1 University of Warwick (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Pontydysgu (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6558-6568
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
There is a commitment in the UK to focus attention on the need to exploit the untapped potential of technology to enhance all aspects of educational service provision, including careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG). Over half of all learners over the age of 14 recently reported that they learn through the internet, with 22% using distance learning (DCSF and BIS, 2009). The current policy context in the UK emphasises the need to exploit the potential of new technologies and integrate their use into all aspects of career guidance practice and education. Implicit may well be the assumption that its introduction will not only extend access to services by clients and customers by increasing the flexibility of delivery methods, but that it will also help reduce costs by lowering the demand for face-to-face support. However, the evidence base relating to benefits accruing from effective internet-based guidance is currently lacking.

Alongside the changing policy context, the increased use of technology by young people is placing new demands on careers guidance professionals and how CEIAG is delivered. High quality, impartial CEIAG is identified as having a vital role to play in assisting young people in making learning and work decisions that position them for success in life, as well as providing the support necessary for them to manage personal, social, health and financial issues.

A small-scale, mixed-methods research study firstly explored the skills and competencies required by careers professionals to deliver internet-based careers guidance and education, and secondly investigated young peoples’ views on how they want technology to be used in the future to deliver CEIAG. The fieldwork involved 46 young people and 17 careers professionals from the careers service, across six dispersed geographical locations in the UK. Data were gathered using investigative frameworks developed from, and grounded in, the research literature. Research findings from this study suggest that increased use of internet-based services could well be an effective method for delivering online CEIAG services. However, the way young people are able, or not, to access and use technology must shape any future extension of online services.

This paper will present an overview of the research, its findings and the current evidence base. It will provide evidence on the issues that urgently need addressing to support professionals in their delivery of CEIAG in the UK, the technological challenges and the role young people want technology to play in the future.
UK careers education, technology, guidance services, ICT skills, ICT competencies.