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Establishing World Class Careers Education and Guidance in Kent (project extension)

Following on from the the successful project Establishing world class careers education and guidance in Kent and Medway (2007-2008) funded by Connexions Kent & Medway, recommendations have been taken forward over a period of three years. Working in partnership with Connexions Kent (2007-2009), the project has continued to: support and build on labour market information (LMI) capacity within the organisation by researching and developing a range of initiatives and products; develop an e-portfolio to support the delivery of CEIAG in schools; and develop an ICT system to support staff training.

LMI workshops

A range of workshops were organised to support practitioners learn more about LMI and discuss how to embed it in practice.

Quality standards: Supporting practitioners use of LMI

Evidence from the scoping exercise revealed that many IAG practitioners and CEG teachers were not confident in identifying and assessing sources of LMI. It was also recognised during discussions with the LMI super-user that it was difficult to determine high quality materials. Quality standards for LMI were, therefore, developed to provide a clear and accessible framework for Personal Advisers to judge the efficacy of LMI and LLMI from varied sources. The document sets out a checklist to support practitioners in researching LMI for their practice, together with an explanation of some of the terms and concepts used. This is included in the 'Work for Tomorrow' resource pack.

'Work for Tomorrow' - an LMI practitioner resource pack

Work for Tomorrow logo

A major outcome of the research has been the development and production of a range of LMI resources in response to the needs of key stakeholders in the delivery of CEIAG in the region, including practitioners, LMI specialists and school representatives. This has followed on from the scoping exercise and in-depth case study undertaken in 2007-2008. A review of existing local LMI materials and sources appropriate to the region using a systematic search and review process was undertaken to identify gaps in available sources. To guide the development of LMI materials and ensure their relevance to practice, an LMI super-user group was formed, including Personal Advisers, senior management and the guidance development officer from Connexions Kent. The LMI super-user group identified the types of LMI needed, useful formats and were consulted throughout the development of the LMI resources. It was ultimately formed to determine local need, plus determine priorities and strategies for increasing awareness of LMI.

The LMI ‘Work for Tomorrow’ practitioner resource pack currently (including work undertaken in 2009-2010) comprises:

  • A guide on how to use the pack and a factsheet for young people
  • LMI data for the South East and all regions, Kent county and local authorities in Kent
  • Teachers LMI resources for occupational sectors (Business, administration and finance; Construction and the built environment; Creative and media; Defence; Engineering; Environment and land-based industries; Hair dressing and beauty; Health; Hospitality; IT; Justice; Languages and international communication; Manufacturing; Retail; Sciences; Social care; Sport and leisure; and Travel and tourism)
  • Quirky careers information sheets (Biosciences; Cosmetology; Environmental conservation; Forensic science; Interactive media; Nuclear; Publishing; Voluntary and charity)
  • Student LMI resources
  • LMI activities & lesson plans and answer sheets
  • Information sheets about Connexions Kent & Medway for young people, parents and carers, resources available from Connexions Kent & Medway locally and nationally, a guide to quality standards for assessing LMI for practice, education statistics for Kent, and Quirky careers information on ‘Interactive Media’.

The LMI practitioner resource pack was been distributed to Connexions Kent Personal Advisers and school representatives involved in the delivery of CEIAG in Kent in November 2008. The feedback gained on both the pack and the LMI launch event has been overwhelmingly positive. Work has continued on updating and extending the resource pack. An important outcome of the research project for practice is that ‘Work for Tomorrow’ has been embedded in the new CEIAG model framework for Kent.

Integrating the use of ICT in careers guidance practice: Careers Constructor

Careerconstructor logo

Career Constructor is the result of three years of research, design and development, with Connexions Kent & Medway on integrating the use of ICT in careers guidance practice. This process has placed emphasis on accommodating the needs of its users, rather than the needs of its users having to be fitted into an existing product. Career Constructor is a bespoke product.

The web-based programme offers:

  • Career Browser – Find out about what you need to know about jobs that sound interesting to you.
  • Career Rating – Is this job hot or not? Browse and rate jobs that catch your attention.
  • Labour Market – Make the facts and figures work for you.
  • My Profile – What do you have to offer? Think about how to present yourself for a course or job.
  • Career Research – Customise your top job list.
  • Making Decisions – Get better at making career decisions.

By bringing together existing sources of information on over 800 jobs from Jobs4u and over 400 videos with interactive career matching and decision making exercises, local LMI searches and customised career research, Career Constructor offers young people a comprehensive web-based career package. Career Constructor, launched in 2010, can be accessed through the Connexions Kent website.

Supporting CEIAG practice: CareersNet Kent

Careersnet Kent logo

CareersNet Kent is a website developed specifically for those working in careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in Kent. The aim of the website is to support continuing professional development (CPD) of Connexions Kent Personal Advisers and all those woring in careers in Kent, including Careers Coordinators, Team leaders and managers.

The website enable users to: find and share resources (such as policy documents, research reports and websites); keep up-to-date with both local news and national CEIAG news; initiate and join in discussions with colleagues across the County; send messages; and get notifications of events and meetings in your area. The website was launched late in November 2010.

LMI updates for 2010-11 for parents and carers

This project is a further extension of the work being carried out by the careers and learning team for Connexions Kent and Medway. It will include the review and updating of all LMI materials in the Connexions Kent 'Work for Tomorrow' practitioner resource pack and the development of new materials where identified by the Connexions Kent LMI champions.

 

Careers award 2009 logo ICG logo IER in partnership with Connexions Kent & Medway won the award for ‘research by an organisation’ at the National Career Awards 2009, organised by the Institute of Careers Guidance. The award was in recognition of the innovative research carried out by IER with Connexions Kent & Medway across Kent on CEIAG delivered in local schools and colleges and the development of the 'Work for Tomorrow' resource pack.

 

NCA2010 ICG logo For the second year running, IER in partnership with Connexions Kent & Medway won a National Careers Award for ‘research by an organisation’. The event was organised by the Institute of Careers Guidance and was held in Leeds. The award was in recognition of the innovative research and development carried out by IER and Connexion Kent on Career Constructor.

 

 

 



Project extensions: 2008 - 2011, 2012 (Follow on from 2007-2008 project)

Jenny Bimrose

Sally-Anne Barnes

Project partners:

Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu

Raymond Elferink, RayCom

Funder:

Connexions Kent & Medway (now known as CXK)

Connexions Kent and Medway logo