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Canada’s House of Commons Offers Defeated MPs up to $15K for Career Help
November 5, 2019
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As a UK General Election date has been announced no doubt some MP’s will lose their seat – and as a result will be looking for a new career. The following explains what support is available to their Canadian colleagues.

When Liberal Mark Holland lost his seat in 2011, he couldn’t get out of bed for days.

“It was absolutely devastating for me … Because it was my hometown, it felt personal. It felt like a personal rejection,” said the Ajax MP, who went on to be re-elected in 2015 and again on Monday.

“It’s like being in a car going 100 kilometres an hour and hitting a brick wall and everything stops.”

He credits the House of Commons’s transition program with helping him move on from his defeat. The program offers counselling and up to $15,000 to help defeated MPs transition from the House of Commons back to the civilian world.

It’s a program the nearly 50 incumbents who lost on Monday can access as they take stock of their defeats.

The taxpayer-funded package can be used to cover the cost of career transition services, job training or post-secondary education and some travel expenses, according to the members’ allowances and services manual.

Holland was first elected at the municipal level at age 23. He said he leaned on the transition program to dust off his resumé and get some retraining before eventually landing a job at the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“Having a service that helps folks make the transition back to a normal life — helps them get their resumé in shape, makes sure that their mental health is in a strong position and that they have the support they need to get reintegrated — is incredibly important,” he said.

For former MPs seeking career advice, the House of Commons offers the services of a third-party firm that provides one-on-one career coaching. MPs can use another career counselling firm as long as it’s cleared in advance.

In order to qualify for the transition fund, career transition programs have be started within 12 months of the general election. The fund also requires that ex-MPs submit certificates for career transition programs.

Liberal MP Mark Holland rises in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Friday, June 3, 2016. Holland says he was devastated when he lost in 2011. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Defeated incumbents can also use the program’s cash to go back to school in Canada.

The MP handbook stipulates that, in order to qualify for transition program funding, ex-MPs must prove the training or education they’re seeking is in a field related to the work they intend to pursue. The institution also must be required by contract to provide on-the-job instruction, tutoring, training or supervision.

The manual lists teaching, law, accounting, engineering and the trades as examples of skills that could be subsidized.

As with the career transition programs, training programs have to start within 12 months of the end of the general election to qualify for funding, and proof of completion is required.

The money also can be used for travel. Members who are not re-elected are entitled to up to four economy-class round trips within Canada if they can prove they’re travelling to and from job interviews, education sessions or career transition sessions, or if they need to travel to Ottawa to sell their homes.

Transition program funds can also be used to pay for sundry services such as long-distance phone calls within Canada, stationery and office supplies, but the program requires receipts.

MPs often leave private-sector gigs

Holland says sceptics who baulk at the program’s price tag need to understand the sacrifice most MPs make by leaving promising careers to run for office.

“I think that nobody understands the pressures of somebody who steps forward and offers themselves to public service,” he said.

“Regardless of the partisan stripe, I have enormous regard for people who put themselves in that position and I think that it makes only good sense to make sure that they transition back to public life.”

MPs who do not seek re-election are also entitled to up to $15,000 in transition support to help re-establish themselves after leaving politics.

The money comes out of the House of Commons administration central budget.

Careers Advice Toolkit
October 25, 2019
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WorldSkills UK and Youth Employment UK have published a new digital Careers Advice Toolkit. The comprehensive guide supports young people with employability and careers information they need for their futures. 

There are 19 lesson plans in total, covering Key Stage 3 and 4 all mapped against the Careers Development Institute and Gatsby Benchmark Frameworks.

Learners will be coached through their career journey, helped to identify their own motivators and skills, understand their career options and also the developmental tools and pathways available to them. 

The lessons can be delivered as bitesize pieces of content or as a whole career curriculum with video’s, quizzes and engaging activities to support the learner along their career journey.

It’s completely free to use. To access the Careers Advice Toolkit you need to complete a form giving your details – it can be accessed using the link below.

Click here 

ViewPoint: Want More School Leavers to Choose Apprenticeships after GCSEs? We Need to See a Genuine Shift in Careers Advice
September 17, 2019
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The following is by Emma Finamore, Editor, AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk

During GCSE results day 2019, some figures in business made it clear they want to see more 16-year-olds making the move to apprenticeships rather than A-levels.

“We need to see more young people choosing vocational pathways,” said Andrea Bull, head next generation marketing at Make UK, in a statement hoping to encourage those awaiting GCSE results to consider apprenticeship programmes.

Mike Cherry, national chairman of The Federation of Small Businesses, also highlighted how remaining on the purely academic route isn’t right for all GCSE students, saying:

“Each year pupils will make critical decisions about how they intend to further their education, which for some will mean going onto study A-levels. But while that may suit some pupils entering Sixth Form, it doesn’t help others who may thrive far better elsewhere.”

