3.4 Career guidance and counselling
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The following SEA support measures are available for young people free of charge in Latvia:
- job-seeking support measures, competitiveness-enhancing and career guidance measures that include the following activities: development of an individual job-seeking plan for an unemployed, profiling of an unemployed (classification for subsequent involvement in the active employment measures), determination of an appropriate job, informing about the job-seeking methods, control of fulfilment of the job-seeking obligation and other measures contributing to active job seeking that motivate unemployed young people to seek for job more actively and be included in the labour market;
- career guidance that helps in choosing the future field of activity or training area according to the interests, wishes of young people and the demand in the labour market;
- measures for enhancing competitiveness that include individual counselling and group activities (courses, seminars, lectures and other activities) in order to acquire job-seeking methods, psychological support and acquisition of basic skills and abilities sough-after in the labour market including skills related to the establishment of employment relationship, employment law and labour safety. The measure is provided for young people aged 15–29.
Career guidance for youth is financed from the funds granted for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee (national budget, ESF and Youth Employment Initiative funding).
Several assessments of the active labour market policy measures were carried out from 2007 to 2013. The research “Mid-Term Evaluation of Implementation Efficiency of National Strategic Reference Framework Priorities, Measures and Activities in the EU Funds Programming Period 2007–2013” carried out by LLC “Agile&Co” notes that the general support measures for unemployed and job-seekers are considered to be adequate for the current economic situation in Latvia, as they provide for balanced support in order to decrease short-term social tension, ensuring involvement of unemployed persons in employment measures, and in order to develop employment in long term, promoting re-qualification of residents and acquisition of additional skills in training measures, as well as stimulating business start-ups. In the assessment of the SEA training measures carried out by LLC “Projektu un kvalitātes vadība”, it was concluded that: - the majority of Active Employment Measures organized by the SEA consists of training measures that have been assessed as compliant with the needs of the labour market; - continuing vocational training and professional development are recognized as the most efficient types of training, and it is further concluded that individuals have found a job consequently more often after professional training measures than after the measures of non-formal education; - the idea to transform on-the-job training from a training measure into a full-fledged employment measure has been assessed as appropriate to the actual situation as in any case this form of training cannot be really compared to other training measures neither in terms of results, nor the form of organisation.
It is noted in the assessment of the services for employers performed by the SEA and LLC “Projektu un kvalitātes vadība” that employers more often are fully satisfied with the employment measures targeted at a specific audience, the measures for young people and practical on-the-job training, which can be explained by the close cooperation between employers and the SEA established within the framework of those measures, as well as by certain benefits provided to employers by the relevant employment measures.
It is noted in the study “Assessment of the Training Measures of State Employment Agency” that the SEA training measures are organised as campaigns, while the needs of the labour market are more linear. The deviations from linearity in the organisation of the SEA training measures are caused by the peculiarities of procurements (or a procurement that has been finished timely and has a result), the peculiarities of the coupon method (coupons are distributed in large amounts in order to manage to form training groups), and the working regime of training establishments.
Organizers of the said studies have noted that one of the most significant novelties of recent years in the SEA training measures is the implementation of the coupon method that has been assessed as rather convenient by customers. Data here.