October 7, 2019 dmh


Career Development: Identity, Innovation and Impact

It is our great pleasure to update you on the very latest conference plans. If you haven’t registered yet, we cordially invite you to join inspirational and international colleagues at our dmh associates conference 2019.

This will be held at Birmingham’s ‘hidden gem’– Fazeley Studios – central Birmingham, England on Thursday, 10th October 2019. Refreshments will be served from 9.00am onwards. To register:

We are delighted to bring together practitioners, academics, policymakers and technology innovators from the UK, Europe and further afield.


The conference will focus on career development policies, research and practice for young people and adults. We will explore practical ways of harnessing individuals’ talents, skills and learning experiences in fast changing and uncertain labour markets.

We will be exploring the changing nature of identities on a lifelong basis, innovative ways of working with young people and adults in education, training, employment and other community settings. In times of austerity and the impact on services users, there becomes an urgent need to provide evidence on the impact of careers work.

You will also get the chance to hear about a series of recent international policy and research events and your own ‘Resource Toolkit’. It is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate innovative and impactful careers work. We also have a competition for the best poster display on the day – Conference Poster Guidelines (1) with a Bottle of Champagne and gift voucher for the winner.


We will be announcing our ambitious plans to help inspire others to engage in career development policies, research and practice and saying more about what we are doing with our partners on careers work in primary schools, post-primary schools and colleges (city-wide approaches), youth transitions, evidence and impact approaches and adult learning both within and outside of the workplace.



09:00Registration and Refreshments
09:30Welcome – Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE
09:40Keynote – Prof. Hubert Hermans, Emeritus Professor, Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

The pursuit of happiness and development of a dialogical self

10:20Keynote – Liane Hambly, Leading Career Coach/Trainer, England

Career development and coaching: moving from theory into practice

10:30Q & A session
10:45Refreshments and networking
11:00Breakout session 1
12:00Breakout session 2
13:00Lunch and networking
13:50Reflections and learning  – Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE
13:55Keynote – Dr Reinekke Lengelle, Associate Professor, Athabasca University Canada

The joy of career writing: working together to support career identity

14:20Breakout session 3
15:15Refreshment break and networking
15:30Keynote – Prof. Graham Attwell, IER, UK/Spain and Nick Chambers, CEO, Education  and Employers, England

Learning about careers: LMI and social mobility

15:55Panel Reflections: Where Next?  Facilitator: Dr Deirdre Hughes, England

Clare Hatton (Head of Skills Delivery,West Midlands Combined Authority, Chris Percy(Economist/Researcher), Anne Wilson, University of Warwick, Careers Service) and Sarfraz Ahmed (Careers Adviser, Leicester College)

16:30Conference close



The pursuit of happiness and development of the dialogical self

Hubert Hermans, Professor Emeritus at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

The pursuit of happiness is becoming a central topic in a globalizing society, in which more and more people seek to fullfil the promises of political freedom and growing financial resources. When material opportunities are available to larger segments of the population, people are not only concerned with the question whether their basic needs are fullfiled, but also, and to an increasing degree, whether they are living a happy life.

The presentation begins with an overview of the factors that can be considered as important determinants of happiness. Prof. Hermans will problematise happiness by showing that the (post)-modern self consists of an increasing amount of facets or self-parts that are heterogeneous and even conflicting. The purpose is to demonstrate that people may be

happy in some respects but not happy from a different perspective. He will focus on identity and present a Dialogical Self Theory to find an answer to the multiplicity of contrasting and conflicting aspects of the self in a complex society.


Career development and coaching: moving from theory into practice

Liane Hambly, co-author of ‘Creative Career Coaching’ and inspirational educator of career development professionals

To navigate the complexities of the modern career, individuals in their identity search can benefit from developing career management competencies such as: courage, confidence, assertiveness, decisiveness and drive.  Knowing that these are needed is one thing, actually finding the inner resources that enable you to transform your way of being and acting in the world is another.

Transformational coaching aims to facilitate such profound shifts in a client’s sense of their self and potential. It enables them to become more courageous, to feel more confident in interviews, to take up space in meetings, to step outside their comfort zone, and so on. A theory and practice approach underpinning transformational coaching with clients to challenge limiting self-beliefs at a deep level, and expand a client’s sense of self and way of being. Real cases will be shared to illustrate the transformational potential of this approach.


Evidence, impact and innovative approaches to careers work

Deirdre Hughes, Director, DMH Associates

Active engagement and lively interactions throughout the conference is guaranteed. International, European and UK perspectives on career development policies, research and practice will help guide our understanding of the evidence-base underpinning careers work in a variety of settings. Special tributes will be given to the global expert contributions of Dr Bill Law and Professor Frans Meijers to the career development field. Major research studies on career-related learning in primary, post-primary and adult learning each provide us with ‘a lens’ for practical approaches to achieving effective careers work.

