From education to employment

Head of Strategy and Development at Careers Scotland tells us about the 4th International Symposium

Experts from around the world will gather in Aviemore this week to discuss the role of careers guidance in increasing employment, boosting economies, and improving people’s wellbeing.

The 4th International Symposium on Careers Guidance and Public Policy comes to the UK for the first time, with more than 100 delegates attending.

Vivienne Brown, Head of Strategy and Development at Careers Scotland took time out from preparing for the event to speak to FE News.

“We will have delegates from 33 countries ““ both developed and developing ““ attending the symposium. Over the course of four days they will hear from a range of speakers and discuss five main themes we see emerging in careers guidance.”

Key speakers at the event will include Gordon Clark of the European Commission, Willy Roe of Highlands & Island Enterprise and Aboubakr Abdeen Badawi, adviser to the Egyptian government. It is hoped that the discussions will inform the development of careers guidance policy around the world.

Vivienne Brown expands: “At the end of the conference each country will take what they have gained from the discussion and draw up an action plan to implement across careers guidance in their country. It is very much about improving the quality agenda for all those countries involved. Many of the delegates attending are civil servants responsible for policy development so this Symposium is a good opportunity to make improvements from the top down.

“The role of careers guidance has never been more important than it is today. Globalisation has changed the face of employment and in order to compete, countries must have a skilled workforce that can quickly adapt to rapidly changing job markets.

Although being held in Scotland the steering group for the symposium is made up of organisations from across the UK including, DIUS, Department of Employment and Learning for Northern Ireland and Careers Wales as well as the Scottish Executive and Careers Scotland.

“Although careers guidance is a devolved policy,” explains Vivienne, “we do work closely together with the other home nations as we share the same challenges ““ a similar labour market, issues such as migrant workers and legislation affecting disability for example.

“ Skills is high up the agenda following the Leitch report and careers guidance plays an important part in that. So we are working together on that aspect and have good contact and collaboration across the UK.

“Ensuring that as many people as possible have the information, motivation and career planning skills they need to pursue and plan their careers throughout their working lives is essential. It’s no longer just about getting a job; but of personal and workplace development for career success, which may include moving on to different career opportunities.”

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