Marlena Topple, Projects Manager and Senior Consultant for Prospects, chaired a four day international seminar, ‘Careers Guidance in the Global Economy’ in Belfast in October. 21 delegates from education, government and donor agencies attended from Jordan, Iraq, Bahrain, UAE and Pakistan.
Marlena delivered the seminar, funded by the British Council in partnership with the Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning and Department of Education.
The objectives of the seminar were to share UK knowledge and best practice in the areas of careers education and guidance across all sectors, and explore how current and future UK policy and practice could help delegates shape their own national reform plans.
The seminar included presentations and site visits to see how careers guidance is delivered in school, further education, higher education and public service sectors. Presentations were given by Francis O’Hara, Head of Northern Ireland Careers Service; Jo Banks, Head of Youth Support & Guidance, from the Department for Education and Skills of the Welsh Government; Jan Ellis, Chief Executive of the Career Development Institute (CDI) and Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE, Commissioner of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and Chair of the National Careers Council.
During the seminar delegates visited Queen’s University, University of Ulster, Belfast Metropolitan College, an all age Careers Resources Centre and a local school. At W5, a science and technology centre, they sat in on a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) session delivered to a group of primary school children by a team from Bombardier (a Belfast employer known as ‘the only manufacturer of planes and trains in the world’).
Marlena said: “It was very exciting to work with people from other countries who are starting to build their national systems of careers guidance, to assist them to achieve important policy goals such as reducing unemployment and improving workforce skills.”