“Careers education and guidance is a profoundly political process. It operates at the interface between the individual and society, between self and opportunity, between aspiration and realism. It facilitates the allocation of life chances. Within a society in which such life chances are unequally distributed, it faces the issue of whether it serves to reinforce such inequalities or to reduce them” (Tony Watts).
We are currently living in a time of economic and political turbulence. Some argue that we are experiencing what Gramsci described as an interregnum, where the old world is dying and the new is struggling to be born. How can people be expected to build a meaningful and successful career in such a world? And, for career guidance professionals, what do such times mean for the kinds of practices that are possible and desirable?
Many professionals working in careers education and guidance have an understandable concern about engaging too closely with politics. Such an engagement seems to threaten important professional values around independence, client centredness and impartiality. However, others have argued that there is a need to recognise the way in which politics shapes both the careers of individuals and the practice of career guidance and to build a meaningful response to oppression and injustice.
But, what does this all mean in practice?
This NICEC network meeting will focus on translating the current debates about career guidance and social justice into practice. In the meeting contributors to Career Guidance for Social Justice and Career Guidance for Emancipation will explore how some of the ideas contained in these volumes can be translated into practice through a series of practice-based activities.
- Tristram Hooley (Professor of Career Education, University of Derby)
- Charlotte Chadderton (Professor of Education, BathSpa University)
- Elnaz Kashefpakdel (Head of Research, Education and Employers)
- Chris Percy (Independent researcher)
- Rosie Alexander (Researcher, University of the Highlands and the Islands)
- Phil McCash (Associate Professor, University of Warwick).