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

Monday, 19 November 2012

CCPD presentation in Mannheim

Drs Hazel Reid and Barbara Bassot from the Centre for Career and Personal Development recently attended a three-day conference at Mannheim University in Germany.  The Conference was run by the International Association of Educational and Vocational Guidance and had an audience of over 500 delegates.  They came from all over the world - many from European countries.  The conference title was “Career Guidance for Social Justice, Prosperity and Sustainable Employment, challenges for the 21st Century”.  Mannheim was chosen as the venue as it was the 40th anniversary of the careers guidance course at that university.
The Water Tower, Mannheim
A keynote speech that stood out at the conference was by Professor Ronald Sultana from Malta who spoke on Social Justice.   Professor Sultana highlighted some of the many challenges for career guidance practitioners in promoting equality.
Professor Ronald Sultana, University of Malta

Hazel and Barbara had been invited to present their Model of The Career Thinking Session.  This model offers a reflective space for clients to challenge and question their limiting assumptions about their own career development.  Barbara and Hazel outlined their model and shared the results of recent pilot research into its use.  A question and answer session followed their presentation. 
Barbara said:  A very vibrant discussion followed our presentation.  Audience members were very interested in the model and how it could apply in their own work settings.”   One delegate said that they found the model “absolutely inspirational”.

Hazel Reid added:  We will now be putting further articles forward to disseminate this research more widely.”

For more information about all our work please see details of publications on our website at  www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/ccpd
Rebecca Tee

A mild case of Bubonic Plague

Recently, when I was feeling slightly unwell with various symptoms that do not usually appear together, I looked them up on a ‘Diagnose Yourself’ website. I was able to click on a diagram of a body to show where each symptom appeared and then indicate what the symptom was. After only a moment, I had a list of possible complaints to choose from.
I felt rather like ‘J’, the narrator of ‘Three Men in a Boat’ (one of my favourite books), who looked through a medical dictionary and concluded that he ‘had everything except Housemaid’s Knee’. He had to go to the library to look this up, but I was able to get my diagnosis on my laptop while sitting in front of the fire at home.

So, how is this relevant to Careers work?
I see a direct parallel between my experience of finding out about my medical condition, and someone searching for information about careers. In the past they would have had to go to a Careers Library, usually in a Careers Centre, School or College, where there would be someone to help them find the information they needed.

Now, it is so easy to look things up online, and young people particularly prefer this means of finding information.  There is almost limitless information available at the click of a mouse. Surely this must be a good thing? Well, yes, but it is often nearly impossible to know how accurate, unbiased and up-to-date online careers information is, and if decisions are made on the basis of inaccurate information, it could have far reaching consequences. Much better that someone is signposted to a trustworthy source of online information – and this requires intervention from ‘someone who knows’, preferably a careers professional.

At a time when the Government is indicating that much of the Information, Advice and Guidance provided by the new All-age service will be online, my concern is about how accessible this will be, and who will be providing the IAG. For me, unmediated careers information is possibly even more dangerous than no information. When people are making decisions which may affect their whole lives, we should not settle for less than the best.

Oh, and my mild case of Bubonic Plague cleared up without treatment the next day.
Alison Fielding

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Jane Westergaard's Danish Book

Jane Westergaard, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Career and Personall Development, today gave a seminar on a live link from Canterbury Christ Church University direct to career guidance students sitting in their lecture theatre at Aarhus University in Denmark. Jane outlined her FAAST model which provides a chronology for planning, preparing and delivering personal learning and development group work.

Jane was asked to give this seminar after the course tutor at the Danish School of Education at Aarhus University heard Jane speak at a conference in Bangalore in India in 2010. At her workshop at this conference, Jane outlined the FAAST model as described in her book “Effective Group Work with Young People” published by the Open University. Realising how useful the book would be for her learners, she encouraged its translation into Danish and also invited Jane to address the students.

