing Education Gateway, case study no. 30). Home visits are occasionally offered, especially for disabled people (e.g. National Rehabilitation Board and LEAD Scotland, case study nos. 16 and 21. Initiatives which involve both outreach and active collaboration with other agencies are exemplified by both Making Training Work and Careers Bradford (case study nos. 27 and 33, and see pp 230-1), which give basic guidance training to people working with target groups or in the community. Also included here is the embedding of guidance into training programmes, which often give access to under-qualified men (e.g. the Wise Group, case study no. 34).

 

Facilitating progression to or making accessible a mainstream service

This is often necessary, when people are ready, to accustom them to a more formal environment and allow the use of a greater range of facilities than can be provided on an outreach basis. Important factors here are physical accessibility, such as a city centre location served by good public transport; or location near the target group, such as a housing estate or local centre (e.g.) Northwest Network Skillshops, case study no. 35); easy access to buildings, especially for those with mobility problems; an opportunity to sample the service before deciding to enter the guidance process, which might be done through Open Days, accompanied visits or through provision of an information section where potential clients can 'browse' without being approached.

 

Creating a welcoming atmosphere

This is extremely important, bearing in mind that many people have had bad experiences of offices and officialdom. The atmosphere should be relaxed and friendly even though the service should be professional. Every member of staff, including janitorial, reception and clerical staff, must be friendly and welcoming but not intrusive. There should, ideally, be no intimidating area to negotiate and users should easily be able to see where to go, preferably (but rarely in practice) from the outside (e.g. Togher Local Employment Service and New Routes, case study nos. 2 and 36). The accommodation should be clean and bright but not luxurious. For the most vulnerable groups it is important to provide a holistic, empathic service, such as that of Glasgow's Flourish House and the Tampere Fountain House (case study nos. 26 and 38). The active involvement of members of the target group not only makes it more likely that clients will find the service empathic, but is also a way of publicising the service through informal networks (e.g. One Plus One Parent Families and Meridian, case study nos. 24 and 25). For speakers of other languages it is obviously helpful if they can use their mother tongue, speak to compatriots or have the use of an interpreter; but this is not practical for all groups, given the great range of languages spoken by immigrants and refugees. Nevertheless, there should at least be leaflets and posters in a range of languages. For some clients, facilities for accompanying children are important, as is having the choice of a single-sex group (e.g. Routeways and Espoo Employment Project for Women, case study nos. 23 and 39).

 

Delivering a high-quality service

The commonest form of access in all the countries surveyed is through word of mouth. This does not mean that a popular service should cease active marketing; but it does mean that, for its reputation to spread and bring in new clients, the service delivered should be of the highest quality. 'One-stop shops' - which offer not only information, advice, guidance and counselling but also direct access to education and training, careers information libraries, computerised course information and self-assessment packages, open learning centres, jobsearch training, confidence-raising and assertiveness courses, or just an informal chat - enable individuals to tap into a guidance system tailored to their individual requirements in a comprehensive way; but less comprehensive services, with excellent links to other types of provider, may be just as good. What is important is that, when clients have decided that vocational guidance can help them, they receive a high-quality service.

 

THE CASE FOR VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE

There have been many studies on access to learning for adults at risk of social exclusion (for example, Bridge & Salt 1992; Clayton 1995; Crain 1995; Davies 1990; Hamilton 1994; Oglesby 1991) but very few on access to vocational guidance. In many ways the barriers to access both to learning and to guidance are very similar, but there is one major difference: even where there are many learning opportunities for adults the provision of guidance is in general very sparse. This paucity of provision is, therefore, the greatest barrier to access; yet how can the maze of education and training courses - and the substantial barriers to participation therein throughout the EU (McGivney 1992) - be negotiated without, at the very least, information and advice, with the option of guidance for those who need it? We take as fundamental the fact that lifelong learning requires support from an effective strategy for lifelong impartial vocational guidance and counselling. In particular, this can form a valuable, even essential, link between socially excluded individuals and lifelong learning. The search for appropriate qualifications is far from straightforward, and comparability is opaque not only transnationally but even nationally (Parkes 1998). The situation is not helped by roughly parallel paths through academic, technical and vocational qualifications (for an example, see Edexcel Foundation 1998). An adult vocational/educational guidance service which is sensitive to the needs of inadequately-educated adults can facilitate their entry into appropriate levels of education with clearly-marked progression paths.

