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  • Constructing the Future: transforming career guidance

    Edited by Hazel Reid and Jenny Bimrose

    sponsored by:


  • Constructing the Future:

    Transforming Career Guidance

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any other means, electronic and mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission of the Institute of Career Guidance.

    © Institute of Career Guidance 2006 IBSN 0-903076-28-4

    The editors would like to thank the members of the ICG Research Committee for their help in reviewing early drafts of the chapters.

    The views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the policy of the Institute of Career Guidance.

    Institute of Career Guidance Third Floor Copthall House 1 New Road Stourbridge West Midlands DY8 1PH Telephone: 01384 376464 Fax: 01384 440830 Email: Website:

    Production: Vision Print Cover: Karl Wheeler

    Printed and bound in Great Britain

  • 1 Constructing the Future: Transforming Career Guidance Hazel Reid

    2 Effective guidance: Transforming clients’ futures Sally-Anne Barnes and Jenny Bimrose

    3 Conceptualising transitions from education to employment as career development and/or learning Phil Hodkinson, Helen Bowman and Helen Colley

    4 Constructing New Understandings of Career Guidance: Joining the Dots Barbara Bassot

    5 Mapping client issues in the career counselling interview: sharing the story. Nelica La Gro

    6 Experiencing change in career guidance practice: two stories M Rachel Mulvey

    7 Labour Market Information: Broadening Horizons and Connecting Practitioners Jenny Bimrose, Lucy Marris, Sally-Anne Barnes and Ann Mason

    8 Disconnecting Connexions A.G. Watts

    9 Fact or fiction? Transforming careers evidence into action Deirdre Hughes


  • Dr Hazel Reid Dr Hazel Reid is Head of The Centre for Career & Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University, teaching in the area of career theory, guidance and research skills. She is a member of the Research Committee for the ICG. Her recent research was concerned with the meanings given to the function of supervision for guidance and youth support workers. Currently she is exploring narrative and career guidance.

    Dr Jenny Bimrose Jenny Bimrose is a qualified and experienced career guidance practitioner. Additionally, she has over thirty years experience of researching and teaching in the area of career guidance in higher education. She is Visiting Professor in Career Research and Practice at the Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby, a Fellow of the Institute of Career Guidance, Chair of its Ethics and Standards Committee and a member of its Research Committee.

    Sally-Anne Barnes Sally-Anne Barnes is a Research Fellow at the Warwick Institute for Employment Research. As a qualitative researcher, she is currently working on the longitudinal case study investigating the nature of effective guidance and the development of two website for the guidance community.

    Phil Hodkinson Phil Hodkinson is Professor of Lifelong Learning, in the University of Leeds. He has researched and published widely on career progression and related guidance issues. He was co-author, with Andrew Sparkes and Heather Hodkinson, of 'Triumphs and Tears: Young People, Markets and the Transition from School to Work (London: David Fulton, 1996).

    Helen Bowman Helen Bowman worked for 10 years on qualitative research projects focusing on students' experiences in a variety of educational settings. In 2005 she joined Manchester Metropolitan University as Student Support Officer for the Faculty of Art & Design.

    Dr Helen Colley Dr Helen Colley is Senior Research Fellow at the Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, and a Fellow of the National Institute of Careers Education and Counselling. She also serves as an expert to the European Commission/ Council of Europe Youth Research Partnership. She is the author of 'Mentoring for Social Inclusion', published by RoutledgeFalmer, and of numerous articles on guidance, mentoring, and post- 16 and lifelong learning.

    About the Authors

  • Dr Barbara Bassot Dr Barbara Bassot is a Senior Lecturer within the Centre for Career and Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University. She teaches on a range of programmes including the Qualification in Careers Guidance and is Programme Director for the Foundation degree in Working with Young People and Young People’s Services. Barbara’s research interests are in social constructivist approaches to learning and development, in particular the work of Vygotsky.

    Nelica La Gro Nelica works as senior lecturer with the Centre for Training in Career Guidance at the University of East London. She is programme leader for the postgraduate Diploma in Career Guidance (QCG) and is also active in research, consultancy and professional arenas. She has a background in research, occupational psychology and community initiatives relating to change in the voluntary and public sectors.

    Dr Rachel Mulvey Rachel heads the Centre for Training in Career Guidance at the University of East London. She sits on Quality and Ethics Committees in the School of Psychology, and is a member of the Higher Education Academy. Rachel co- chaired ICG’s Ethics & Standards Committee, and is currently President of the Institute of Career Guidance.

    Lucy Marris Lucy Marris is a qualified Careers Adviser with a breadth of experience gained from working in school, company and university settings. She now works as a Research Fellow at IER on a range of projects linked to career guidance, one of which is the National Guidance Research Forum (NGRF) website.

    Ann Mason Ann Mason is Careers Project Manager at Skillset. She is managing a project to develop sector-specific models for IAG across 12 Sector Skills Councils. Ann is from the Skills for Business Network, having previously worked for People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism.

    Professor Tony Watts Professor Tony Watts is a Founding Fellow of the National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling, and Visiting Professor at the University of Derby and Canterbury Christ Church University. He was formerly Director of NICEC, and worked at OECD in 2001/2. He is author of many books and articles.

    About the authors 5

  • Deirdre Hughes Deirdre Hughes is a University Reader in Guidance Studies and Head of a Research and Knowledge Transfer Unit, within the Faculty of Education, Health & Sciences, at the University of Derby. She is a qualified and experienced career guidance practitioner, researcher and manager. Deirdre is also Director of the Centre for Guidance Studies (CeGS) which aims to bridge the gap between guidance theory and practice. She is currently Co-chair of the Institute of Career Guidance (ICG) Research Committee.

    6 About the authors

  • Hazel Reid

    Introduction Welcome to the fourth edition of Constructing the Future. The publication is produced biennially with the aim of disseminating selected research and development within the field of career guidance. During 2005 the Research Committee of the Institute of Career Guidance contacted other professional associations that represent career guidance practitioners, in order to explore potential links with their research groups. The committee found that many associations in the UK produce a regular journal, similar to the ICG’s Career Guidance Today, but was unable to find an annual or biennial dissemination of research produced in a book format. Constructing the Future is, it would seem, unique.

    The title of this edition suggests two central themes. The first, constructivism, is linked to what Savickas refers to as developments located within a 21st century preoccupation with meaning, in contrast to a 20th century focus on facts (1997). The second, transformation, refers to how the context for career guidance is being transformed and how the outcomes can be transforming for those who experience career guidance. This introductory chapter will discuss constructivism and its potential for career guidance, using this as a backdrop to introduce chapters two to six. The chapter will then explore the theme of transformation as a framework for the introduction to chapters seven, eight and nine.

    Constructivism and the importance of ‘meaning’ In a postmodern world where expectations of secure and linear career progression have been overturned, guidance practitioners are seeking new ways of working with their clients. Many established theoretical models seem limited and at odds with the dynamic realities of clients’ experience in a rapidly changing world (Reid, 2006). Constructivism, as a ‘new’ approach, appears to offer an alternative way of understanding ‘career’ and the diverse meanings given to career behaviour and action. Constructivist perspectives are not new (Collin and Young, 1992) but they are being viewed with increasing interest. The terminology can be confusing however and different descriptors are used, for example, constructivist, interpretive, narrative and biographical approaches. Whilst the focus may vary, what the terms share is an emphasis on the need to explore ‘meaning’ and perceptions of ‘truth’ from the client’s worldview. Such

    Chapter One

    Constructing the Future: Transforming Career Guidance


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