Call for papers: Career Education and Guidance and Social Justice (NICEC Journal)

The April 2016 issue of the NICEC Journal will focus on the relationship between career education and guidance and social justice.

The way in which individuals pursue their careers is profoundly influenced by their background and socio-economic environment. Putting it simply “life isn’t fair” and our careers reflect this. So how do interventions which seek to support people to develop their careers address and respond to this unfairness?

Career education and guidance is frequently advanced as a “social good” which contributes to both social inclusion and social mobility. However a question remains open as to whether career development can support the growth of social justice. Is career development able to contribute to the emergence of a more fair society? Alternatively, do career education and guidance services help to justify and entrench the unfairness by creating a narrative through which individual solutions to social problems are stressed?

The relationship between career education and guidance and social justice is likely to be complex with interventions potentially challenging and reinforcing the social order at the same time. If so how can professionals respond to these challenges and navigate their way around them whilst maintaining some integrity?

It is to these questions that the April 2016 issue of the NICEC Journal is addressed.

This issue of the NICEC journal will focus on social justice. Papers might discuss:

  • The politics of career education and guidance.
  • The intersection of career education and guidance with critical traditions (such as Marxism, feminism and Green theories).
  • Evidence about the social and political impacts of career education and guidance.
  • Theoretically informed case studies of practice that exemplify a social justice perspective.

Or other related topics.

Enquiries and proposals for inclusion should be made by email to Tristram Hooley ( and Ronald Sultana ( who are guest editors of this issue. Proposals should be set out in as a short summary of the article (c.300 words).

Informal expressions of interest 30th September 2015
Full draft articles 30th December 2015
Final articles 31st January 2016


Small town big change


A number of people have sent me this TEDx talk.

It discusses the intersection between career development and community in a small town in New Zealand. The Mayor talks about how he built a cross-community initiative to engage everyone (employers, education and community) in the career development of young people.

“We’re all careers advisers (or we should be)!”

London Ambitions


Boris Johnson has just launched a very interesting scheme in London.

It aims to offer young Londoners the following careers offer.

  1. Every young Londoner should have access to impartial, independent and personalised careers education, information, advice and face-to-face guidance in their local community.
  2. Every young Londoner should have completed at least 100 hours experience of the world of work, in some form, by the time they reach the age of 16.
  3. Every secondary school and college should have in place an explicit publicised careers policy and Careers Curriculum on young people’s experiences of the world of work, links with business, careers provision and destination outcomes.
  4. Every good institution will have a governor with oversight for ensuring the organisation supports all students to relate their learning to careers and the world of work from an early age.
  5. Every secondary school and college should have up-to-date, user-friendly labour market intelligence/information (LMI) readily accessible by young people, teachers and parents/carers drawing upon the Skills London Match, UKCES ‘LMI for All’, National Careers Service local LMI data and other reliable sources of information.
  6. The quality of careers provision should be strengthened by developing ‘careers clusters’ to share resources in improving awareness of London’s labour market and supporting school and college leaders in a whole-school approach to plan and deliver careers provision.
  7. The London Ambitions Portal should enable more schools and colleges to easily find high-quality careers provision designed to support the career development of all young Londoners.

The offer and the associated plan for activity and funding are set out in the report London Ambitions. The idea is to use European Social Fund money to re-energise careers work in the capital. The levels of investment outlined in the report are substantial and could really make a difference.

All of this begs the question as to why we can’t have something similar across the rest of the country.

A film has been produced to support the initiative.

The Kent Model of Career Education and Guidance


Kent County Council have just published a paper that I wrote for them last year. It discusses the emerging school-based career education and guidance system that I have observed in Kent.

Hooley, T. (2015). The Kent Model of Career Education and Guidance. Maidstone: Kent County Council

This builds on some previous work that I’ve done in Kent which includes an earlier paper in which I visited the same schools as I did in this paper. If you are interested in the back story you might also be interested in reading Progression in Kent.

Using game-based learning in career education


We currently have three interns working at iCeGS. Each of them has developed a research project with a member of our team which they are exploring during their internship.

Sophie Rowe has been working with Nicki Moore on the issue of games, gaming and game based learning in career education. They have produced a survey which they would like practitioners to fill in.

So whether you are a gamer or not, please spare a few minutes to fill in this survey.

Developing career and employability knowledge and skills, using games and games based learning