In addition, job-seeking for those isolated from informal labour market networks has become a much more sophisticated process than formerly and the large pool of unemployed allows employers to demand ever-increasing types and ranges of skills. It appears that measures taken by state employment services to help the registered unemployed to find jobs or become ‘job-ready’ are widely regarded as inadequate, both by their users and by guidance professionals. Vocational guidance for adults, on the other hand, can be beneficial in acting as a link between the requirements of employers and the skills, including personal and social skills, of individuals. A proactive service can constitute the first link between disadvantaged individuals and training that is both appropriate to their needs and interests and in demand in the labour market.

The counselling component of guidance is particularly important and effective for adults who lack confidence in their abilities and experiential learning either to (re)enter the labour market or to change the types of work they are currently doing but with which they are dissatisfied.

Free guidance services are, quite logically, most likely to be found in areas of deprivation. This means that some people who can be deemed at risk of social exclusion do have access to the guidance that could help them improve their labour market position; but many, probably the majority, live outside areas where guidance services exist. Furthermore, even where such services are available, those who most need them are the least likely to use them. This is why we chose to focus in this study on access.

The task of combating social exclusion is huge and complex, and we do not claim that adult vocational guidance and counselling can of itself solve the general problem or even help all individuals at risk of social exclusion. One general policy we would like to advocate is the provision of affordable, good-quality care for children and dependent adults, to release carers for labour market preparation or entry or simply to relieve their isolation.

Increasing the employability of individuals is part of the solution to the problem of a labour force with insufficient or inappropriate skills, but this is certainly not always sufficient; for example, even well-qualified members of ethnic minorities face far greater difficulties in obtaining good-quality employment than ethnic majorities with the same qualifications. Furthermore, labour-market-oriented approaches:

tend to emphasise individual responsibility and the capacity of each individual when the reality is that there are not enough jobs and for a lot of jobs, individual characteristics are not a significant factor ... Action on the demand side of the labour market should be taken as well as on the supply side (Darmon and Frade 1998:39-40).

Furthermore, the current high (though generally decreasing) rate of unemployment and the growing number of low-paid and insecure jobs in the EU are not susceptible to individual solutions. There is a structural imbalance in the labour force, whereby many in employment are working long hours and under pressure, often at more than one job, while others have no paid employment at all. There are also regional imbalances within member states; and individual migration is not the only, and certainly not the most humane, answer to the problem of areas in economic decline.

At the same time, employers are mistrustful of the long-term unemployed - and indeed of many of the groups targeted above - however much training they have undertaken, and unwilling to hire them; many also seem reluctant to invest in training for older people or in adapting premises or working practices for disabled people or to devise family-friendly working arrangements and facilities for parents of dependent children.

What is needed in addition to measures to improve employability is a real commitment to full employment (which we observe with pleasure is now on the EU agenda), with ongoing opportunities for continued learning and family-friendly policies, along with complementary measures to assist people in poverty, including the maintenance of state benefits, support for voluntary and collective self-help activities, the extension of intermediate labour market (ILM) initiatives (see Macfarlane 1997) and the development of the social economy (see O’Hara 1997); and a sustained campaign, with appropriate incentives for SMEs such as training subsidies, to encourage employers to set aside prejudice and integrate into the workforce more people from disadvantaged groups.

What we argue, then, is that access to vocational guidance should form one strand of a multi-faceted approach to reducing the manifest inequalities inherent in societies which are increasingly divided into those with reasonable life chances and those without.