There was also plenty of talk of the increasing exam pressure young people face, further making the case that for many, moving to a different form of education and training would be beneficial rather than staying on the ‘classrooms and exams’ track of A-levels.

The National Education Union, for example, polled more than 600 members who taught GCSE subjects in England. More than seven out of 10 said their students’ mental health had worsened since new exams were introduced.

The Girlguiding charity reveal the results of its 2019 Girls’ Attitudes Survey on the eve of GCSE results dayIt showed that the majority of girls worry poor exam grades will ruin their future opportunities in life. More than half of girls (52%) say exam pressures affect how happy they are, yet four in five say they don’t get the support they need to manage exam-related stress.

Meanwhile, Childline revealed there were 1,141 counselling sessions delivered to children and teenagers in 2018 to 2019, an increasing by more than 50% since 2014 to 2015 – a fifth of these therapy sessions took place in August, when students receive GCSE and A-level results.

Megan, 17, a spokesperson for Girlguiding, said:

“I know this feeling all too well; I sat my GCSEs last year and I spiralled under the stress. I would often cry myself to sleep, choosing between showering or taking another practice test for physics.”

Despite the difficulty many young people experience under an exam-based system like GCSEs, and the need for more 16-year-olds to take up apprenticeships, the majority of those going on to take Level 3 qualifications (about three in five) are doing so via A-levels rather than moving on to a different form of training and education.

To see a genuine shift in careers advice, everyone needs to be on board

In the whole of the Guardian’s live report of GCSE results day, for example, there was just one mention of a 16-year-old school leaver going on to an apprenticeship.

This anecdotal reporting plays out in the statistics too. While 82% more people aged 25 and above are now doing higher-level apprenticeships at Level 4 and above, apprenticeship starts for 16- to-18-year-olds continue to fall, and Level 2 starts (one of the key levels for those leaving school after GCSEs) have dropped by more than 50% since the apprenticeship reforms were introduced in May 2017.

It seems doubtful – given the stress and angst the system clearly causes for many – that 16-year-olds are so excited about another two years of classroom learning and exams they won’t consider any other option.

What seems more likely is that the people who matter – parents, schools and employers – aren’t promoting apprenticeships as a post-GCSE option as best they could.

This could start earlier in the classroom: Talking about GCSE results as a potential bridge to Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships as well as A-levels and jobs from the word go, rather than later in the process; explaining how a Level 2 apprenticeship could now lead to Levels 3, 4 and above, all with a salary; the job prospects and employability of apprentices (with their hands-on work experience) compared to young people who only have exam results under their belts.

Teachers could be promoting the advantages of Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships to parents too, again early on in their children’s education, and presented as an equal to the option of A-levels. But they can only do this if they’re sufficiently knowledgeable about these advantages, and about the range of Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships on offer.

Employers could help them – and help themselves secure the interest of students considering leaving school after GCSEs – do this by engaging with schools earlier.

The School Leaver Conference is just one way that employers and education professionals can come together to improve their knowledge and awareness of the early careers landscape, and foster new relationships and existing partnerships. If we want more young people to see the value of options other than A-levels, we must try harder.

Three Questions to Ask Your Clients When They Feel Overwhelmed by Career Choices
June 6, 2019
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“Do what you love” is career advice that’s easy to give, but notoriously hard to follow.

For one thing, we can’t always accurately predict what kind of job we’ll love until we’re actually doing it. For another, we may love doing a lot of things: solving math problems, helping others, interior decorating, eating pie, playing with dogs. That doesn’t exactly help narrow down the field.

“Asking clients what do you want is in many ways the wrong question,” Sheena Iyengar, a Columbia Business School professor and author of The Art of Choosing, said at the Indeed Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, this May. “You get a bazillion options.”

There are far better queries that can be made when trying to choose a career path, according to Iyengar’s research. Here are three questions to ponder in order to help clients select the profession that’s right for them, whether they’re preparing to enter the workforce for the first time or mulling a career change.

Read more

The Classic Career Advice You Shouldn’t Forget, According to Oprah
October 24, 2018
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Oprah threw out some serious wisdom to the 2018 class at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s recent commencement ceremonyOprah Winfrey

She started off her address to the world’s future writers, journalists, reporters, and speakers with the bad news: A lot’s going on in the world, and it’s not all great. The good news, she joked: “Many of your parents are probably taking you somewhere special for dinner tonight.”

Of course, the real good news she had for everyone in the audience was that “there really is a solution” to all our problems, and the solution is “each and every one of you.” (What else would you expect from the woman who, off-handedly, mentioned she’s been speaking to audiences for 25 years, ran the highest-rated daytime talk show, and has never missed a day of work in her life out of 4,561 episodes.)

But the meat of her speech—the part that had me thinking about my own career—was about old lessons becoming new again. Read more

Five Ways to Boost Social Mobility Through Skills
September 20, 2018
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A new report from the 5% Club calls for a bigger role for work experience in schools and colleges. By George Ryan 

Improving the quality of work experience and careers advice in schools and colleges is critical to enabling social mobility, a new report states.

