Welcome to Space4Careers

Welcome to Space4Careers, the blog of the Centre for Career & Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University. This blog does what it says on the tin, it provides an opportunity for anyone who is interested in all aspects of careers work to find a little bit of space in their busy lives to think about current issues and trends. If you like or dislike, agree or disagree with what you see, please respond and let us have your views. We'd love to hear from you.

Please note, the content of this blog represents the views of the individual blogger, not those of

Canterbury Christ Church University.

View the website for the Centre for Career and Personal Development

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Careers on the political agenda!

Well done Esther McVey MP for getting an adjournment debate in the House of Commons (13 January 2011) on the subject of careers advice in schools. This was set in the context of the wider debate about careers advice for all ages. It was heartening to find that many MPs recognise the need for young people to get high quality, impartial careers advice from professionally qualified Careers Advisers.

Several MPs raised questions about the transition to the new all-age service, specifically about how it can be staffed when so many advisers face redundancy as a result of spending cuts in local authorities. John Hayes, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, was there to respond. I would like to quote from an exchange towards the end of the debate:

Andrew Miller: Given that the Connexions company locally has effectively been told to wind itself up, it will, by necessity, have to put people on notice of possible dismissal

Mr Hayes: Local authorities will retain a duty to provide the service and the new all-age service will begin to kick in from this autumn, so any hiatus of the kind that the hon. Gentleman suggests is present should not be significant. I hope that local authorities would put in place arrangements to ensure that those people involved could move from one service to the other reasonably seamlessly. If he takes that message to his local authority with my endorsement, it may yield more fruit.

Am I alone in thinking that the Minister is in danger of closing the stable door after the horse has been driven out to pasture? The message to local authorities certainly doesn’t, from what I hear around the country, seem to have got through!

Alison Fielding

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Is it just me .....?

Is it just me, or are others out there questioning the sense in decimating services that in recent years have done exemplary work in supporting the most vulnerable young people in our society?

Of course, I am aware that tough decisions have to be made concerning how money is spent at a time when the UK is facing unprecedented levels of National debt. But.... it seems to me short sighted in the extreme, to cut the very services that have been working tirelessly to encourage disengaged young people to take a more proactive role in our society and make their own contributions to the economic growth of the nation.

I’m left wondering what will happen to the numerous young people who have engaged actively with Connexions PAs . Young people who, to a large extent as a result of the hard work of those dedicated professionals, have been enabled to aspire to an alternative life style. A lifestyle that they might previously have thought impossible or not known how to achieve for themselves.

We should, perhaps, remind ourselves of the key reasons that the Connexions service was developed in the first place. Are those young people most at risk of disengagement, anti-social behaviour, criminal activity, long term unemployment, teenage pregnancy or NEET, simply going to disappear with the services that were formed to support them? I think not. And that is why I would urge all those professionals who have worked so hard, with such dedication to encourage the young people in greatest need, to make changes in their lives, not to be discouraged. Take time to reflect on and celebrate the results that you have achieved. And hold on in there. Your skills and expertise have not become redundant. Sadly, as funding continues to be cut across the public sector, the need for qualified professionals able to engage with the hardest to help in our society, is likely to increase in the next few years, not go away.

Jane Westergaard