We believe that there should be:

a strong core of methods which have been shown to be of value in facilitating entry to the labour force. Eurocounsel collected a large number of examples of good practice in delivering vocational guidance to groups at risk of social exclusion, in particular, the long-term unemployed (Beekhuizen 1995; Watt 1993); and AEGIS (1995) has provided a good model of the core functions of vocational guidance. Marginalised individuals are not accustomed to being asked what they want, need and aspire to, so an important function is to give them the confidence to articulate these feelings. Curricula have been designed not only to upskill and reskill women but also to assist their personal development, most notably to restore the confidence that is often lost while they are out of the labour market. It now appears that men as well as women need assistance with personal development so that they can adapt to new labour market structures and practices (Clayton et al. 1997). Building on previous work, therefore, we advocate:

a strategy for lifelong access, using methods suggested above, to impartial, client-centred, holistic adult vocational guidance and counselling by qualified practitioners with up-to-date labour market information and access to inservice training, which should be free of charge to those at risk of social exclusion, including those who are currently employed but in insecure or ill-paid jobs. Guidance must be recognised as a process, not a one-off intervention. For these groups, access to these services should be a right, not a matter of chance.

active involvement of the social partners, especially SMEs and trade unions, as providers of information, referrals and outreach sites for adult guidance services, and as targets for advocacy on behalf of clients by guidance services

synergy both between services providing guidance within each member state and between representative bodies of the EU states, so that good practice can readily be disseminated and transferred between services, regions and states. Guidance services should have good working relationships with other relevant services, including state/regional employment services, education and training providers, social and health services, specialist agencies and so on, for although guidance services should be holistic in addressing the whole person, this does not mean that they should attempt to give advice and guidance that is outwith their field of competence. They should, rather, be able to refer clients to (where they do not themselves provide) pre-employment supports such as help with finance or housing; basic skills and language training; confidence-building; life and social skills; and pre-vocational education and training. They should also, where appropriate, maintain close links with the local community.

a stable funding base and universally available provision. It is alarming that many of the best services are dependent on short-term, multiple funding, often from the ESF or attached to other programmes which might cease to exist. We recognise that there is unlikely to be greater overall funding for adult vocational guidance and counselling, and we accept that those who can pay, should pay. For those who cannot, and wherever they live, the service should be free, accessible and voluntary. Funding should cover ways of enhancing access and providing supporting services such as crèche facilities, follow-up and inservice training. Furthermore, a degree of redistribution of resources from large-scale, generic, standardised services, and from school-based services, which can provide only initial careers guidance which rapidly becomes outdated in today’s changing labour market, towards more locally-based, client-centred, holistic services for adults would go some way towards improving the quality and appropriateness of the guidance currently on offer. Furthermore, providers of adult and continuing education and of adult learning in general need to provide more guidance, especially in higher education institutions; and a good way to reach men is through embedding guidance into vocational training programmes.

national bodies to monitor and support decentralised, locally-based provision; maintain strict control to prevent competition between guidance services, which is wholly inappropriate, and to prevent duplication in small areas, which is a waste of scarce resources; to oversee appropriate quality controls and evaluation of services, which recognise and take into account the special nature of their target groups; to support networks and disseminate good practice; to organise inservice training; and to market guidance in a generic way.

The ultimate aim of this study, in addition to providing practical and tested ideas for services on enhancing access, is to persuade policy-makers to progress from merely acknowledging the need for adult vocational guidance and counselling (which they increasingly do, though generally in passing) to providing such services on a statutory basis, services which should be free and without limit of time to groups at risk of social exclusion.

 

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Appendix A

Geographical distribution of the case studies

No. Name Country Town/city/area of case study
1 Centres for Local Employment Initiatives (CILO) Italy Piedmont, area around Turin
2 CILO of Chivasso Italy Piedmont, Chivasso
3 Network Occupazione Lecco Italy Lombardy, Lecco
4 Social Cooperation in Italy Italy  
5 Cooperative O.R.SO Italy Piedmont, Turin
6 GALDUS – Formazione & Ricerca Italy Lombardy, Milan
7 CeSIL Italy Lombardy, Milan
8 Fondazione San Carlo Italy Lombardy, Milan
9 Extra Centre Italy Lombardy, Milan
10 Orientamento Lavoro Italy Lombardy, Milan
11 DonnaLavoroDonna Italy Lombardy, Milan
12 Cgil-NidiL/New Working Identities Italy Lombardy, Milan
13 WINNSJ Ireland West of Ireland
14 IRD Duhallow Ireland Newmarket, Co Cork
15 Disabled Drivers Association Ireland Ballindine, Co Mayo
16 National Rehabilitation Board Ireland Cork
17 The Travellers Visibility Group Ireland Cork City
18 Pavee Point Ireland Dublin
19 Tallaght Partnership Ltd Ireland Tallaght, Dublin
20 Local Employment Service Ireland Togher, Cork City
21 LEAD Scotland Scotland, UK Glasgow
22 REHAB Scotland Scotland, UK Glasgow
23 Routeways Scotland, UK Paisley
24 One Plus One Parent Families Scotland, UK Glasgow & West of Scotland

