Excellence in CEIAG Conference, Doncaster


Tomorrow I’m presenting on at the Excellence in CEIAG Conference in Doncaster. I’m going to be drawing on various projects that we’ve done to try and describe the distilled essence of excellence.

This is how it is going to go…

What does excellence in careers work look like?



Getting it down on paper

getting it down

We have just published a new paper looking at letter writing as an employability skill.

Dodd, V. and Hooley, T. (2015). Getting it down on paper: the importance of letter writing for young people’s employability. Derby: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby.

In the paper we find that young people believe that they are good letter writers and think that letter writing is important for the world of work. However, employers are less convinced, with many complaining about the quality of the letters written by their new recruits. They also argue that letter writing continues to be important for their businesses.


Employers’ experience of Higher Apprenticeships


We have just published a new report looking at employers attitudes of Higher Apprenticeships.

Mieschbuehler, R., Hooley, T. and Neary, S. (2015). Employers’ Experience of Higher Apprenticeships: Benefits and Barriers. Derby and Melton Mowbray: International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby and Pera Training.

This report examines employers’ experience and understanding of Higher Apprenticeships. We surveyed almost 200 companies and conducted follow-up interviews with eleven employers. We found that employers were very positive about the idea of Higher Apprenticeships although many had not engaged with them yet.

The employers that have employed higher apprentices within their companies felt that they had contributed a range of benefits to their businesses. We also talk about some of the perceived and actual barriers to the implementation of Higher Apprenticeship programmes.

We’d be really interested to hear more about people’s experiences of studying and delivering higher apprenticeship programmes.

Graduate dress code article now published!

I have just published an article with Beth Cutts and Julia Yates called Graduate Dress Code. The article explores the relationship between students’ identities, their ideas about professional appearance and their anticipated transition to the world of work.

We interviewed 13 students about their careers and ideas about the world of work. We found that they viewed clothing and appearance as an important aspect of their transition to the workplace. They believed that, if carefully handled, their appearance could help them to fit in and satisfy the expectations of employers. However some of our participants anticipated that this process of fitting in might compromise their identity and values.

The article looks at how students’ handle the tension between adapting to a new environment and ‘being themselves’. We argue that this process of transition is intertwined with wider facets of identity – most notably those associated with gender.

I’d be really interested to hear what people think of what we’ve written.

Cutts, B., Hooley, T. and Yates, J. (2015). Graduate dress code: How undergraduates are planning to use hair, clothes and make-up to smooth their transition to the workplace. Industry and Higher Education, 29 (4):271-282.