By David Morgan, Chief Executive, Career Development Institute
Posted Mon 4 April 2022 - 14:23

I’m delighted to pen this first in a new series of posts by the Career Development Institute (CDI) for UCAS advisers, exploring the many ways you can support your students with their career development.

As the professional body for career development across the UK, the CDI provides a wide range of services to its members and champions a world where everyone has access to the support they need to achieve a fulfilling career, improving their wellbeing and contributing to the economy and society. That begins during their education, with growing evidence that career conversations as early as primary school can widen the career options considered by young people.

Many people can play a part in helping young people shape their careers but at its heart is individual careers interviews with a professionally qualified adviser. This requires someone trained to at least degree level in a career development qualification – so they have the knowledge and expertise to work with individuals to help them define a career plan that works best for them.

For some, that might be developing a longer-term view of the career they are working towards, with the pathways needed to get there. For others, it may simply be the next step while they continue to explore their longer term direction. And for some, it’s about identifying and overcoming barriers to moving forward, particularly for those in very challenging circumstances.

While careers advisers play this critical role, they work best when part of a wider system. Careers leadership in schools and colleges plays an increasingly important role in developing the careers strategy for the organisation and gaining buy-in across senior leadership, teaching staff and others. Teachers are second only to parents as the biggest influence on young people's careers, so can play a key role in linking the curriculum to potential careers, widening young people’s perspectives of the choices of future work, and encouraging young people to seek the support of careers advisers.

Access to information and experiences of workplaces and different routes beyond school or college are also important, so young people can make the most informed decisions that reflect how they best learn and what they want to achieve.

The CDI are highly supportive of this whole-system approach to careers provision in schools and colleges, which is why we’re the largest provider of careers leader training in England, have developed the Career Development Framework for primary, secondary and post-16 students, carry out projects for the Welsh Government and Careers Wales on careers and work-related experiences, and champion policy across governments that offers comprehensive support to young people.

I’m delighted that the CDI is working with UCAS to share best practice, ideas, and examples of great careers support through these monthly posts. To kick this off, John Walker of Peninsula Training and a CDI Associate, presented a webinar focused on the need for strategic leadership in careers work. He considered the skills needed by careers leads to ensure effective outcomes are achieved for students. We were delighted that so many UCAS advisers joined the session, which is available as a recording.

Through these posts and future webinars, we will show how career development can help young people prepare for their life beyond school and college. Our aim is to encourage you to engage with the careers strategy in your organisation, feel prepared to support your young people and engage them with the careers provision available.

We aim to cover many different aspects of career development in schools and colleges, and if you have any areas you’d particularly like us to cover please email me at the address below.

David Morgan

To learn more about the work of the CDI, please visit our website.

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