Jane introduced the model on a live link-up though an interactive session and then the students, who are all Danish trainee career counsellors, went to put the model into practice. Jane said: “This model helps people who have to run group work sessions to feel confident that they have comprehensively thought through their sessions and that they have an effective plan to use which meets the needs of the group.”

One reader said: “Jane’s book has transformed the way I approach and deliver my group sessions with clients. It is an accessible read and the model really works.”

For more information about all our work and publications see our website at www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/ccpd

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

On the move in 2013

The Centre for Career and Personal Development will be moving to the Medway Campus of Canterbury Christ Church University from September 2013.  This is in preparation for the proposed sale of the Salomons Campus.  Although there will be a University presence at Salomons for some time, there may not be sufficient space or facilities to deliver the quality of teaching or student support that we are known for. 

Medway Campus, Canterbury Christ Church University

The impressively refurbished setting of the Medway Campus in the Chatham Historic Dockyard is an exciting prospect for the Centre although we will be sad to leave Salomons after 13 years. We are confident that the Medway Campus will be an ideal setting for the development of existing and new programmes, courses and research - all of which promise an exciting new chapter for CCPD.

In the meantime we will be supporting any students who may be affected by the move in 2013 and will work to minimise any disruption or inconvenience.  Our email contacts will not be changing and our website  http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/ccpd/   and this blog will give regular up-dates on the transition and developments within the Centre.

Hazel Reid
Director of the Centre for Career and Personal Development

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Boost to career prospects with a student loan for CCPD programmes

For the first time new students beginning their part-time course on or after 1 September 2012 won’t have to pay any tuition fees up front and will instead be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan.  The Tuition Fee Loan isn’t based on household income and there’s no upper age limit for applying.

This means that for potential students who are not high earners, there has never been a better time to enrol on a part-time course.  Although tuition fees are at their highest level ever, student loans to cover the full fees are available.  These loans need not be repaid until the course has finished and until earnings are over £21,000 per year.  Most part-time students will be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan.

One programme which qualifies for such a loan, run by the Centre for Personal and Career Development at CCCU, is the Foundation Degree in Supporting Young People. For applicants who do not already have a qualification at this level, applications can be made for a loan to cover the full cost of the fees while the student is studying.  Students only have to repay the loan once they have completed the two year part time programme (three years to obtain the full BA Degree) and are earning over £21,000 per year.  Full details about this course are available on our website at www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/ccpd

Students studying on the Foundation degree

For those with a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, extra help may be available through Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).

Helpful information is available at the Government’s Direct Gov website

For more details of the Student Loan scheme including eligibility rules and how to apply, visit Student Finance England.  

Student Finance England:

A Martin Lewis video providing some excellent impartial advice on the changes to student finance for part-time students which is well worth watching:


“Studying part time for a higher education qualification could boost your career prospects, while the flexibility it offers, allows you to balance your studies with personal or family circumstances and work commitments.”

Student Finance England

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Centre for Career and Personal Development offer new online course

The Centre for Career and Personal Development at CCCU is currently recruiting for a new type of career guidance course.
The Certificate in Career Guidance and Development is now available through the ‘e-learning’ option of studying solely through their pc.   This is an online version of the popular course which is now available to people anywhere.   This is aimed at careers practitioners who need to boost their qualifications to meet the Level 6 requirement.  It covers the underpinning theory for the new work-based Level 6 qualification.  This certificate can also provide a stepping stone to later complete the MA in Career Guidance.
The course covers:
  1. Introduction to reflective practice.  
  2. An overview of Career Guidance theory and its application. 
  3. An overview of Career Development theory and its application.
  4. Approaches to equality and diversity – opportunities and challenges for career guidance practice.
  5. Labour market research, trends and theory. 
And is delivered 100% online through lectures, case studies, discussion groups and tutorial feedback. Assessment involves undertaking two short pieces of work: a Reflective Evaluation of a 1:1 guidance session with a client and  a Report on an aspect of the Labour Market. These are also submitted and marked online.
Access the course materials online through your computer
Alison Fielding and Rebecca Tee, Senior Lecturers at CCPD, said:  “For those wanting to study from home, who want to design their own learning around other commitments and who need to get a Level 6 qualification wherever they live, this e:learning option is ideal.” 
We are recruiting throughout the year.  Contact us for more information about this and any of our programmes and courses: 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Centre for Career and Personal Development recruiting for all courses

The Centre for Career and Personal Development at CCCU is currently recruiting for a wide range of courses in career guidance and allied work.

