Title Guidance Merger
Project Number 2002-S/02/B/F/PP-127022
Project Type Pilot Project, project with multiplying effect (2000-2006)
Guidance Merger is a Leonardo project with an ambition to create innovative methods for guidance
for adults in employment.
What is guidance and what do we need it for? Guidance is useful in helping the individual to take
important and long-term decisions about his/her life in a world of contingency, insecurity and unpredictability.
In a quickly changing labour market – where mobility is a central ingredient – there is
an urgent need for guidance counselling and continuous lifelong learning, especially for those groups
with a weak position on the labour market. The need for guidance is more urgent today because the
connection between a certain education and a specifi c job is less clear.
Guidance counselling is also useful for a company, which will analyse and plan learning activities.
Learning and education of the employees is becoming more important in a quickly changing and
competitive world. Organisational change – with a focus on fl exibility, custom-orientation, high
quality, innovation etc. – makes learning a necessity and will become competitive advantage for a
company, which invest in their staff.
Guidance can include a lot of things – information, advice, assessment, teaching, enabling, advocating,
networking, evaluation, feed back, managing, innovation, mentoring, signposting etc. Guidance is
an interactive process where a professional career counsellor – with conversation as the most signifi cant
tool – helps individuals in handling problems about their training and education. The guidance
counselling must start from the participants’ own unique needs and support them in their decisionmaking
about learning, which is related to their work and thereby associated paths of living.
We will not try to defi ne guidance counselling in detail, but – instead – see it as a multifaceted activity
characterised by professionalism and good ethics carried out in complex situations in diverse contexts.
The evaluation of the Leonardo-project has given us a lot of valuable information that we have tried
We have seen how fruitful a combination of guidance and learning can be. The target group for the
Leonardo project was the employee and the employers.
We have stressed the interest of the employers in introducing a programme for lifelong learning.
The employer perspective is not well developed in guidance counselling. We think it is an important
aspect in organising learning at work and using guidance as an instrument in workplace learning.
The employers must fi nd it worthwhile to invest in training in a long-term perspective.
We have contrasted such a demand-based strategy with a traditional supply-based strategy, which is
developed and implemented by public authorities – often by a ‘top-down’ strategy. Our own project
tries to ‘bridge the gap’ between these two models. We have pointed to the risk organising projects,
which keep the gap between the private and public system intact.
We have pointed to the contrast between these two models (see table 1), but a successful strategy for
lifelong learning must be able to integrate these opposites poles in a joint strategy for change. How
this integration can be done is a continuous challenge for our project. We think that different intermediaries
– like learning centres, industry and developmental centres, brokerage agencies, colleges, etc.
– are necessary to bridge the gap between the public and private (the educational and work system).
We have argued for an extended role of the guidance counsellor. It is a role, which incorporates traditional
elements – of putting the individual employee in the center, a professional attitude, and a high
ethical morale – with new demands. It is a challenge for the guidance counsellors to take on these
new demands – in approaching the employers for a close co-operation and in organising a supportive
structure for learning and guidance.
What is need is a qualifi ed training and education of the guidance counsellors to take on these new
demands and challenges. This could be task and the objective for a developmental work in the future.
Part of it could be organised as a transnational project. It has been useful for the learning and evaluation
in this project to compare the situation in different countries.
We hope that our report can be used in a dialogue in such developmental work. The target group
for the dissemination phase will be guidance counsellors, employers, union representatives, teachers,
educational providers etc.
The project has been been evaluated by Lennart Svennson from the NIWL, National Institute for Work Life in Sweden. The evaluations and reports are based on examples and case studies of advice and guidance work being undertaken with employers in the partner countries.
The project has produced summaries and recommendations for those involved in the process of offering advice and guidance to those in employment. This includes employers, employees, guidance counsellors and also other supportive organisations involved in workforce development.
The project has produced the following main products:
Project Summary Report: A summary of the recommendations of the project. To download a copy of the summary report please visit the website.
The project final report: A detailed analysis of the report. To download a copy of the final report please visit the website.
Case Studies: Examples of advice and guidance being offered to those in employment in the partner countries.
Evaluation Visits: Visits by project partners to evaluate the guidance offered to those in employment in the other partner countries.