Launch Seminar: UK policy and practice: comparing and contrasting delivery models
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19 November 2010
9:30-10:00 Arrival & coffee.
Introduction: Professor Jenny Bimrose, Institute of Employment Research, University of Warwick.
‘Preparing for Success. Delivery of an all age Careers Strategy for Northern Ireland’. Judith Shaw, Head of Careers Service, Department for Employment & Learning.
‘Career IAG in Scotland - A framework for service redesign and improvement’. Martin McDermott, Head of Information, Advice and Guidance Strategy Team, Lifelong Learning Directorate, The Scottish Government.
11:35-12:05 Coffee & small group discussions on issues arising from the first two sessions
‘A new all-age careers service for England’ [title to be confirmed]. Gerard McAlea, Quality, Support & Guidance Division, Young People’s Participation & Attendance Group, Department for Education.
‘A Community of learners: Lifelong Learning Accounts’. Stephen North, Advancement Division, FE Directorate, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
'Moving from Learner Demand to Economic Demand’. Owen Evans, Director, Skills, Higher Education & Lifelong Learning, Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Welsh Assembly Government.
2:45-3:40 Coffee & small group discussion on issues arising from the 3rd, 4th & 5th sessions.
Final Discussion. Professor John Arnold, School of Business & Economics, Loughborough University.
- Introduction by Jenny Bimrose
- England all age service DFE
- England Lifelong Learning Accounts DBIS
- Northern Ireland Preparing for Success
- Scotland CIAG
- Wales CEIAG
17:02 on 6 December 2010
Notes from the final discussion session of the seminar
Seminar participants were invited to identify negatives and positives from the proceedings at the end of seminar. The following are summary notes taken by two QCG students,Sarah Hollands & Helen Kwan, University of East London
- The description of the All Age Guidance Service - seems like a service for young people without much thought given to adults - may turn into primarily a young person’s service.
- Simplistic division between adults and young people - adults go through many life & career stages.
- Many young people view the notion of a career as a race or a competition. It should be promoted as a journey.
- Career as a life journey – lifelong needs to be life-wide (biographical). Career support later on in life is essential – career as a sequence, with segments.
- Providing services for adults places a huge demand on careers professionalism.
- Best practice risks being undermined with the introduction of three different channels of delivery currently a feature of the Adult Advancement Careers Service.
- Wales - what exactly is meant by a ‘demand- led service’? Need to understand what this means in terms of practice and structures for delivery.
- The time frame that has been suggested for the implementation the all age guidance service in England will put huge pressure on professionals. Practitioners under tremendous pressures, currently with structures disintegrating around them.
- Evidence of impact more crucial than ever before. Need to assemble a different type of evidence – establish the impact on an adult of 50/55 years who did not have access to careers support – lack of careers intervention makes an impact.
- Obsession with occupational sectors and careers within them – not careers as a flexible journey between sectors.
- The focus on making Careers Guidance more internet -based could lead to only the most disadvantaged people receiving face to face contact while others will be left to use on-line guidance methods.
- Differentiated services – adoption of this practice has resulted too much on targeting demographic groups. We need to think less about population groups having similar needs and more about individuals and their particular needs. The impact on an individual of getting a choice wrong – and the nature of these issues – represents another way of targeting provision.
- Language - the jargon that professionals use – the general public do not understand it.
- Use of the word ‘customer’ or ‘consumer’ – deficit concept – these terms are relevant only where s/he is a perfectly informed member of society in a free market. Within the guidance profession, service users should be seen as clients or individuals.
- High visibility – in all four home countries of the UK, careers is high on all political agendas.
- Ministers in all countries who seem committed to careers guidance – some passionate with a broad vision of what could be achieved.
- Careers Professional Alliance (body set up to represent the major Professional Associations) – mandated to produce a set of professional standards by end March, 2011. Need to re-examine what we mean by our profession.
- Budgetary restrictions can stimulation innovative thinking/creativity. Provide the chance to step back and review what is being provided and then improve. It gives us the opportunity to achieve what we want to achieve.
- ‘Nudging’ (providing information/ reminders via text messaging) could be used in a positive way as we can reach lots of people and those that are potentially not being reached at present. Could be used to raise the profile of careers work.
- Social networking sites – provides an exciting opportunity - the potential to offer something more personalised to users.
- The focus on Labour Market Information is positive – careers guidance should take more control of LMI.
Please add your own thoughts by starting a discussion.
17:58 on 6 December 2010 (Edited 08:11 on 7 December 2010)
Summing Up from the seminar- by John Arnold C.Psychol, FBPsS
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Director of Research
School of Business and Economics
Aims of the four home countries for careers policies are multiple and varied – including:
- Social mobility
- Economic performance
- Personal ambition/preferred lifestyle/individual fulfilment
Tensions are being played out across the career policies for the 4 home countries of the UK. The different policy aims are sometimes compatible, sometimes not. In particular:
- Skills development – is this about personal development or economic investment? Who is expected to invest and who is expected to benefit? Is there a danger of mismatch between different stakeholders?
- Effective guidance – do we know what effective guidance looks like? Is the most effective help given through a personal relationship, on-line or on the telephone?
- Impartiality – we need to question this concept as central to 'objective' guidance. No-one is ever impartial – no objective scientific truth exists. For career practitioners to be truly effective, they need to be located within the school and within a personal relationship.
- Inclusive or not – the ‘all age’ concept, used across all 4 home countries – is appealing, especially when being applied for individuals across their lifespan. But policies indicate that services will, nevertheless, be targeted to particular, disadvantaged groups. So 'inclusive' policies not quite what they appear? The use of demographics (e.g. disadvantaged young people – is a very blunt instrument for targeting provision.
08:11 on 7 December 2010