The Centre offers courses in careers work at every level, from the Certificate in Careers Education and Guidance for careers co-ordinators and the MA in Career Guidance for those wishing to join the Guidance profession. 
For those wanting to study from home, the Centre offers an option of some home and some University study in a ’blended’ course in Career Coaching.  There is also the full ‘e-learning’ option of studying for the Certificate in Career Guidance and Development solely online. 
Recent graduates from the MA in Career Guidance celebrating their success

Hazel Reid, Centre Director said:
“We are proud of the quality of the courses we teach here – together with first class staff, a lively careers community and excellent facilities.  We welcome enquiries from anyone interested in finding out more.” 

Jane Westergaard, Course Director for the Foundation Degree in Supporting Young People, said:  “We teach this innovative course at locations in London, Essex and Kent.  It is a really effective way for non-traditional learners to get themselves a degree based on the work that they do every day with young people.  They study part-time and it gives people a way in to a qualification that fits with their everyday work environment.” 
This programme leads on to the full BA Honours Degree in Supporting Young People after a further year’s study.  Alison Fielding, Programme Director, said:
“It is great seeing people progress in their academic life.  Students in their BA year have the opportunity to undertake a research project and to write about their findings.  There is always an exciting variety of topics that the students choose to research.”
Contact us for more information about any of our programmes and courses: 

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Narrative Career Counselling Workshop

Hazel Reid was invited to give a two hour workshop in Austria in April 2012 at the annual conference of the Bundesinstitut fur Erwachsenenbildung (the Federal Institute for Adult Education  - bifeb).  This took place at their educational headquarters on Wolfgangsee, near Salzburg.  The aim of the conference was to bring together researchers, experts and career guidance practitioners from different sectors of guidance and counselling, in order to encourage discussion and dialogue.  Delegates came from Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Strobl, Lake Wolfgangsee

Career guidance and counselling in Austria is not yet established as a discrete profession, very often it is one activity among others.  The individual professional identities of delegates were diverse and the conference sought to bring these professionals together to discuss their different and similar interests.  The papers and workshops at the conference were concerned with theoretical and practical perspectives that aimed to enthuse those attending. 

Dr Hazel Reid

Hazel’s workshop was entitled:  “‘Telling tales’:  Making narrative approaches count in career counselling”.  In her workshop, participants had an opportunity to learn about the approach and to practise using the techniques and strategies.  A keynote presenter had discussed constructivist approaches in the morning and this provided a useful foundation for the afternoon's activity.  Delegates enjoyed the workshop and as a result, Hazel has been asked to give a keynote presentation to another conference in Vienna in the autumn of 2012.
Rebecca Tee

A Fairer Future - Alison Fielding speaks at International Conference in Sweden

Alison Fielding, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Career and Personal Development, recently presented a paper at Örebro University in Sweden to an audience of international delegates. 

Örebro Castle

The conference, "Marginalisation Processes 2012" was aimed at experienced academics, researchers and doctoral scholars and focussed on the sharing of current research activities.  The conference was run by members of the multidisciplinary research group CCD/KKOM (Communication, Culture and Diversity) at Örebro University and is supported by the Swedish Research Council.

Alison's paper was entitled: "A Fairer Future, in search of new meanings of inclusion for young people - in their own words", based on her research with inner city young people in one of the most deprived boroughs in the country,

Örebro has the first and only upper secondary school for deaf students in Sweden.  The university there has a correspondingly higher proportion of deaf students.  Reflecting this, the conference included specialist translator/signers for the benefit of delegates with hearing impairment.