 

No. Name Country Town/city/area of case study
25 Meridian: Black and Ethnic Minority Women’s Information and Resource Centre Scotland, UK Glasgow
26 Flourish House Scotland, UK Glasgow
27 Making Training Work England, UK London
28 Community Service Volunteers United Kingdom Glasgow
29 Ethnic Minority Enterprise Centre Scotland, UK Glasgow
30 Continuing Education Gateway Scotland, UK  
31 Scottish Refugee Council Scotland, UK Glasgow
32 Gorbals Initiative Scotland, UK Gorbals, Glasgow
33 Careers Bradford Ltd UK Yorkshire, Bradford
34 The Wise Group United Kingdom Glasgow
35 Northwest Economic Network Skillshops Scotland, UK North-West Glasgow
36 New Routes to Jobs, Training and Enterprise Scotland, UK Blantyre, Lanarkshire
37 Laptuote-säätiö / Laptuote Foundation Finland Lappeenranta
38 Näsinkulman klubitalo / Fountain House Näsinkulma Finland Tampere
39 Naisten työllistymisprojekti /Employment Project for Women Finland Espoo
40 Helsingin kaupungin opetusvirasto Maahanmuuttajakoulutusyksikkö / Helsinki City Education Department:The Immigrants’ Training Unit Finland Helsinki
41 Inkerikeskus ry/ Ingrian Centre reg. Finland Helsinki
42 Vire-projekti/Vire Project/ Vantaan kriisipalvelu/Vantaa Crisis Service Finland Vantaa
43 Sateenkaari -projekti/Rainbow Project Finland Espoo, Tapiola
44 Valtti-projekti / Valtti Project / Tampereen toimintakeskus / Tampere Activity Centre Finland Tampere

 

APPENDIX B

Case studies by target group(s)

People in rural areas: W.I.N.N.S.J. (No. 13); IRD Duhallow (no. 14); LEAD Scotland (no. 21); Continuing Education Gateway (no. 30)

People in deprived urban areas: Tallaght Partnership Ltd (no. 19); Togher Local Employment Service (no. 20); Routeways (no. 23); Gorbals Initiative (no. 32); Careers Bradford Ltd (no. 33); Northwest Economic Network Skillshops (no. 35); New Routes to Jobs, Training and Enterprise (no. 36)

Prisoners, ex-offenders: some CILOs (no. 1); some social cooperatives (no. 4); Orientamento Lavoro (no.10); Togher Local Employment Service (no. 20); Northwest Economic Network Skillshops (no. 35); Valtti Project (no. 44)

Long-term unemployed: CILOs (no. 1); CILO of Chivasso (no. 2); Network Occupazione Lecco (no. 3); social cooperatives (no. 4); GALDUS (no. 6); Tallaght Partnership Ltd (no. 19); Togher Local Employment Service (no. 20); REHAB Scotland (no. 22); Routeways (no. 23); One Plus One Parent Families (no. 24); Gorbals Initiative (no. 32); The Wise Group (no. 34); Northwest Economic Network Skillshops (no. 35); New Routes to Jobs, Training and Enterprise (no. 36); Vire Project/Vantaa Crisis Service (no. 42);

Employees on atypical contracts: Cgil-NIdiL Nuove Identità (no. 12)

Women and lone parents: some CILOs (no. 1); Network Occupazione Lecco (no. 3); Orientamento Lavoro (no. 10); DonnaLavoroDonna (no. 11); IRD Duhallow (no. 14); Travellers Visibility Group (no. 17); Pavee Point (no. 18); Togher Local Employment Service (no. 20); Routeways (no. 23); One Plus One Parent Families (no. 24); Meridian: Black and ethnic minority women’s information and resource centre (no. 25); Ethnic Minority Enterprise Centre (no. 29); Careers Bradford Ltd (no. 33); Northwest Economic Network Skillshops (no. 35); New Routes to Jobs, Training and Enterprise (no. 36); Employment Project for Women, City of Espoo (no. 39)

