June 16, 2019 dmh


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JUNE 2019

BRIEF SUMMARY OF dmh associates



Plans are well underway to host dmh associates first International Conference in central Birmingham, England on 10 October 2019. We hope you will join us! The aim of this one-day conference is to bring together practitioners, academics, policymakers and technology innovators from the UK and further afield to focus on career development policies, research and practice that makes a different to individuals, communities and our economy. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, international expert in careers policy, research and practice
  • Dr Reineke Lengelle, Assistant Professor interdisciplinary studies at Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada and researcher at The Hague University of Applied Sciences
  • Emeritus Professor Hubert Hermans, Dutch psychologist and Creator of Dialogical Self-Theory
  • Liane Hambly, co-author of ‘Creative Career Coaching’ and inspirational educator of career development professionals
  • Professor Graham Attwell, international adviser on the use of ICT, labour market intelligence (LMI) and learning analytics
  • Nick Chambers, CEO, and Dr Elnaz Kashefpakdel, Head of Research, Education and Employers, London leading on international research and developments in primary and post-primary schooling.

Highly interactive workshop sessions include the following themes:

  • Digital advancements in national and European careers services
  • Career coaching, philosophy and narrative counselling
  • Career guidance, vocational and technical education
  • Schools and employer engagement work in primary and post-primary education
  • Changing identities in a modern world, including higher education developments
  • The evidence-base underpinning careers support services
  • The future of work and lifelong guidance in the workplace.

Delegates attending will receive a resource pack including materials and activities that can be applied in practice with copies of all presentations. To enable us to plan well for this forthcoming conference please click on this link below to register for a place at the event: 

The conference fee for participants: £135 plus VAT for non-students and £60 plus VAT for students. Places will be allocated on a first-come first served basis. The full programme will be published shortly. Call for poster sessions: If you would like to communicate your work via a poster, particularly students studying in the field of career development, please let us know. Also, those wishing to exhibit at the conference – Email: [email protected]



Special Issue of the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling – Happiness and Wellbeing

The British Journal of Guidance and Counselling has published a Special Issue, co-edited by Emeritus Professor Hubert Hermans and Prof. Frans Meijers, on ‘Happiness and Wellbeing’ as part of its International Symposium Series. The editorial is based on ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ and is now available –

This article and Special Issue are published as a special tribute to Frans in memory of his precious gifts to the world.

Career-Related Learning in Primary Schools

Primary Futures, Ballysally Housing Estate, Northern Ireland


In March 2019, dmh associates brokered the first Primary Futures event to be held in Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, N. Ireland. Deirdre grew up in the 1970s in Coleraine during ‘the troubles’ and over the years she recognised an urgent need to find ways of broadening children’s horizons from an early age. This is crucial, particularly in areas where there are high levels of disadvantage. We involved parents, teachers, employers, volunteers and careers professionals (including the Head of NI Careers Service) in the process. Watch this video and hear from the children, parents, teachers and volunteers at the event in Ballysally Housing Estate:

Geoff Dunn MBE, Principal who jointly organised the event is seen here introducing an engineering apprentice from NI Electricity Networks, commented:

“As a school we continually are seeking to be innovative, creative and inspiring to the children and families in our care.  The future is very much unknown. Research states that 60% of jobs for new our Primary 1 children have not even been thought of! I believe wholeheartedly that children need the necessary skills to be equipped and to be ready for the jobs of the future. However, I also believe that children need to be exposed to the world of work, as new technology gathers pace. To this end, the Primary Futures initiative and concept has greatly enabled us to connect education and the world of work.  We know that the seeds of hope have been planted.’

 In a first for ‘Primary Futures’ led by Education and Employers, London, a calendar featuring drawings completed by the children will be sent into every child’s home on the housing estate with a clear message to parents and carers that children have hopes, dreams and aspirations that need to be nurtured. For more information on the work of Education and Employers visit:


CAREERS WALES – Working Wales

In early May 2019,Deirdre was delighted to join the Minister for Economy and Transport (Ken Skates) and colleagues from the Welsh Assembly Government and Careers Wales at the official launch of a new major Working Wales initiative #changeyourstory –

Minister Skates explained how Working Wales should make it easier for individuals to get the right support at the right time to meet their needs. The new service will simplify access, tailor advice and join up available support to help people reduce and overcome barriers to getting into work. This will deliver an all-Wales entry point for individuals aged 16+ which will complement existing support networks throughout the whole of Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government and Careers Wales, commissioned Deirdre as an international expert careers consultant, to help co-develop the initiative focusing on diagnostic assessment approaches and the training of practitioners in various locations around Wales. More on this exciting initiative as Working Wales unfolds!

For more information:

Scottish Government – Careers Strategy Update



In our last newsletter we outlined how the Scottish Government is developing a new careers strategy with key stakeholders. The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, signalled his intention for a new careers strategy to be published in September 2019. The new strategy will look at equity of access to careers information, advice and guidance and quality of service, with a specific focus on adults – both in work and unemployed – ensuring careers provision is both flexible and responsive to the ever changing labour market conditions. Working groups are established and in early June colleagues met to focus on Scottish policies and practices supporting disabled young people and adults.

