In 2009, 19 guidance counsellors from Estonia and Finland took part in a training organised by the Euroguidance centres of these countries . The topic of the training was “Innovative guidance methods to support mobility”. In addition to looking into these methods, the training aimed to support networking between counsellors, to familiarize them with the current guidance issues in the two countries, and to strengthen their professional identity vis-à-vis guidance in mobility issues.
Making a collage - creative group work session about clients before and after a counselling session
The training consisted of two contact seminars,
one in Estonia and another in Finland. Between these, participants had the chance to do a two-day job-shadowing
where they formed pairs or small groups, and visited each other.
The participants represented different guidance environments
. The Estonians came from schools, youth information centres, employment offices and private guidance organisations, whereas the Finns all worked in employment offices, while in different positions.
The overall idea with the training was to mix theoretical parts with different types of group work and exercises
to show participants how these methods can be used in counselling for mobility
purposes. The participants were challenged to do a lot of self-reflection during the training and contribute to the contents of the seminars. A lot of effort was also made to create a good working atmosphere and group dynamics.
Good experiences of job shadowing
During the first contact seminar, an overview of different guidance theories was given
, along with a comparative presentation (via Skype) of education systems in Estonia and Finland. The participants also received information about the labour market situation in both countries. This showed that Finland is a very popular among working Estonians, but Estonia on the other hand is attractive for Finnish students.
To support all those who are interested in mobility, the practitioners got an overview of different mobility information networks in Europe.
The second contact seminar was focused on analysing the job-shadowing periods.
Using different methods, participants analysed the current labour market situation and the influence and impact of career services. They had also a chance to look more into guidance theories and discuss guidance counsellor’s competences and skills.
When evaluating the training afterwards, participants valued the job-shadowing periods most
. It also seemed that stretching the training over a period of almost half a year allowed the participants enough time to digest new influences and ideas. A professionally heterogeneous group enabled the participants to work in a rewarding way.
We are currently planning to organise a similar training again in 2011. This time we aim to get also guidance counsellors from Finnish schools to participate. We also hope to use the training as a tool to build networks between the Estonian and Finnish guidance counsellor trainers.
More information on the course can be found at
http://www.innove.ee/ - innovative guidance methods to support mobility
Kadri Eensalu, Euroguidance Estonia and Miika Kekki, Euroguidance Finland