Refugees, immigrants, ethnic minorities and Travellers: some CILOs (no. 1); some social cooperatives (no. 4); CeSIL (no. 7); Fondazione San Carlo (no. 8); Extra Centre (no. 9); Travellers Visibility Group (no. 17); Pavee Point (no. 18); Tallaght Partnership Ltd (no. 19); Meridian: Black and ethnic minority women’s information and resource centre (no. 25); Flourish House Education and Employment Unit (no. 26); Making Training Work (no. 27); Community Service Volunteers (no. 28); Ethnic Minority Enterprise Centre (no. 29); Continuing Education Gateway (no. 30); Scottish Refugee Council (no. 31); Careers Bradford Ltd (no. 33); The Wise Group (no. 34); Northwest Economic Network Skillshops (no. 35); Employment and Training Project for Immigrants, City of Helsinki (no. 40)

Disabled, physically, psychologically or learning: social cooperatives (no. 4); GALDUS (no. 6); Disabled Drivers Association (no. 15); National Rehabilitation Board (no. 16); Tallaght Partnership Ltd (no. 19); LEAD Scotland (no. 21); REHAB Scotland (no. 22); Flourish House Education and Employment Unit (no. 26); Making Training Work (no. 27); Community Service Volunteers (no. 28); Continuing Education Gateway (no. 30); The Wise Group (no. 34); Northwest Economic Network Skillshops (no. 35); Laptuote Foundation (no. 37); Fountain House, Tampere (no. 38);

People in housing need or homeless: Fondazione San Carlo (no. 8); Flourish House Education and Employment Unit (no. 26); Making Training Work (no. 27); Community Service Volunteers (no. 28); Gorbals Initiative (no. 32); The Wise Group (no. 34); Northwest Economic Network Skillshops (no. 35)

Disadvantaged groups in general: social cooperatives (no. 4); Cooperativa Sociale O.R.SO. (no. 5); GALDUS (no. 6); Continuing Education Gateway (no. 30)

APPENDIX C

Interview schedules administered to the services

A. History, context and general structure, including funding and staffing

History, context

What year did the year did the service start?

By whom/what organisation was it inaugurated?

General structure

How many branches are there if more than one?

What is the job title of the overall manager?

What kinds of people are represented on the Management Board (or equivalent)?

Funding

What is the source of funding?

Over what period is funding granted?

How much was the total funding in 1996?

Has funding been increasing, decreasing or staying about the same in real terms?

If the funding is broken down into elements, can you tell me how?

If the funding is from more than one source, what are the propositions?

Staffing

How many staff in total are there?

How many of these are: full-time paid, part-time paid, voluntary?

Are the paid staff permanent or on contract (long-term/short-term)?

What are the basic qualifications or qualities required of the staff?

Is there any in-service on-going training for clients and if so how often?

Does such training include voluntary/part-time staff?

Are staff sent on external courses to update skills and knowledge?

Dpes such training include voluntary/part-time staff?

Do staff hold regular meetings to exchange information and ideas?

What use is made of computers in the service?

 

B. Functions, target groups and content

Functions and philosophy of the service

What are the broad functions of the service?

If the functions include training for clients, who delivers the training?

What, if any, are the target groups?

If the target groups include those at risk of social exclusion, how are they defined?

What area is covered (e.g. local, regional, national)?

What is the philosophy behind what you do?

Users profile

How many people use the centre per week/per annum?

Do you have statistics I could have on the users (age, sex, qualifications etc.)?

Is confidentiality on individual users maintained?

 

Content. Methods used and services provided

Labour market counselling

Is individual counselling available?

If so, does this include:

(self)-assessment of skills, of abilities, of experiential learning; confidence-building; motivating; raising self-esteem information/advice about training, rescholing, further education, employment possibilities; the development of a personal/career plan; psycho-social counselling, and if so for what sort of problems (psychological, social, medical, legal, financial, family accommodation); gender-specific counselling?

Is group counselling available?

If so, does this include:

self-awareness, assertiveness training; peer-group counselling; gender-specific group counselling available?

