Supporting clients to use the internet for career building (Wigan edition)

Here is the latest version of my supporting clients to use the internet for career building workshop. As ever it is slightly different from previous versions, but you have to be a hardcore fan to spot the changes and new editions.


Supporting clients to use the internet for career building (Wigan edition)


Is it really so hard to work out why some young people are having their aspirations frustrated?

I have written a short piece on careers policy under the Coalition Government for the Celeb Youth UK website. For those of you who haven’t come across it before Celeb Youth UK is a research project investigating the relationship between young people, aspirations and celebrity.

Is it really so hard to work out why some young people are having their aspirations frustrated?
Over the life of this project, the CelebYouth team have challenged government rhetoric of low aspirations, arguing that this not only lacks any evidence base, it also neglects the broader structural context within which young people’s ideas about their future are formed and realised. In this post, guest blogger Tristram Hooley argues that the provision of career support can be pivotal in helping young people to realise their aspirations. He argues that many young people have high aspirations, but are unable to fully realise them because of lack of support. Tristram has recently published a research report which describes how resources, staffing and political support for career education and guidance have declined since the election of the Coalition Government. As he explains, this decline has resulted in a dramatic loss of support for most young people and deleterious consequences.
Continue reading

Michael Gove misusing evidence about career guidance

I recently posted a link to the excellent Gove vs Reality site. The purpose of this site is to highligh examples of where Michael Gove misuses evidence for his own political purposes.

Only a few weeks later and I’ve come across an example of him doing the same thing in the careers field. In a recent letter to the chair of the House of Commons Education Committee he quotes a line from Tony Watts’ report The Proposed Model for Career Guidance in England: Some Lessons from International Examples.

‘Professor Watts states in paragraph 18 that: “There are no data which enable firm conclusions to be drawn on the impact of these different models on pupil attainment, progression and employment prospects, or on other quantifiable success measures”.’

In fact this quote is taken out of context and should read.

“There are no data which enable firm conclusions to be drawn on the impact of these different models on pupil attainment, progression and employment prospects, or on other quantifiable success measures. There is evidence elsewhere to demonstrate a relationship between clarity of career goals and educational attainment. There is also a strong theoretical basis for the effect of careers education and guidance on attainment and associated behaviour. This is supported by some US studies on the impact of more broadly-based guidance programmes on pupil performance.”

This kind of use of out of context quotes seems very poor practice for an Education Secretary who purports to be keen on introducing greater rigour into the education sytem.

There is more detail on Michael Gove’s letter and Tony Watts’ response to it on the iCeGS website.

Free computer training

One of the messages that I try and push in the training that I run on digital career literacy is that it is important to convince people that they need to continue to develop their IT skills. The speed of change means that it is not possible to sit back and stop learning.

The problem is always, how best to do that.

I’m a great believer in trying to increase people’s confidence to experiment. You learn best by doing, and often new technologies change more quickly than training or guide books. However, I’m grateful for any resources that people use to support students and clients in this area.

So, thanks to Mike from the group that I was working with yesterday in Manchester for putting me onto GCFLearnfree which is an educational charity that provides free learning resources. They offer a whole load of useful resources including pages on general IT skills and social media in particular.

So if you are looking for a good starting point for your self or the people that you work with – then check it out.

Supporting clients to use the internet for career building (Manchester edition)

Apologies to those that have seen this presentation before – in my defence I have tinkered with it and changes a few bits of content.

I will be delivering to National Careers Service advisers in Manchester. I hope that they enjoy it.

Supporting clients to use the internet for career building (Manchester)

A career postcode lottery

We have just published a new paper entitled A career postcode lottery? Local authority provision of youth and career support following the 2011 Education Act. We worked on it with Unison who represent staff in local authorities.

The paper seeks to trace the extent of the cuts on career and youth support within local authorities. All in all it paints a fairly grim picture. Our findings made be think more about the way that recent policy in this area and others have erroded the power of local democracy to influence the lives of citizens. This isn’t just the result of the current Government, but seems to have intensified under them.

In the area of careers work this is resulting in a situation where more and more provision is accountable to either unelected groups like LEPs, directly to central government or else in the hands of individual head teachers. The idea of local government having some power and resources to influence the kind of provision that people get in the locality has gradually fallen away. This frequently leaves local authorities in the position of underpinning the failures of the wider education and employment system with whatever resources they can scrape together for careers provision. In recent years this has been less and less provision for less and less people.

Anyway the details of the research are as follows.

Langley, E., Hooley, T., Bertuchi, D. (2014). A career postcode lottery? Local authority provision of youth and career support following the 2011 Education Act. Derby: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby.

Since the election of the Coalition Government, England has seen a major change in the delivery of career support for young people. Cuts in funding for Connexions, Aimhigher and Education Business Partnerships have been accompanied by a shift in statutory responsibility from local authorities (LAs) to schools. Such policy has been criticised by a wide range of stakeholders and subjected to some scrutiny. This study focuses attention on the experiences of LAs and their staff in dealing with these changes. The aim was to explore the current scale and nature of LA careers activities with a view to providing a picture of LA responses to the policy changes. The report explores several themes: the resourcing of career and youth support, the provision of universal career support, and how targeted services have been affected. It also discusses the implications of the changes on specific groups such as careers professionals and young people, and suggests ways forward.

The full report can be downloaded from UDORA.