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Career Service Policy


Given then, what we know about the way labour markets operate, and the career behaviours needed to survive and thrive in and between 'new' organisations, how can career services best be organised to for both individual and public good?

This is much discussed in popular media, in policy fora and in academic literature. In all three areas, it is illustrative to consider:

a) who is speaking? how are they positioned?

b) who are they speaking to?

c) what is the purpose of the communication?

Lets look at some examples.

Activity: Policy watch

There is plenty of recent media coverage on current UK career guidance policy, particularly for young people. Here are a selection of links for you to browse. You may also have come across your own that you would like to share, and unpick, via the forum thread, policy watch:

The Guardian

FE Week

The Daily Mail

Organisations also make their press releases and communications available, such as this recent letter from the Career Development Institute to Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP.

Policy Statements from UK government reside within the two departments with separate oversight of provision for young people and for adults:

Department for Education (with provision monitored by Ofsted)

Department for Business Innovation and Skills (which owns the National Careers Council)

In addition, policy analysis documents designed to give short summaries to busy influencers proliferate. Here are some contrasting examples:

Careers England

The Career Sector Strategic Alliance

Education and Employers Taskforce

Consider the interplay between the policy statement, or policy response, and the subsequent reporting.

Reading: The changing UK careers landscape: tidal waves, turbulence and transformation

This article Dr Deirdre Hughes (Former Chair of the National Career Council) offers a more theoretically considered critique. The link takes you to the University of Warwick library record for the relevant journal.

For an international perspective, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted a review in 2004 of career guidance policy in 14 countries. The final report, 'Bridging the Gap' is available as a pdf, and the overall review documentation is collected on this website.

Reading: Bridging the gap/Career Guidance Policies in 37 Countries

An even broader perspective is offered in the paper in your reading pack by Tony Watts and Ronald Sultana which synthesises themes from this and two other reviews in the paper from the International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance..

On the teaching days, we will piece together a timeline of UK policy changes and consider barriers and enablers, winners and losers.

We might also be able to find evidence for some of 'personal career theory' which practitioners, policy commentators and others bring to bear on career development and the labour market. These theories may be tacit, or may be well understood by the individual. In addition, the distinction between 'espoused theory', and 'theories in use' (Agyris and Schon, 1978) can often be in evidence.



Argyris, C. and Schon, D. (1978) 'Organizational learning : a theory of action perspective', Reading, Mass; London (etc.) : Addison-Wesley