The focus of the forum was on the future of careers education advice and guidance for people of all ages. The first half of the morning concentrated on young people in schools. It began with a presentation by Professor Tristram Hooley (iCegs, University of Derby) who talked about the lifelong nature of career development: “it’s no longer about matching”. Somewhat ironically, the presentations that followed went on to describe online matching tools! By the mid-morning break, I felt completely out of touch and asked two experienced people from the sector this question: “When did UCAS take over the world?” To my relief they were also unaware that the UCAS website now holds details of courses in FE at all levels and apprenticeships.
More details of online resources followed – the notable exception was a clear and passionate rebuff by Virginia Isaacs, the new CDI President, who stated “we have enough websites!” She went on to make a plea for personal careers support for clients.
The morning finished with a speech by Sam Gyimah MP, responsible for taking the lead on careers work under the watch of Nicky Morgan. When he spoke enthusiastically about the £20 million given to the Careers and Enterprise Company to encourage best practice in employer engagement with schools, thankfully Baroness Sharp of Guildford who was chairing the session asked if that was in any way meant to replace the £300 million that was cut from careers advice and guidance in 2010 – thank you Baroness!
Dr Barbara Bassot