iCeGS has produced a lot of research reports over the year. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read all of them so I thought that it might be useful to go back and work through all of the publications to see what I could learn.
First up I thought that I’d have a look at
Barham, L., & Morgan, S. (1999). New Start: Paving the Way for Learning: An Interim Evaluation of Personal Adviser Pilot Projects . Suffolk: Department for Education and Employment.
One of the problems that I have in reading some of iCeGS early reports is that they pre-date my involvement in careers work. Because the careers world is so dynamic it is very difficult to access the policy and practice context if you weren’t around at the time. Our publications would prove pretty useful to anyone putting together a history of career guidance.
New Start describes an evaluation of a series of projects that used Personal Advisers to reengage disadvantaged young people in learning. The personal advisers operated in the context of “Learning Gateway” which I’m a bit vague about. The role seemed very similar to the Connexions Personal Adviser role but very much on the social work end of that role. From reading this, the research really seems to be examining early pilots that may have been part of the thinking that led to the creation of Connexions. One of the main forms of practice that is discussed is the development of Individual Development Plans.
The report finds that Personal Advisers were effective in helping young people to make progress, but that it was intensive work and that more thought needed to be given to the training of the Advisers and to how they integrated with the rest of the Careers Service.
As ever, there is much to be learnt from looking back… the problems just come round and round.