The Organisers of the Conference

The conference was successful with a stimulating atmosphere and a collaborative approach.  Alison expects to contribute a chapter to a possible book resulting from the event in due course.

Participants attending the Conference

Alison Fielding 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Graduation of Foundation degree Students

Dr Barbara Bassot from the Centre for Career and Personal Development (CCPD) went to share in the celebrations as nine students graduated from the Working with Young People and Young People's Services Foundation degree course recently.  In a ceremony held at Augustine House the students received their Foundation degree certificates and celebrated afterwards with their friends and families. 

Augustine House

Dr Bassot said:  "This is another group of successful students from CCPD and it is a delight to see them reach their goal."
Dr Barbara Bassot
The students  studied  the Foundation degree (designed for those without the usual entry requirements for a degree) and achieved the qualification after two years part-time study on a range of subjects on different aspects of working with young people. These students can now continue for a further year study and achieve a full BA Hons degree in Supporting Young People.

The Centre for Career and Personal Development at CCCU runs two of these popular Foundation degree courses, part-time, in Stockwell and Essex.  Another course may be starting in Kent shortly.

One of the group said:

"We studied many topics to do with our work.  It was all  interesting and well-taught and it has really helped me to develop as a professional in my work with young people."

Another said after the ceremony:  "I never thought I'd ever end up with a degree.  I feel so proud today."

For more information about our Foundation degree in Supporting Young People and other courses, see our website at  http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/ccpd/    or contact Barry Maughan on 01892 - 507662

Friday, 27 April 2012

Senior Lecturers from CCPD speak at Danish International Conference

Academic papers were delivered by two colleagues from the Centre for Career & Personal Development.  Anne Chant and Rebecca Tee spoke at the European Society for Research into the Education of Adults conference held at the University of Southern Denmark last month.  Their papers conveyed key points from their respective doctoral research at CCCU.  Anne Chant’s paper looked at the impact of parental influence on career choice whilst Rebecca Tee’s explored the motivation of school governors. 
Anne Chant
The conference theme was life history and focused on aspects of in-depth autobiographic narrative enquiry which both Anne and Rebecca are using as their methodology for their research.  One of the most impactful aspects of the conference was the array of disciplines that were represented, all using life story and narrative approaches to help to understand the breadth of human experience.
Rebecca Tee
The conference was opened by Nora Bateson from Canada, who showed a film she had produced about her father, Gregory Bateson (1904 – 1980), an English anthropologist and social scientist and author of:  “Steps to an Ecology of Mind” (1972).
Peter Alheit from Germany spoke about his research which delineates the history of biography.  Marianne Horsdal introduced her new book ‘Telling Lives’ and discussed the interface between positivist and constructivist approaches to narrative research, emphasising the importance of narratives to make sense of the temporal world.

Other notable contributions included:

  • Linden West from CCCU – reflecting on transformative learning
  • Jesper Hoffmeyer from Denmark introduced the subject of Biosemiotics.  Countering the ‘either/or’ debate he discussed the interface between science and emotions.  
  • Ian King, a doctoral scholar from CCPD presented a summary of his research which gave us a lot to think about.  We were particularly taken with the metaphor of the ‘quarry’ from which we dig deep for memories of life’s experiences.
  • Laura Formenti from Italy contributed with her ‘myth of birth’ seminar.  She had collected the stories people have of their own births and explored the impact this may have had on those individuals in their relationships and in later life.
This was a memorable and varied conference which illustrated both the power of life stories as a research tool and as an effective conduit for our biological, sociological and emotional journeys.
Anne Chant

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Where's the career guidance in the guidance?