Training courses

Are work preparation courses for the long-term unemployed available?

If, so does the agency have its own workshops or have easy access to workshops? Are gender-specific courses available;

What kind of training is given: help with job search? Does this include. CVs, filling in forms, writing letters, interview techniques, other?

Work experience placements; help with setting up own business; career planning projects; other?

If training is offered, are grants available: for the cost of training; for users’ expenses while training;

Does counselling/advice continue during training?

Other

Does advocacy play any role in your work?

Are any other facilities provided by the service?

Are other activities carried out at the centre and if so what?

C. Access. Users - Access - what does the service do to bring people in?

How is the service advertised/how do users find out about it?

Does the service engage in PR to inform the public and the funder(s)?

Who is allowed to use the service?

Are users referred or voluntary or a mixture?

What if anything do used pay?

Is there a time limit on use of your services (i.e. for how long can an individual continue coming?

How many hours "allowance" do they have?

How do users make the first contact? (drop-in/phone)

How do users physically access the service?

What are the opening hours?

Are there free leaflets/information packs available?

Are there informative posters inside the reception area?

Are job vacancies displayed on notice boards?

Is there a library?

Is there access to computerised facilities?

Are there childcare facilities?

Is the agency a welcoming place for people with low confidence?

Are home visit offered?

Are there any outreach initiatives?

Are there any language or cultural problems?

Is continuing guidance available after a user has started a job?

D. Networking

With which if any other guidance/counselling agencies do you have co-operative links?

Does the agency have links with the following institutions, and if so what nature of such links?

Local employers, Trade union, Local government, LECs, the Employment Department, any European agency

Is the agency in any networks, and if so which?

E. Outcomes and assessment

Outcomes. Users - feedback

Do you gather feedback from users in the course of counselling/training?

Do you follow up users to find out what happened to them after guidance and counselling?

If so, for how long?

Do you have any information on the "success" rate, i.e. people returning to the labour market?

Your assessment of the service

What are the strengths of the service you service you offer?

How holistic would you say the service is - i.e. addressing a range of needs, not just vocational?

Are there any ways in which you think the service could be improved?

Interview schedules administered to the service users

1 Name of service used

2 Did you have any help with getting into education or work before coming to this service?

3 If so, what kind of help did you have?

4 How did you find out about this service?

5 What were the best things about this service for you?

6 What did this service help you to achieve?

APPENDIX D

Some useful websites*

* This list is very far from complete: if readers would email

p.m.clayton@ace.gla.ac.uk

the addresses of other useful sites she will ensure that they are added to the University of Glasgow web version of the Report. Similarly if any sites cease existence they will be removed from the Glasgow list.  The Education-line line version of the list will ramain as it was at the date of acquisition (see end of documents)

