ICG Annual Conference, Belfast, 4-5 November 2010

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

The 2010 Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG) Annual Conference and Exhibition took place at the very pleasant Europa Hotel in Belfast, which is famous for being the most bombed hotel in Europe.  These days it fortunately shows no scars of its past and more recently Bill and Hilary Clinton stayed there; I understand people still ask to sleep in the same room as that famous couple!

The conference itself was excellent, with a well thought out programme of keynotes and workshop sessions and an exhibition that ran throughout Thursday.

In a coup for the ICG, John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning used his keynote speech to announce the forthcoming ‘Single All Age Careers Service for England’.  The Minister outlined the new service, which he declared to be the “Department’s most important task”.  It is hoped as much of the service as possible will be in place by September next year, with everything in place by April 2012.  It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Mr Hayes went on to say that schools will have responsibility for careers guidance.  It is envisaged that they will work with expert advisers and invest in impartial CEIAG.  Local authorities will maintain responsibility for helping vulnerable youngsters.

Here are some additional quotes from John Hayes:

“Careers guidance makes a difference.”

“High quality advice and guidance is key.”

“(The new service) …will build on the best of Next Step and Connexions.”

“We will have to do more with less” and “find new ways to give advice and guidance.”

“Careers will be in the title of the new service!”

As with all conferences, networking plays a vital role and the conversations struck up with fellow delegates between sessions, over lunch and at the President’s Gala Dinner were great.  As you’d imagine, they covered a variety of topics, not all careers related… 

They also gave me the chance to catch up with colleagues and gather opinions from all corners of the UK.

The 2011 ICG Annual Conference and Exhibition will take place 2, 3 and 4th November at the Thistle Hotel in Brighton, by which time the new careers service should be established.

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