HOW TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF A CHANGING LABOUR MARKET
TRANSITIONS ARE NOW COMPLEX
Individual transitions into work have become much more complex and prolonged and may even span lifetimes. It no longer makes sense - if it ever did - to see a clear crossing point between education and employment. Now transitions are blurred, people typically spend longer in education and may have dual identities as e.g. student and employee or employee and student. It makes no sense to think in terms of a single transition point in a lifetime, instead 'careers' comprise multiple transitions over time from one employer to another, to different roles within the same organisation or even periods in and out of paid employment. Against this backdrop, it is nonsense to think of careers advice as a one-off inoculation, instead individuals are likely to have recurring needs for information, advice and guidance as they travel through their careers.
MORE OPTIONS TO EXPLORE
In a world of possibilities, there is an increasing need for vocational exploration, educational choice and personal development. Options are not mutually exclusive, many courses in the UK are not vocationally specific so choice of employment may be delayed. For some the choices are exciting, enabling and liberating, for others they are overwhelming. Not all the choices are real, not all are equally mobile or affluent to take up options available, but a key feature of Careers Guidance at St Mary's has traditionally been to help individuals identify all available options and then explore which are most appropriate for their own particular circumstances and aspirations.
CHANGING DEFINITIONS OF A CAREER
There are many, many definitions of career, most people involved in guidance will have their own preferred one. Although 'career' can and should be seen broadly to encompass much more than 'just' paid employment, encapsulating the idea that working lives are not static, but fluid - seems apt: the evolving sequence of a person's work experiences over time.
Next Page: Opportunities for STEM Careers