December 31, 2018 dmh


As 2018 draws to a close and we approach the beginning of 2019, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has informed and supported the work of DMH Associates. Reflecting on the year, the lowest point was the tragic loss of my dear friend and work colleague Prof. Frans Meijers. He was an inspirational leader and academic who greatly believed in the human spirit and acts of kindness.

Some brief highlights from 2018 include:

1. Working towards completion of a four-year highly innovative ICT initiative ‘EmployID’ working closely with Public Employment Services across Europe. From this, a new European Consultancy Network has been established to continue our joint work on (i) Social Learning Spaces; (ii) Labour Market Intelligence; (iii) Organisational Development; (iv) Peer Coaching; and (v) Storytelling. When you visit the Consultancy Network website click on the (i)-(v) domains to access some practical resources and further information.

2. The National Centre for Guidance in Education (Ireland), on behalf of Léargas, invited Deirdre Hughes and Trevor Carson to co-chair a European Transnational Seminar Series on ‘The Development of Evidence-Based Practice in Guidance Services in Schools. Building on this, further training and development work is planned in the UK in 2019. The People’s Powerhouse invited Deirdre to address a major conference in Leeds where the state of careers support services for young people and adults was considered. Caroline Flint reminded us all of the need to achieve the right balance between online and offline local careers support services. Joseph Rowntree talked about reaching out to vulnerable adults and families in local communities. Clearly, adult education is a major lever in this regard – see: ‘Adult Education: Too Important to be Left to Chance‘ and ‘Adult Education: Important for Health and Well Being‘.

3. Have a look at this short video that captures the voices of young people, teachers, employers and careers advisers — https://vimeo.com/264212549. Deirdre continues to work with the West Midlands Combined Authority on an All-Age Careers Offer with a forthcoming conference planned in early March 2019. She is also working with the DfE and Behavioural Insights Team on a randomised control trial on careers information – more on this in 2019.

4. Seeing the original idea of Career Clusters (highlighted in Deirdre’s earlier work as part of  London Ambitions) becoming a reality. A major conference, orgainsed by the GLA, brought together everyone involved in a celebration of achievements. Later in the year, the Careers and Enterprise Company announced they would fund selected Career Hubs.

5. This year over 6,o00 young people in Northern Ireland attended Skills NI 2018.  A  survey of ‘Career Choices: Young People in Northern Ireland connected with young people in schools and colleges between the age of 14 years old to 19 years old. We found out more about their views of the world of work, the opportunities available to them, and what they think their future might look like. Further work is planned in 2019.

6. CareersNet was created by Cedefop to collect comparable and reliable information on a European scale in the field of lifelong guidance and career development issues. The gathered information and analysis aims at identification of gaps and solutions, beyond a snapshot of national guidance systems. Deirdre was appointed as the UK expert in Lifelong Guidance. The OECD also formally appointed Deirdre to join their register of national experts s part of a Framework contract for intellectual services relative to work-based learning and vocational education and training.

7. The Welsh Assembly Government commissioned DMH Associates to undertake a review of national, EU and international diagnostic and profiling systems. This is part of reshaping employability support within a new programme, ‘Working Wales’, from April 2019.  Deirdre Hughes is acting as ‘an expert adviser/critical friend’ to Careers Wales and the Welsh Government in the planning and design of the Gateway initiative. Deirdre will begin work in early 2019, on behalf of the Scottish Government, as an expert adviser in a major review of careers provision in Scotland. This builds on earlier work, including a review of all-age careers provision in Ireland on behalf of Minister Bruton, lead by Indecon (Ireland).

8. Careers advice for adults: £9 saved for every £1 spent – more work is planned in 2019 investigating the impact of various career interventions adopted by professionals working with young people and adults.

9. A Framework for Individual Steps developed in association with Adviza and PEF Impetus. Look out in early 2019 for a new theory-based approach to working effectively with young people in need of intensive support.

10. What Works? Career-related learning in primary schools – The Careers and Enterprise Company now intend to extend their work into Primary Schools. They will be investing £2million in developing and extending careers-related learning in primary schools. Deirdre has worked closely with colleagues at Education and Employers Research in researching this topic. A further publication supported by Teach First is planned in early 2019.

Finally, as we approach 2019 we will all be aware of the media coverage and plight of migrants seeking to make a new start to their lives. As Co-Editor of the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling (International Symposium Series) we will be publishing a Special Issue in February 2019 on

 ‘Migration: theory, research and practice in guidance and counselling’ – Vol. 47. Issue No.1.


We wish you all the very best for the coming year!

Deirdre and DMH Associates Colleagues


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