In 2011 Deirdre Hughes was consulted by the Scottish Government when they were developing the careers strategy “Career Information, Advice and Guidance in Scotland – A Framework for Service Redesign and Improvement”.
The strategy drove the redesign and improvement of career services delivered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). The strategy made a clear commitment to an all-age careers service; that the services people receive should be tailored to their needs; and placed an emphasis on equipping people with the skills they need to manage their careers by developing their career management skills.
Since publication, SDS have worked collaboratively with partners to implement recommendations made in the strategy. The enhanced service has a number of key components including careers advice and guidance in schools, work and job coaches and redundancy support through the PACE initiative. To meet user needs, SDS offer a blended service, delivered through a number of channels. This includes face-to face contact in SDS careers centres and schools, as well as web-based resources (MyWorldofWork), with each designed to be accessible to the target user. Also, to ensure continuous improvement to the careers service, the strategy implemented a self-evaluation process and systems to be in place. The strategy also refers to external reviews of the SDS careers service, which are conducted by Education Scotland.
The careers landscape has modernised and evolved significantly since the publication of the strategy in 2011, but has done so in response to separate policy commitments and service delivery drivers. The most recent of these are a number of cross policy commitments made through the Learner Journey Review.
The Review made two recommendations specific to Careers support in Scotland. Recommendation 1 is that every learner in Scotland has an online learner account to link their skills and attributes to better course choices. This work will start in 2018 and be accessible by the start of 2019. Recommendation 3 states that they will ensure learners in schools, colleges and universities receive a joined up approach to careers information, advice and guidance and the work will start in 2018.
Through the consultation phase of the learner journey review, stakeholders made it clear that the careers sector lacked clarity around roles and responsibilities, was too focussed on young people and lacked a consistent approach to measuring impact and success which can be used to drive equity and quality within the sector. There was significant support for the collaborative development of a new strategy to address these concerns.
The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, signalled his approval for officials to develop a new careers strategy over the course of the next year, with a publication date of September 2019. The new strategy will look at equity of access to carers information, advice and guidance and quality of service, with a specific focus on adults – both in work and unemployed – and ensuring the careers service is flexible and respondent to the ever changing labour market conditions.
Deirdre is once again in being part of the development of this new strategy in a critical friend role.
The Scottish Government have recently released the following report :