 
The 5% Club is a membership organisation of employers committed to increasing the number of “earn and learn” skills training opportunities, including apprenticeships. In its new Playing to our strengths: Unlocking social mobility for economic good report, the organisation sets out a number of measures it believes would increase social mobility in the UK through changes to the skills system. Here is a summary of their recommendations:
1. Links between schools, colleges and employers need strengthening

Employers should develop strong links with schools and colleges in deprived areas and increase the access young people in those areas have to workplaces, mentors and work experience.

Read more

11 Words of Careers Advice from Richard Branson’s Mum
September 19, 2018
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The following article is by Melanie Curtin,  writer and activist whose work has been featured in the Huffington Post, the New York Observer and on the Today Show in Australia. She holds a master’s in communication from Stanford University.

Richard Branson is a force of nature.
In addition to being an actual knight, he is the founder of the Virgin Group, which now controls more than 400 companies. His net worth is $5 billion, which puts him seventh on a list of the wealthiest British billionaires. Plus, he’s known for being a compassionate boss and an icon of entrepreneurship.
He wasn’t always that successful, though.

As a boy, he struggled with dyslexia. In a blog on the subject, he wrote a letter to his younger self, saying:

“I know you’re struggling at school and I wanted to give you some advice on how to become the best you can be, even when it’s difficult and you feel like the world is against you. You should never see being different as a flaw or think that something is wrong with you. Being different is your biggest asset and will help you succeed.”

Embrace his difference he did. As a teenager, he named his company “Virgin” because he lacked real experience in business.He’s not a virgin anymore.But no one is an island (even if they own a private one). The fact is, the mentors and influences we have growing up have a profound influence on who we become. And Richard Branson had a major advantage in that department: his mother, Eve.Eve Branson was just as much of a force of nature as little Ricky.

For example, once, on the way home from a shopping trip, Branson’s mother left him alone in the countryside. She gave him basic instructions on how to find his own way home, then left.He was 5 years old. In his words:

“[It was] about three miles through the countryside [to get home]…. She was punishing me for causing mischief in the back seat, but she was also teaching me a larger lesson about overcoming my disabling shyness and learning to ask others for directions.”

Read more

Careers Advice for Parents

Careers advice for parents is a website developed by Carolyn Parry, the CDI’s Careers Adviser/Coach of the Year in 2017 and Project Associate (Wales).

There is a wealth of useful free material addressed to parents (use the Topics and Blog menus) as well as the course for teenagers, which requires a paid subscription.

Visit the website HERE

 

 

ViewPoint: Ensuring Young People Have the ‘Best Possible’ Careers Advice by Anne Milton
August 8, 2018
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As the Department for Education announces plans to take action against schools that aren’t complying with the ‘Baker clause, Anne Milton urges providers to contact her directly with their experiences, and outlines what else the government is doing to ensure young people have the best possible careers advice. 

 

Last March I wrote in FE Week about how important it is that schools and colleges let students know about all the amazing opportunities in technical education and apprenticeships there are after GCSEs.

It’s not just about higher education, and I’m determined to continue changing that perception. I don’t want one route to a career to be considered better than any other. A levels and full-time academic degrees at our world class universities are right for some people. But for others, T Levels, apprenticeships, or level 4 or 5 qualifications can give them the skills they need to get the jobs they want.

GCSE and A level results days are just round the corner. Young people across the country are making important choices about their future. The significant role parents, colleges and schools play in those choices is clear. They can really have a big influence on the people looking to them for guidance and support. After all, it is their responsibility too.

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Victoria Australia: Students to Receive Careers Advice from Year 7
July 30, 2018
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Every Victorian student will receive careers guidance from the age of 12 as part of a state government overhaul of careers education.

The changes will be rolled out next year after a review commissioned by the Education Department found careers education started too late in government schools, varied in quantity and quality and did not provide enough meaningful work experience.

Year 11 student Wren Gillett thinks careers education is offered too late in Victorian schools

“Career education must begin earlier than Years 10 to 12, and it must reflect the fact that students’ needs evolve as school progresses,” the plan states.

From next year, Year 7 and 8 students will take part in mandatory “career self-exploration workshops”, where they will assess their strengths, set goals and discuss different jobs.

When students reach Year 9 they will undertake online psychometric testing to see what jobs they might be suited to, and then receive one-on-one career guidance.

Wren Gillett, a Year 11 student at Upwey High School, said the biggest problem with careers education was that it started too late.

It’s often not touched on until Year 10, the same year Victorian students choose their VCE subjects.

“It starts too late in the curriculum,” Miss Gillett said. “Students are choosing subjects for breadth, rather than depth.”

The Victorian Student Representative Council executive member, who recently gave evidence at a parliamentary inquiry into careers education, said the poor timing of careers advice meant some students didn’t complete the subjects required for their desired university courses.

Read more