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This valuable piece of work collects together lessons learned and observations from ‘the other side of the fence’. It’s a very useful insight into how providers feel in the commissioning process and gives an insight into approaches that can achieve better outcomes for commissioners, beneficiaries and providers, and improved value for money.
In July 2016, the University of Derby published a briefing paper setting out the background, evidence and key issues relating to professionalism in careers work in England. The work is produced on behalf of Careers England and the Career Development Institute (CDI), but the paper does not represent the policy of either organisations.
The paper highlights how the range of activities that careers professionals are engaged in has broadened over recent years and is now codified in the National Occupational Standards: Career Development (NOS:CD). Recent work at a European level has helped to clarify these roles and to communicate them in an accessible way. The Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE) has set out a typology of the activities that comprise the skill base of the careers professional. This is conceptualised as five distinct roles which a professional may combine or specialise in. The paper describes them as:
- Career information and assessment expert. Helping individuals to assess their own strengths and connect them meaningfully to the labour market and the education system.
- Career educator . Using pedagogic approaches to develop individuals’ career management skills.
- Career counsellor . Using counselling and advice work approaches to help individuals to understand their situation and to progress in the labour market and education system.
- Programme and service manager . Works with individuals and organisations to design and deliver career development programmes.
- Social systems intervenor and developer . Uses networking, consultancy and advocacy skills to develop organisations and systems and help individuals to succeed within them.
It highlights that the continued professionalisation of the careers development sector remains an ongoing project. Publications from the CDI such as Career Guidance in Schools and Colleges: A Guide to Best Practice and Commissioning Career Guidance Services and the Framework for Careers, Employability and Enterprise Education – have helped to support the work being undertaken in schools and colleges. If the profession is to continue to develop it will need to successfully address the following issues.
- Engage policymakers and persuade them that career development professionals are critical for the achievement of a range of policy goals.
- Grow public understanding of the nature of the profession. This could include providing the public with more information about what professional careers support would offer them and what to look for when they are trying to access it.
- Ensure that the initial training routes for both career advisers and career teachers/career leaders in schools are strengthened and that they have the necessary capacity to meet the need for the profession.
- Continue to develop the profession in line with the new challenges thrown up by the contemporary world. These challenges are likely to include rapid change within the labour market, technological developments and a range of demographic changes. In response to these changes the profession is likely to need to increase its focus on new technologies, group work, consultancy skills and the use of labour market information within initial and continuing training and professional education. The NICE framework offers a strong conceptualisation of what such a twenty-first century careers professional should have mastery over. While this conception aligns well with the NOS:CD there is a need to further embed this kind of expansive conception of the career development professional role across the sector.
- Carefully monitor the demographics of the profession to ensure its longevity. The sector’s training capacity has declined in recent years and it is likely to be important to look at ways to encourage more people to train as career development professionals over the medium term if the profession is not to face skills shortages.
To read the paper in full click here Click Here