Despite my best efforts to blog every day from the #iccdpp2015 symposium events overtook me and so I’m now sitting in Des Moines airport trying to get my head around what happened (I finished this blog in Chicago airport and posted it from Leicester – how’s that for global!).
As I discussed in my last blog the ICCDPP symposiums are a biannual process by which policy makers, thought leaders and academic from across the globe can come together to discuss career development policy, systems and practice. It is designed as an opportunity for the international borrowing and lending of good practice and the sharing of challenges.
The event was fantastic and included representatives of around 30 counties. As well as serving its primary purpose it also give us an opportunity to take the temperature of career development systems worldwide. I’m hoping to do some more reflection on this, but my first thoughts are that four main things came out of the symposium.
- Firstly it was clear that career development remains a vital and viable policy area which many governments see as key to achieving a number of policy aims. Countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia and Norway are involved in building or enhancing career development systems, with many other continuing to invest public resource in ensuring citizen access to career development. Exciting innovations in the USA and some Canadian provinces also demonstrated that some of the more developed career development systems are continuing to invest and develop their career development policy. Many countries reported the development of increasingly sophisticated infrastructures (e.g. codes of ethics, professional standards and professional associations) which supported the development of careers work within their countries.
- Conversely it was also clear that the 2008 global economic crisis and political responses to it which emphasise austerity have damaged career development systems in many countries. There were a number of countries which have historically had strong career development systems which were not represented or which only sent observers. Many of these cited cuts and austerity as the reason that they were unable to attend. Some countries which were in attendance reported that established systems had been eroded as part of a broader process of reducing public sector expenditure. A key question will be whether these systems are able to survive these political shifts and adapt and develop in a new context.
- Across the globe there is clearly much to celebrate and a need to recognise that career development is increasingly moving beyond its historic base in the English speaking world and Europe. The ICCDPP symposium demonstrated the importance of institutions that support policy lending and borrowing such as the ICCDPP. The ELGPN has offered one vehicle for this within Europe but apart from the ICCDPP there is nothing equivalent in the rest of the world. Developing mechanisms (including online mechanisms) that might support this kind of global sharing and collaboration should therefore be an important area of focus.
- The global career development community make great use of the series of international policy reviews that were done during the 2000s. However many of these are increasingly out of date. It has now been over a decade since the publication of the OECD review. There is a need for a new systematic study (or interlinled series of studies) of global career development policies and systems. It is important that such a study attends strongly to issues of efficacy, evidence and return on investment.
So these were my main summative findings on the symposium. Did I miss anything?