Report: Career guidance services at TE Offices play an important role during transition phases in working life and education
Vocational guidance and career guidance services are also considered an important part of TE Services as a whole and guidance has had a positive impact on the clients' work, and studies as well as their likelihood to seek out these services. There is a need for development, in particular in the resourcing, client targeting and regional availability of guidance services.
The information is based on a study commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, which examined the availability, quality and effectiveness of services provided by the TE Administration that support lifelong guidance and career planning. The study focused on the vocational guidance and career guidance offered by psychologists at TE Offices from the viewpoints of TE Office clients, psychologists, experts, management and supervisors.
Clients for the most part satisfied with guidance, but more resources are needed
The study found strong indications that guidance had a positive impact on clients’ current situations. Statistical analysis shows that clients who participated in guidance have undergone a lot of transitions to work, studies or services, and the number of unemployed has also decreased. Guidance work has been perceived as a well-functioning and useful entity for clients, which has mainly received good feedback.
The most satisfied clients were those who had received more guidance and those for whom guidance had helped lead to a clear end result. Clients expressed the most appreciation for access to guidance and their instructor’s expertise. However, the client's responses were divided in terms of the usefulness of guidance, and some felt that the psychologist assigned to them was not sufficiently familiar with their situation and that the guidance was too general and non-specific in nature. This may in part be due to the lack of resources widely highlighted in the study.
All the respondent groups - clients, psychologists, TE experts, management and supervisors - expressed a desire for more resources. The number of psychologists and TE experts was thought insufficient in relation to demand, and regional differences were observed in the availability of services. More attention should also be drawn to the targeting of guidance services, in which case psychologists would be left more time to help those clearly in need of the service.
The study found that multiprofessional cooperation should be increased. TE experts provided feedback stating that they were not provided enough information on each client’s current situation, which meant that guidance could not be considered closely linked to the rest of the TE service process. With regard to the success of the guidance work, it would be crucial that psychologists are given enough time to immerse themselves in the client’s current situation and time to communicate discussions and their conclusions to TE experts, who then take over client work.
Development recommendations issued on the basis of the study
- Psychologists' personal career guidance must be targeted to those clients who clearly need it.
- The number of psychologists and TE experts must be increased.
- Regional equality in the availability of services must be improved.
- There must be an increase in multiprofessional cooperation.
- New ways must be developed for dismantling client queues: One option is group events for clients.
- The amount of materials available in the TE online service must be expanded and the electronic career guidance process must be developed.
- The availability of suitable workspaces must be improved.
- The monitoring of psychological work must be developed.
- The share of clients who speak languages other than Finnish or Swedish as their native language should be increased.
- Use of the TE Office's client information system (URA system) as a tool must be developed.
- The professional development of psychologists must be supported.
- The TE Office's vocational guidance and career guidance services must be advertised more visibly.
Development of lifelong guidance as the premise
Implementation of the study
- The study included 26 background expert interviews with TE Office psychologists (n = 18) and experts (n = 8).
- The survey was sent to four target groups between 11 November and 25 November 2019: TE Office psychologists (n = 114), TE Office experts (n = 303, TE Office management and supervisors (n = 26) and clients of TE Office psychologists' vocational guidance and career guidance (n = 4,224). In addition to this, a statistical review was carried out.
- The client survey was sent out over the period 1 January 2018 – 30 July 2019 to clients throughout the country who had completed the psychologist's guidance service. This group comprised some 33,700 clients, and the survey’s response rate was 12.5%.
- The study was carried out by MDI Public at the request of the Ministry Economic Affairs and Employment
Prime Minister Marin’s Government has specified that its objective is the creation of genuinely lifelong and equal guidance services to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities for continuous learning and to ensure that competence development is guided strategically from the viewpoint of the individual and society. The transformation of working life has made career planning more challenging, and people need an increasing amount of support during transitions in working life and education.
Lifelong guidance refers to all services used by citizens at different stages of their lives to resolve issues related to their education and working careers and to identify their abilities, competence and interest. In Finland, guidance is provided by many different parties in addition to TE Offices. A new strategy for lifelong guidance is to be drawn up during this year, in which the now completed study will be used.
The aim of the TE Office's vocational guidance and career guidance is to improve the client's labour market skills and to facilitate their transition into working life. Vocational guidance and career guidance provided by psychologists at the TE Office is confidential and free of charge. Approximately 20,000 clients participate in this service every year. All working-age people can seek guidance regardless of their employment status.
Anna Toni, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. + 358 295 047 209
Minna Mayer, Specialist, MDI Public, [email protected]