Name URL
Adapt and Employment: Community Initiatives (Finland) http://www.europs.be/en/programs/prgopa14.htm
ARIS (Adult Education Resources and Information Service) http://sunsite.anu.edu.au/language-australia/aris
Associazioni Cristiane Lavoratori Italiani http://www.glauco.it/acli
Careers and Occupational Information Centre, (DfEE) http://www.open.gov.uk/dfee/ccdintro.htm
Careers Bradford http://www.careersb.bradtec.co.uk/
Careers Europe, United Kingdom http://www.careersb.bradtec.co.uk/europe/index.htm
The Careers Service (DfEE) http://www.dfee.gov.uk/ccd/cswhere.htm
CEDEFOP http://www.cedefop.gr
Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics and Political Science http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk
Cert http://www.cert.ie
Charities Direct http://www.caritasdata.co.uk
Communities Online (online database and map of community-based projects throughout the United Kingdom) http://www.communities.org.uk
Community Technical and Adult Education http://www.ctae.com
Consorzio Nazionale della Cooperazione sociale (National Social cooperation Consortium http://www.retecgm.org
Continuing Education Gateway http://www.ceg.org.uk
Danish Refugee Council http://www. arc.dk/
ECRE Task Force on (Refugee) Integration http://www.refugeenet.org
Edexcel: the Foundation for Educational Excellence http://www.edexcel.org.uk
Education-line: electronic texts in education and training http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/
Electronic Immigration Network http://ein.org.uk
EURYDICE information network on education in Europe http://www.eurydice.org
FACE (Further and Continuing Education research group) http://www.sbu.ac.uk/~face/
Fondazione Cariplo per le iniziative e lo studio sulla multietnicità (ISMU) http://www.ismu.org
Fryer Report on Lifelong Learning http://www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/nagcell/index.htm
Glasgow Development Agency http://www.glasgowdevelopment.co.uk
GLADNET (Global Applied Disability Research and Information Network on Employment and Training) http://www.gladnet.org
Global Learning http://www.ukglobal-learn.com
IBM-supported: Training for Work projects http://www.uk.ibm.com/community/comm1.html
Informagiovani http://www.informagiovani.it
Inroads National Home Page (ethnic minorities) http://www.inroadsinc.org/
Institute for Public Policy Research http://www.ippr.org.uk
Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG) http://www.icg-uk.org
Institute of Guidance Counsellors http://kola.dcu.ie/~igc
Integra Projects http://www.iol.ie/EMPLOYMENT/integra/projectdot.html
International Careers Journal (ICG) http://www.careers-journal.com
Italian Ministry of Labour http://www.minlavoro.it
Italian Ministry of Social Affairs http://www.affarisociali.it
Italian Ministry of Social Affairs, Research Commission for poverty and social exclusion http://www.affarisociali.it/servizi
Italian National Institute for Statistics http://www.istat.it
Italian Parliament http://www.parlamento.it
Jewish Vocational Service http://www.jvs.org
Kilkenny Institute of Higher Education http://www.kihe.com
Learning Direct http://www.learningdirect.org/
Library and Information Commission (1) http://www.lic.gov.uk/publications
Lifelong Adult Education Services, Inc http://www.lifelongaes.com
Lifelong Guidance Database http://www.glos.tec.org.uk/guidance/
Local Enterprise Companies (Scotland) http://www.sconto.demon.co.uk/lec.htm
Lombardy Region, Italy http://www.regione.lombardia.it
National Association for Educational Guidance for Adults http://www.ianunwin.demon.co.uk/naega1/
National Association of Colleges and Employers (USA) http://www.jobweb.org/
National Centre for Guidance in Education http://ireland.iol.ie/ncge
National Grid for Learning http://www.ngfl.gov.uk
National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling (NICEC) http://www.crac.org.uk/nicec.htm
National Organisation for Adult Learning (NIACE) http://www.niace.org.uk
New Deal, United Kingdom http://www.newdeal.gov.uk
Redbridge Refugee Forum http://www.redrefforum.demon.co.uk/
Refugee Council (London) http://www.gn.apc.org/brcslproject/
RefugeeNet http://www.refugeenet.org
Social Exclusion Unit (UK) http://www.open.gov.uk/co/seu/
Scottish Council for Research in Education http://www.scre.ac.uk
Scottish Office http://www.scotland.gov.uk
Scottish Refugee Council http://www.scotref.demon.co.uk
Social Cooperative, Italy http://www.luzzati.org
Social Cooperative ORSO http://www.arpnet.it
Superhighways Task Force http://www.stf.scet.org.uk
Support for Peace and Reconciliation http://nics.gov.uk/eu/eussppr/progsumm/index.htm
Tennessee State Proposed Plan: Adult Education and Literacy, chapter 9 http://cls.coe.utk.edu/stateplan/chapter_9.html
Tower Hamlets Summer University http://www.su.net.org
Trades Union Congress (TUC) http://www.tuc.org.uk
Training and Enterprise Councils (England and Wales) http://www.tec.co.uk/index.html
United Kingdom government http://www.open.gov.uk/lmsd/lmsdhome.htm
United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration http://www.doleta.gov/
University for Industry (UfI) http://www.ufi.org.uk/index.htm
University of East London Centre for Advice, Access and Continuing Education http://www.uel.ac.uk/central/caace
University of Central Lancashire Career Planning Homepage http://www.uclan.ac.uk/dfee/titleff.htm
University of Glasgow Department of Adult and Continuing Education. LEONARDO http://www.gla.ac.uk/Acad/AdultEd/Research/Leonardo.html
WEA International Study Circles http://www.tsl.fi/ifwea/isc

 

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This document was added to the Education-line database 22 February 1999