Update from NAEGA 2010

An update from Jason Owen, CASCAiD’s UK Sales Manager:

2010 NAEGA National Conference

My colleague Suzette and I were the CASCAiD representatives at the NAEGA National Conference in Manchester.

The conference took place over two days (5th and 6th October) and provided an excellent opportunity to find out about recent and forthcoming developments particularly within the adult guidance sector, but in some cases the careers world as a whole.

Stephen McNair, NAEGA President, gave a potted history of NAEGA, starting with the formative years of EGSA through to the new universal Next Step service and the challenges we face in the current financial climate.  For me, Stephen summed things up perfectly with the following…
“In a world of uncertainty, everyone needs access to good advice about how to manage all aspects of their lives, especially at crisis points”.

Adam Micklethwaite, Deputy Director, Adult Advancement, BIS gave an update on careers guidance policy in England. I am sure all in attendance were heartened to hear that John Hayes MP and Vince Cable MP have both spoken recently about the importance of careers guidance. 

As for the future, given the current climate and the outcomes of the Spending Review due to be announced on the 20th October, I am sure it will come as no surprise to hear that “tighter constraints on expenditure are expected“, but it was useful to hear Adam talk about a “continuing focus on quality and professionalism of careers guidance” and the “use of objective, empirical data to support guidance”.

With this in mind, it would seem technology (web-based and email) has a major role to play in helping to promote access to impartial information, advice and guidance.  I am sure this too will be the case in terms of helping with delivery, especially when used as part of a blended approach along with face-to-face and telephone advice and guidance.

It would seem that an “All Age/Universal Careers Service”, as per the Conservative Party’s manifesto and, I believe, supported by the Liberal Democrats, is on the way, with quite possibly the new Next Step service providing a sort of blueprint.  This should be good news, providing it is properly resourced and funded. I know a lot of advisers who will breathe a sigh of relief at the possibility of working within a “careers service” again!

There was a varied choice of workshop sessions on offer and those I attended were very informative and stimulated some lively discussion among enthusiastic delegates.  As with all conferences, networking is important and the NAEGA Conference organisers ensure there are plenty of opportunities for delegates to do this.  It was great catching up with colleagues I had not seen for a while and hearing their news and views.

Jason Owen
UK Sales Manager, CASCAiD Ltd

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