Early career network Handshake (@joinHandshake) is today (2 Jun) announcing the Careers2030: Designing the Future of Early Careers event, a free CPD course for careers services professionals.

Running from 28th June to 15th July, Careers2030 is a free to attend, accredited event for emerging leaders. With the goal of defining the future of the sector and creating a more equitable university to career transition for every student, Careers2030 will bring career services operators together for an interactive Design Thinking Bootcamp to help provide a framework for innovative ideas.

The event will culminate with a virtual celebration and award ceremony where winning teams will receive donations to their institution of £1,500 per person to implement their vision.

The judging panel for Careers2030 includes sector luminaries such as Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer at ISE, Zuleikha Chikh, President at UCLan Students' Union, Greg Wade, Higher Education Policy Adviser at Universities UK and Debbie McVitty, Editor at Wonkhe.

Design Thinking – already being implemented at leading companies like Apple, Microsoft and Nike as a tool to drive thinking around innovation – is an iterative process that aims to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems, producing a solution-based approach to solving problems. Participants will use this structure to present their vision of the future of the HE careers sector.

Careers2030 is launching in the wake of Handshake’s recent Series E funding announcement, which saw the company raise $80m from investors. The event is one element of the company’s pledge to invest part of the funding back into the UK higher education sector, supporting universities’ post-Covid recovery.

Clare Adams, Head of University Success, UK at Handshake, said:

“In the last year, it’s been even harder than usual to give careers services staff time away from their desks to reflect on their practice. With budget cuts and restrictions still in place, professional development can end up taking a backseat. That’s why Handshake is helping to create that space by providing funding and a framework for CPD via Careers2030. Making the process of finding a meaningful career fairer for students regardless of their background is a crucial component of a just and even post-Covid recovery, and we will need to call on the insight and experience that careers services professionals have in order to help make the future brighter for every young person.”

Greg Wade, Higher Education Policy Adviser at Universities UK, added:

“The HE careers sector has faced a huge array of challenges in the past year, but professionals know that you have to keep one eye on the future in order to support students and recent graduates effectively. This kind of CPD can be invaluable for helping future leaders do their part in tackling pervasive problems like equality of opportunity upon leaving university, which is why Universities UK is proud to be involved with Careers2030.”

University staff are able to learn more, sign up or to nominate someone to attend at joinhandshake.co.uk/careers2030

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