Politics and policy in career and career guidance

politics and policy in career and career guidance

Today I’m back at the University of Derby teaching on the MA in Careers Education and Coaching. I’m going to be talking about politics and policy and trying to get the students to think about how these things interact with individuals’ careers and the practice of career guidance.

This is what I thought that I’d do…

Politics and policy in career and career guidance


Redefining career guidance #BERA2017


Today I’m participating in a symposium at #BERA2017. In it I’m going to be discussing the terminology that we use when talking about career and career guidance. I’m going to argue that seeking alternative terminology is not helpful as it leads us into an endless round of renaming things but doesn’t really address the concerns that people have with concepts like career and career guidance. Instead we need to spend more time on defining what we mean and using the discussion of definitions as a way to expand people’s conceptual understanding and career thinking.

This is what I thought I would cover.

Redefining career guidance

Global, European and UK career guidance policy


Today I’m heading back up to the University of Derby to deliver a session on the MA in Careers Education and Coaching. In this session I’m going to try and get students to think about the policy, politics, legislation and regulation that sit around and various constrain and enable career guidance.

This is what I’m planning to cover…

Career guidance policy presentation for the MA

Michelle Obama honours the 2017 school counsellor of the year

Thank you to Wendy Hirsh for alerting me to this speech. It is well worth people who are interested in careers and politics watching.

In her final speech as First Lady speaks about the contribution that school counsellors make to young people and to the nation. Her interest in guidance counselling has been bound up with the Reach Higher initiative which has sought to increase the level of college educated young people in America.

What is most impressive about this speech is the way in which it draws together a vision for progressive America with a commitment to education and views guidance counsellors as key enablers of this.

The only thing worth fighting for is the future

Last week I gave a lecture at the Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy at the University of Melbourne. The lecture examined the interface between career guidance, public policy and politics. It particularly argued that we need to refocus our thinking about career guidance around a social justice agenda.

The presentation is now available to view in full.

The only think worth fighting for is the future: Rethinking career guidance as an instrument for social justice

Like making sausages

Like making sausages

Today I’m giving a presentation to the Aimhigher West Midlands conference at Aston University.

I’ve been asked to talk about careers policy and have called my presentation.

Like making sausage… Insights from the careers policy front-line and what it all means for practice

In the presentation I hope to talk about where I think that careers policy is going at the moment and the current massive confusion that has been caused in all policy making by the Brexit vote. Hopefully I will be able to balance my current optimism about careers policy with my pessimism about the confusion of the wider political situation.

Oh and I’ve got quite a few pictures of sausages being made.


We finally really did it … You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!


Early evening coverage of Brexit seemed to suggest that we might be remaining in Europe. But, by the time that I went to sleep the results were starting to come in and it all looked pretty leavey.

This morning it seems to be a done deal. At 6.30 it looked like this and my guess is that Leaves lead might open up a bit more before we’re done.


I wrote about Brexit the other day. I’m generally a pessimist about politics after years of defeats – but I still found it difficult to believe that we were actually going to throw ourselves over this particular cliff. It seems I was wrong. There will be much more to say about this.

At the moment I just feel


I’ll have more to say over the next few days as I think more about this.

The analysis that has emerged so far seems to  say that it was older, poorer, whiter, Englisher and less educated Britain that voted for this. Why they have done that is not entirely clear to me. For some it seems to be a rebellion against a political system that has failed them. For others it is racism and fear of immigration. To me this seems to be poorly thought out and poorly made protest. The EU is far from perfect but it is difficult to view it as the main thing that is wrong with Britain.

So what happens next. I’d appreciate others thoughts. My initial reaction would be that the following things are likely.

  • A new Prime Minister
  • The collapse of the current Government’s programme as all policy making gets swept aside by Brexit.
  • A short term economic slump.
  • A long term economic decline.
  • A new referendum in Scotland to leave the UK and remain in Europe.
  • The loss of loads of EU funding that has to supported social and cultural programmes in Britain.
  • A lot of gloomy liberal and cosmopolitan people shaking their heads and wondering whether it all went wrong.

Am I being alarmist? Tell me I am.

It is a dark day folks!