Some recent insights from Gatsby Benchmarks will be considered, alongside evidence-based developments on youth and adult transitions. Contemporary urban approaches to careers work are considered, alongside innovative rural approaches involving collaborative and innovative practice. Impact assessment and returns on investment from career development activities will be situated within two contrasting case studies. A key question explored as a central theme is how will all-age career support services unfold in the next decade?


The joy of career writing: finding your warm inner compass

Reinekke Lengelle  PhD  Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Athabasca University, Canada

The narrative career learning method Career Writing is an engaging and creative group-based guidance approach that fosters career agency – developed by Reinekke Lengelle and (the late) Professor Frans Meijers in Canada and The Netherlands. We combined career theory with creative writing to help people shape their career identities. As the political and social climate changes, people can no longer rely on employers for job security or society for a clear picture of what “the good life” is, therefore they must develop our own narratives.  Career identity is the story of what gives one’s life meaning and direction and Career Writing is the “how to” of unearthing and articulating that story.

How the method came to be and why it is needed in the 21st century will be explained covering what five elements influence our so-called “career choice”. These include: childhood struggle, cultural/family history, chance/fate, talents and dialogue. In the workshop session, participants will be invited to write for themselves and get in touch with “their warm inner compass.” It will become clear that an internal dialogue and playful imagination are foundational to emerging (career) agency. Those writing will also consider how they may apply this work with their own students and clients.


Learning about careers: LMI and social mobility

Graham Attwell, Director, Pontydsygu and Professorial Fellow, IER, University of Warwick

Graham Attwell, technical lead for the UK ‘LMI for All’ project (funded by the Department of Education and led by the University of Warwick, IER) will explain latest labour market intelligence/information developments applied in career education, guidance and counselling settings. He will reflect on the changing world of work and examine the impact of technology on the future labour market and implications of Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on employment and the jobs of the future. He will consider how can we best advise young people and adults on courses and employment.


Nick Chambers, Chief Executive, Education and Employers, London.

Nick will focus on the difference employer engagement in education makes to young people and economies. He will explain how employer engagement helps improve social mobility, reduces the likelihood of young people becoming NEET (not in education, employment of training), increases the amount they earn in adult life and helps them make better informed career choices.





  • Digital advancements in career development

Presenters: Francis O Hara, Head of Northern Ireland Careers Service; Sandra Cheyne,National CIAG Policy & Professional Practice Lead, Skills Development Scotland; Derek Hobbs, IT and Business Development, Careers Wales; and Joe Billington, Director, t he National Careers Service, England.

  •  Career coaching, identity and ethics

Presenters: Ciara Bomford and Liane Hambly, co-authors ‘Creative Career Coaching’; and Jennifer McKenzie, Director, National Centre of Guidance in Education (NCGE) Ireland.

  • Career Writing

Presenter:  Dr Reinekke Lengelle, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Athabasca University, Canada.

  • Impact: Education, Ofsted and Employer Engagement 

Presenters: Nick Chambers, CEO, Education and Employers; Leigh Fowkes, Careers & Employability Consultant, The Open University.; Sarfraz Ahmed, Careers Leader and Adviser, Leicester College; and Chris Percy, Economist & Senior Associate.

  • Vocational developments in a changing world of work

Presenters: Catherine Sezen, Senior Policy Manager-Further Education, Association of Colleges; ; Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Partnership Director, Kaplan Talent Partners; Tony O’ Callaghan, T Level Planning Manager and Lead National Retraining Scheme, West Midlands Combined Authority.

  • Changing identities: innovative work with vulnerable young people and adults not in education, employment and/or training (NEETs)

Presenters: Yolande Burgess, Strategy Director, Young People’s Education and Skills, London Councils; Debbie Braid, Senior Director, WISE Ability Services Ltd; Karen Adriaanse, ex-HMI Ofsted Inspector; Allan Potter  & Jemma Disney, Adviza.


 Chaired by Deirdre Hughes with international, national, regional and economist perspectives

  • Clare Hatton (Head of Skills Delivery, West Midlands Combined Authority); AnneWilson, Head of Careers Service, University of Warwick; Chris Percy (Economist/Researcher/Senior Associate);  Sarfraz Ahmed (Careers Service Leicester College)



Throughout the conference, poster sessions and exhibitions will be on display from students and leading careers innovators who are committed to high quality careers support for young people and adults. For poster guidelines: Conference Poster Guidelines (1)


Ticket prices: £135 + VAT and a discounted rate for students of £60 + VAT

Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have any queries contact:

Nina Hurst- Jones, Conference Organiser email: [email protected]

Robert Hughes, Conference Senior Administrator – email: [email protected]

Tel: 0044 (0) 7917809234

We look forward to seeing you

on 10th October 2019


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