On the 26th March 2012 the DfE published:
The Education Act 2011: ‘The duty to secure independent and impartial careers guidance for young people in schools.  Statutory guidance for head teachers, school staff, governing bodies and local authorities.’
Oh dear, what happened to the consultation – the improvements to the original document?  A well-connected colleague has described the document as ‘dismal’. Here are some more words: miserable, depressing, inadequate, paltry, derisory, meagre, piddling – perhaps I had better stop now.  A bit harsh – justification for such words?  In essence what’s wrong with it has been summarised as:
  • The duty to secure access to independent face-to-face guidance is weak: statement in the previous version that ‘most, if not all, young people would benefit from (such guidance)’ has been removed; now says face-to-face guidance is appropriate ‘where it is the most suitable support for young people to make successful transitions, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who have special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities’.  Who will determine this, and on what criteria?
  • The purpose of career guidance has been restricted to immediate decisions about education and training options:  the development of longer-term career goals does not figure.
  • Encouragement to local authorities to continue to play a role in supporting career guidance in schools has been removed.
  • Review date following consultation on extending the age range postponed from 05/2012 to 03/2013.
  • Section on the Careers Professional Alliance removed: only reference now is that ‘where schools deem face-to-face careers guidance to be appropriate for their pupils, it can (sic) be provided by qualified careers professionals’.
  • Paragraph on careers education removed; only limited paragraph on ‘wider careers activities’ remains.
  • Reference to quality awards and QiCS gone.
  • Paragraph on other learning providers weakened by deletion of sentence on inviting them into the school: only visits and access to prospectuses remain.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Constructing narratives of continuity and change

On Saturday 12th May 2012, a conference entitled "Constructing narratives of continuity and change in the context of a difficult and unpredictable world" is being held at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Tutors working from the Centre for Career and Personal Development, working with other colleagues at the University, are hosting an event that brings together academics, researchers and post graduate students from across many different disciplines.  This landmark occasion includes presentations and workshops that embrace auto/biography and narrative research within education and across a range of disciplines and professional sectors.

Professor Molly Andrews, Professor Laura Formenti and Professor Linden West are the keynote speakers and there are a host of interesting workshops to stimulate and progress ideas around narrative-based research.

Canterbury Christ Church University is home to a lively research group focussed on auto/biographical narrative studies and life history, which brings together a range of academic with particular strengths in education, health and social care studies.  The group contains a substantial cluster of doctoral students who are using these methods to chronicle life stories and theorise change processes in diverse contexts.

Canterbury Christ Church University

If you want to be part of this exciting and motivating day, you can now book your place online and see the full programme of abstracts by clicking on the following link.


Friday, 10 February 2012

Centre for Career and Personal Development academic is Keynote speaker at Australian Conference

Jane Westergaard, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Career and Personal Development flew to the other side of the world recently to give a keynote speech at an international conference entitled:  “My Career, My Community”. 

Jane Westergaard

Held at the University of Ballarat, in SE Australia, the conference was hosted by the Careers Education Association of Victoria and Jane was invited after they heard her speak in Bangalore, India the previous year.

Jane‘s specialist area is personal learning and development through group work.  This is a new concept in Australia and the large audience of careers teachers and advisers were keen to know more about this area of our work in the UK.  Jane gave a Masterclass, spoke in several seminars and facilitated workshops on this topic, helping explain and illustrate its practice.
“It was fascinating to find out about the way careers work is handled in Australia”, said Jane.  “I was made very welcome and the audience at the conference was extremely keen to try out all the group work ideas I shared with them.” 

Rebecca Tee

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Centre for Career and Personal Development host symposium at conference in Padua

In Autumn 2011 academics from the Centre for Career and Personal Development were invited to host a symposium at an International conference entitled:  “Vocational Designing and Career Counselling” at the University of Padua, Italy. 
A stunning venue, this is one of the earliest Universities in the world and the second oldest in Italy.  It still has the same rooms that Galileo knew when he taught mathematics and astronomy here in the early 1600s.
One of the keynote speakers at this well-attended event was Professor Mark Savickas.  Hazel Reid said, “He gave an excellent presentation expanding on his ideas about decision-making and career as part of life.” 
University of Padua
As Jane Westergaard, CCPD Senior Lecturer, observed after the conference: "I felt excited by the move towards career counselling as a broader concept.  The days of 'what do I want to do when I grow up?' are behind us.  Now the focus has to be on 'How do I manage my future effectively?” 
Rebecca Tee