Skills Northern Ireland 2019

Deirdre chairs Skills NI and since its inception on average 6,581 students per year have attended this major annual Skills Show. Last year, students had an opportunity to engage with 70 exhibitors, including major employers and universities from across the UK. A Strategic Board meeting was held on 6th June 2019 in Belfast. Plans are now well underway for this year’s event which will take place on 20th -21st November 2019. For more information on how to get involved in this year’s event visit: –

dmh associates and partners will be undertaking a major survey of young people’s career choices (building on last year’s report) – The Edge Foundation will host a roundtable meeting in Belfast later this year to discuss key findings.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @Skills­­_NI Facebook: @SkillsNorthernIreland


Evaluation and Impact Assessment

Derby City Council, supporting the Opportunity Area Programme funded by the Department for Education (DfE) – – has commissioned a new and exciting ‘Career-related learning in Primary Schools’ initiative in 37 schools in Derby. Partners working on this include: Education and Employers, Learn by Design, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Forum Talent Potential and dmh associates. To find out more about the project -visit:

The overall aim is to inspire children and connect primary schools in Abbey, Arboretum, Boulton, Chaddesden, Derwent, Normanton and Sinfin with the world of work. It is designed to spark conversations at a wide range of events across the city to help broaden horizons, raise aspirations and open a world of greater possibilities to the children’s, their families and their teachers.

Between May 2019 and July 2020, Deirdre Hughes will lead a research team, including Dr Elnaz Kashefpakdel (Head of Research, Education and Employers) and Karen Adriaanse (Senior Associate and ex-HM Inspector specialising in careers provision) to evaluate and assess the impact of the project We will be focusing on the first hand experiences of children, parents, teachers, employers, volunteers and local community groups. The evaluation and impact assessment will investigate the extent to which the project:

  • Increases pupil’s awareness of career/work opportunities
  • Increases pupils’ understanding of the link between education, qualifications and work opportunities
  • Reduces career/role stereotypes
  • Improves future employability skills
  • Engages parents, carers and the wider community in career-related learning.

Both Deirdre & Karen Adriaanse recently visited 7 “trail blazer” primary schools. Gerard Liston (Forum-Talent-Potential) is leading on the teacher training (CPD) element of the project, supported by Deirdre. By September 2019, 37 primary schools will be actively involved in the project.


Rapid Evidence Review, on behalf of CfE Research, commissioned by NESTA

dmh associates partnered with CFE Research, Leicester who led on a Rapid Evidence Review on  ‘What enables and drives adults in work to learn new skills?’ commissioned by NESTA – This work aimed to answer crucial questions such as:

  • What are the main barriers that prevent adults from participating in lifelong learning?
  • Which techniques have a proven effective in increasing the motivation of adult workers to learn?
  • What are the critical success factors for government policies or interventions for adults in the workplace?


The National Citizen Service has commissioned dmh associates to undertake a higher education impact analysis.

This research is being led by Chris Percy (Senior Associate), supported by Deirdre Hughes.



Building Better Opportunities (BBO) UCan, Dorset


dmh associates continues to undertake an in-depth evaluation of the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) UCan project in Dorset (February 2019 – December 2019). The programme supports organisations in Dorset to tackle the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving employment growth opportunities. It aims to

help the most disadvantaged in local communities. Several meetings took place with staff in Weymouth and Bournemouth, including attendance at a major stakeholders’

event in Bournemouth. Focus group sessions with participants and staff on the project are well underway. Online surveys have been launched to evaluate feedback from participants, employers, stakeholders and the staff responsible for the delivery of the service to the local community. If you want to find out more: email: [email protected]


Copenhagen Conference: Digital Frontrunners: What motivates adults to learn?

Deirdre was invited to speak at the conference on 22nd May 2019 hosted by NESTA (an innovation foundation – and DEA (an independent, non-profit think tank based in Copenhagen, Denmark –

The conference explored the challenges of lifelong learning; from the barriers workers face in participating in learning activities to what drives motivation to learn continuously throughout a career. With a series of presentations and panel discussions, Nesta & DEA, along with guests from around the Digital Frontrunner region considered these critical questions and more. There was some great content presented throughout the day – DEA report online here

Jack Orlick, NESTA, presented findings from the CfE Research ‘Rapid Evidence Review’. DEA shared its latest European research on the barriers workers face in participating in learning activities. The conference invited policymakers and experts to work with us to help turn the findings from these research pieces into practical recommendations for government and practitioners.

“Deirdre’s expertise and long-standing experience have been integral to helping our team at Nesta to understand what motivates adults to learn new skills. Not only has she contributed valuable knowledge to a report we commissioned, she also led an informative and engaging workshop session at an event in Copenhagen. I hope we have the opportunity to work together again in the near future.” Jack Orlik – Programme Manager, Open Jobs | Research, Analysis and Policy | Nesta


Deirdre will be delivering a keynote presentation on Tuesday 2nd July 2019 ‘Preparing Young People for Work Through Careers and Enterprise Education Forum’ at the Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street London. Details of the event can be found on this link:

Deirdre has also been invited by the Open University to speak at their forthcoming IAG Annual Conference to be held in Milton Keynes on 15th July 2019.

The International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP) invited Deirdre (as part of the Scotland team) to this year’s major careers development policy event to be held in Tromsø, Norway on 17th – 20th June 2019.

33 countries will be represented and detailed Country Reports are openly available here:  –

Have a look to see how other countries approach lifelong learning and career development. Will share further emergent findings later on this website.


dmh associates – Encouraging collaboration and fresh thinking in careers, education and skills policy, research and practice

For further information email: [email protected]   

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