Top 10 blog posts of 2015

It is the time of the year for lists. First up I’ll give you the top 10 most viewed posts on this blog during 2015.

  1. What is radical education? Ironically the top spot in 2015 goes to a post that I wrote back in 2014. In this post I discuss what radical education or critical pedagogy is all about. This is a theme that I’ve pursued further this year so perhaps that is why it was so popular.
  2. Career guidance in Cameron’s Britain. Gets the second spot. In it I mused on what the Conservative win in the election of 2015 might mean for career guidance.
  3. The 7Cs of digital career literacy – in practice. The third most popular post of 2015 comes from as far back as 2012. It is a guest post from Graham Kaye-Taylor and talks about how you can use the 7 Cs framework in practice. Its return to the hit parade is probably due to a presentation that Vanessa Dodd gave to a conference organised by Graham this year.
  4. A brand new careers company for England – hurrah!(?) takes the fourth spot and discusses the launch of the new careers company. Was it only a year ago that we heard about this! A year is a long time in careers it seems.
  5. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery (slides). I gave my inaugural lecture this year. It seems some people downloaded the slides from it!
  6. Teachers, careers advisers and employers: Who should do what? Back in March I went up to Leeds and tried to straighten out the respective roles that different people should play in careers education. Hopefully these slides capture the gist of what I said.
  7. Mark Savickas on Life Designing. Another oldie but a goodie at number 7 (from back in 2013). My report on Mark’s lecture in Padua.
  8. So why did that happen? More post-election musing from May 2015.
  9. The Future of Career Guidance in the UK. A presentation that I gave in May 2015 where I talked politics, robots and career guidance.
  10. Changing numbers of careers advisers in schools. Some figures about how the numbers of careers advisers in schools have changed (2010-2013). I’d be really interested to see an update of this.

So that was the best (or at least most popular) of 2015.

You only have yourselves to blame!




The D2N2 Employability Framework


iCeGS has been working with our local LEP to develop an employability framework. This is another example of a LEP doing something substantial on careers and follows on from the London Ambitions report that I discussed a few months ago.

I’d be interested to hear if other LEPs are doing anything similar.

For more information on our D2N2 report have a look at

Hutchinson, J., Dickinson, B., Hooley, T. and Vickers, R. (2015). The D2N2 Employability Framework: Employers and Schools Supporting Young People’s Routes to Work. Nottingham: D2N2.


New inquiry on careers advice, information and guidance launched

A new Parliamentary Committee, the Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy,  formed by members of the Education Committee and the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, has launched an inquiry looking at careers advice, information and guidance.

The inquiry is currently calling for written submissions which address the following points.

  • The quality and impartiality of current provision
  • How careers advice in schools and colleges can help to match skills with labour market needs
  • The role of the new Careers and Enterprise Company and its relationship with other bodies such as the National Careers Service
  • The balance between national and local approaches to careers advice
  • Careers advice and apprenticeships
  • The potential for employers to play a greater role in careers advice


I think that it is really important that as many people as possible make a submission to the inquiry explain what the issues are.

The deadline is the 20th January 2016.

Come and be a Research Assistant at iCeGS

We are currently recruiting a Research Assistant to work in the International Centre for Guidance Studies.

In the role you will get to work with other researchers in the Centre to undertake fieldwork, data analysis and writing.

For informal enquiries about the role, please contact Siobhan Neary, Deputy Head of ICeGS, Education –

The deadline for applications is the 8th January.

Further details on the Research Assistant role

Further education learners’ prior experience of career education and guidance: A case study of Chesterfield College

further education

Just in case you missed it the latest issue of the NICEC Journal came out a few weeks ago.

In it Amy Woolley and I published an article looking at career education and guidance in Chesterfield College. While we were writing it we realised how poorly researched careers work in colleges it. We hope that this article contributes to the literature in this area and helps to stimulate further research.

Wooley, A. and Hooley, T. (2015). Further education learners’ prior experience of career education and guidance: A case study of Chesterfield College. Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, 35(1), 50-56.

Guest blog -Perhaps careers advisers aren’t so bad after all?


Thanks to Andy Gardner from the Central London Careers Hub for sending me this guest post. In it he discusses some new research that he has done with careers advisers which suggests that there is still a lot of careers work taking place despite the challenges of funding.

Careers Advisers in England have been through a huge social experiment.  Central government in England effectively threw them out of the house, they were no longer invited to the party.  In 2012 the funding ended, to be replaced by some duties which at best could be described as dodgy and effectively meant that if a school did not want to pay for a careers adviser to come into their school then very little was going to happen to them.  In fact some perverse incentives applied, so a school management team worried about their sixth form numbers could think it would be in their interest not to have a Careers Adviser coming in, giving all that pesky impartial guidance.

But has the obvious happened?  Have careers advisers withered away and died?  Clearly many were made redundant, to be replaced by an array of websites, alumni/employer/mentor schemes.  What was for sure was that many careers advisers were now on their own, living the free market dream, whether they were completely independent or working for a traded services careers organisation.  There was enormous collateral damage but now we were trading in the open market.  Only one test now applied, can we survive? And if we are, then we must be supplying something that people want.

Central London Careers Hub (career sector knowledge for career development professionals) needed to find out the reach of the careers advisers coming to our events. So we decided to ask all the surviving careers services and independent careers advisers who had come to CLCH four simple questions:

  1. In the last 3 years how many guidance interventions have you done?
  2. In the last 3 years how many NEET guidance interventions have you done?
  3. In the last 3 years how many group works have you done?
  4. In the last 3 years how many schools or colleges have you worked in?

We asked for the last 3 years data, because this would cover the time when funding for Careers Services in England had been pulled by the DFE to be replaced by a duty which large numbers of schools chose to completely ignore.

Read the report:

Half a million reasons why we still need careers advisers

You will be astonished by how much work is going on, when set against other sources of reliable data.  In fact it reminds us of the comedian Spike Milligan’s comment on his gravestone, “I told you I was ill!”

As we were being destroyed in 2012, careers advisers would say in their understated way, “we are a bit more useful than you think!”  The CLCH report looks at why, when given a chance, careers advisers are a far more relevant force than they are given credit for.