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Guidance, learning and careers

  • Careers guidance, changing careers and identities
  • Researching and developing LMI for careers guidance
  • Practitioner skills and competences
  • Learning at work

The paths that individuals navigate through education, training and employment are becoming ever more complex. Learning at work increasingly complements more formal education and training as individuals continue to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding across the life-course as part of their evolving careers and broader personal development. Methods of supporting individuals making career, related choices and decisions are a major area of research activity at IER, for which it has developed an international reputation.

Our programme of work ranges from an internationally unique qualitative, longitudinal study into the nature of effective career guidance tracking the career trajectories of the recipients of career guidance, through the research and development of labour market information (LMI) for practice, to the investigation of ICT skills and competencies of practitioners. A substantive area of this work is the application of ICT to support knowledge transfer amongst careers guidance practitioners and their use of LMI. For example, the NGRF website was designed to bring guidance and research together for the benefit for the broad community of career guidance practice.

The aim of our work is to integrate and contribute to knowledge on careers guidance practice and theory with the aim of fostering a dialogue amongst key stakeholders and contribute to policy discussions about the future shape of services and workforce capacity.

International collaboration

A vibrant network of international collaborators has been developed, comprising international academic leaders and researchers in the field. As IER Associate Fellows, they are actively engaged in on-going research collaboration with IER staff. They include:

In addition, Professor Mark Savickas from the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University will be a Visiting Professor at IER in 2014 and will be collaborating with the careers and learning team at IER on various innovations.

Recent publications

Further publications can be accessed from the IER publication pages.

Recent selected projects

Projects have been funded by Government departments, charities and the European Commission. Some recent examples include:

Careers guidance, changing careers and identities

  • Learning for career and labour market transitions (Cedefop, 2012 - 2013) More Details
  • The Key Role of Adaptability in Skills Supply, UKCES (2010 - 2011) More Details
  • Improving Individual Choice in Career Direction and Learning, UKCES (2010 - 2011) More Details
  • Forms of Career Development and Continuing Vocational Training (CVT), European Commission (2008 - 2010) More Details
  • Establishing World Class Careers Education and Guidance in Kent, Connexions Partnership Kent and Medway Limited (2007 - 2010) More Details
  • Enhancing the Capability of Guidance to Add Value to Post-Compulsory Learning, Department for Education and Skills (2002 - 2008) More Details

Researching and developing LMI

  • Developing a careers LMI data tool, Department for Business Innovation and Skills (2012 - 2015) More Details
  • Research and development of a local LMI IT platform, CSWP Ltd (2013) More Details
  • Pilot evaluation of the LMI module, Open University (2013)
  • Development of an Online, Interactive LMI Module, Energy and Utility Skills (2013)
  • Developing a prototype careers LMI database, UKCES (2012) More Details
  • E-learning for parents and careers, Connexions Thames Valley (2011 - 2012)
  • STEM module and LMI, Babcock (2010 - 2011) More Details
  • LMI Updates, Connexions Kent Limited (2010 - 2011, 2012) More Details
  • Review the Extent to which SSC LMI is suitable, accessible and usable in an IAG Context, UKCES (2010)
  • Content Editing and Management of SSC Derived LMI, DMH Associates (2009 - 2010) More Details
  • Quality Standards for Labour Market Information, Skillset (2007 - 2008) More Details
  • Enhancement of the National Guidance Research Forum, Department for Education and Skills (2003 - 2007, with continuation funding) More Details

Practitioner skills and competencies

  • ESRC Seminar Series: Re-framing Service Delivery, Professional Practices and Professional Identities in UK Careers Work, ESRC (2010 - 2012) More Details
  • Continuous Social Learning in Knowledge Networks – MATURE, European Commission (2008 - 2012) More Details
  • PES to PES Dialogue: Profiling systems for effective labour market integration, GHK Consulting (2011) More Details
  • Expert Paper: Ambition 2020: Towards Skills, Jobs, Growth, UKCES (2010) More Details
  • An Investigation into the Skills Needed by Connexions Personal Advisers to Deliver Internet-Based Guidance, CfBT Education Trust (2009 - 2010) More Details

Learning at work

For all the materials developed in this area as part of Alan Brown's ESRC TLRP work see: Learning at work