Further Improving the Careers Service for Young People and Adults in Northern Ireland

Further Improving the Careers Service for Young People and Adults in Northern Ireland
November 26, 2021 dmh



The Department for Economy’s Careers Service Northern Ireland has commissioned an independent research project exploring the careers guidance needs of young people and adults. This is led by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, former Chair of Skills Northern Ireland and international careers specialist. The enquiry will engage with young people, adults, education and training providers, employers and policy makers to make fresh recommendations for policy and practice. The research will make an important contribution to understanding what more can be done to personalise all-age careers support and improve accessibility.

The purpose of this call for evidence is to gather the views of key stakeholders, partners and providers on their top priorities for careers support for young people and adults in Northern Ireland over the next five to 10 years.

All Evidence should be submitted via this link

The closing date for this consultation: 14th January 2022.

If you have any questions about the call for evidence please contact, in the first instance, Robert Hughes, Administrator, dmh associates – email: bob.hughes20@btinternet.com

The submissions received by dmh associates will guide the focus on the other research activities, such as telephone interviews and focus group sessions. They will also inform the final conclusions and recommendations in the report to be presented to the Department in mid-February 2022.


The world of work, skills and employment opportunities are rapidly changing. The benefits of careers guidance to individuals can be far reaching, impacting positively on their health and wellbeing, as well as improving their chances of sustained employment. A single or multiple experience(s) of careers support can help create a real taste for personal development and often cascades into families and communities. Current patterns of individual skills’ development across the life-course pose challenges to vulnerable individuals and groups, particularly for those most disadvantaged.

The Department for Economy recently consulted on a new Skills Strategy, ‘Skills for a 10x Economy’ which sets out the long-term vision for skills development in line with our economic ambition.  There are a number of key priorities for workforce skills within the strategy’s key commitments.

Of critical importance will be the role of the Careers Service in supporting the new Skills Strategy to ensure citizens of all ages have access to the services they need in order to make informed career decisions and fulfil their potential, which in turn will provide a supply of skilled people to our local employers. 

Over the next 2 years the Careers Service has been tasked with delivering on the following priorities:

1.Development of a new Careers Portal online, providing a responsive online information hub, supported by a targeted advertising campaign.

2.Explore the timing and mode for Career Guidance provision in schools. 

3.Review targeting to ensure the Service maximises the value of Career Guidance to those who need it most.

4.Continue to build on collaborative working with partners in the Department of Education and the Department of Communities to build a cohesive and flexible Careers ecosystem that providers tailored, evidence-informed Careers Guidance at every life decision point. 

5.Build on Careers partnerships model more widely to increase reach.

Priorities 2 and 3 highlighted above are being taken forward via an independent external review of career guidance delivery led by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE. This work is key and will provide the ‘building blocks’ and research which will shape and inform the policy intent for careers delivery over the next 5-10 years.

The overall focus of the research will be on a wide range of young people and adults who may be in education, out of work, in work, transitioning between roles and those who are older learners. At dmh associates, we intend to address this by analysing both quantitative and qualitative findings that can feed into the Department for the Economy.


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