The Euroguidance Network

April 2010

In this edition:

Widening access to guidance services

A peer learning visit in France

A peer learning visit for members of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) was held in Paris and Orléans on the 16-17 June 2009. The visit enabled the participants to learn from the French experience in planning guidance services. The feedback provided by the participants enabled the French to learn from related developments in four other countries (Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands and the UK).

The visit was attended by 24 people from 14 countries (CY, CZ, FI, F, D, IS, LT MT, NL, P, SI, SK, TR and UK). The participants visited several institutions which gave them a picture of the main guidance networks operating in France and highlighted the specialised services available for different target-groups.

The first day’s theme was the needs of the population and targeting of the guidance services. The participants visited two different kinds of centers specializing in counseling young people: one dedicated to giving advice in educational and career opportunities and the other advising and helping in issues relating to work and job hunting.

The second day the visit was devoted to counselling and access to Accreditation of Prior Experience Learning (APEL). There was a presentation by the Regional network of information and advice on the recognition of knowledge and prior experience in the Centre region of France. Actions to develop access to Recognition of Knowledge and Experience Programmes and employability were also introduced.

The aims of this peer learning visit were:
  • to explore ways in which to improve equality of access to career guidance for all groups of the population, linked to the social contract between the state and the citizen, and the interface between lifelong guidance and the flexicurity models in ELGPN member countries.
  • to support the recommendation of the European Council (2004) that, as appropriate and given local circumstances, all European citizens should have access to high-quality guidance services at all life stages, with particular attention being paid to individuals and groups at risk. 
  • to take into account of how guidance provision supports APEL processes from two perspectives. First, it is linked to ensuring access for more citizens to education, training and employment through non-traditional pathways, where competences acquired through non-formal and informal learning are identified and accredited. Secondly, APEL is linked to career management, given that guidance staff may need to help citizens recognise the transferable skills they have acquired informally, and how these competences can be drawn upon to plan education, training and employment.
  • to examine the use of technology in widening access through more diverse service delivery modes. One of the field visits analysed how bringing together internet-based services with online telephone advice and local face-to-face services linked to national policies on technology,-assisted guidance services.
For more information see the Reflection Note written by Füsun Akkök on the ELGPN Website:

Graziana Boscato
Euroguidance France