The CASCAiD Conference

Yesterday, CASCAiD held its annual conference. This was attended by a wide range of delegates working in adult guidance and/or young people’s guidance. 

The theme of the day was ‘All-age Careers Guidance’. It featured presentations about topical guidance issues, as well as the chance to find out more about CASCAiD’s latest developments.

 The day was opened by CASCAiD Chief Executive, Lynda Lacey, and the keynote speaker was Steve Higginbotham, Chief Executive of igen and President of the Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG). 

Steve delivered a presentation outlining the proposals and timeline for England’s all-age careers service, and the implications of the Education Bill. He described the recent activity as the ‘biggest change’ the careers service had seen for many years. He discussed the current situation but unfortunately didn’t have many answers as to its future. His biggest concern seemed to be that if we lose a face-to-face service, that a lot of jobs will be lost. He referred to the situation in New Zealand where guidance has become universal and virtual. Online guidance has been their solution to cost-cutting. Mr Higginbotham commented  on the government’s new strategy to move responsibility back to schools. This could allow them to buy in their career guidance services. With so many uncertainties there were a number of questions asked at the end of his speech.

Steve also took a number of questions from delegates.

Following Steve’s presentation and light refreshments, Tony Ollerenshaw from Guidance UK ran a session looking at delivering careers guidance at Key Stage 3 and 4. 

During this session, Tony provided an outline of what features you should look for when purchasing careers software.  One thing I found particularly interesting was the benefits to the environment of using online software, rather than a paper based library. 

Tony used this example: instead of having a library full of paper-based resources, students could be provided with access to Careerscape, which has the facility to print out information.

 After lunch, there was a choice of sessions.  For people interested in Adult Guidance, CASCAiD’s Director of Sales and Marketing, John Kelly provided an insight into the new version of Adult Directions, which is set to be released later this year. 

The other session was about careers guidance in primary schools.  This featured a presentation about a primary schools careers pilot by Andrew Spencer from Connexions Leicestershire. 

After this, CASCAiD’s UK Sales Manager, Jason Owen gave an overview of CASCAiD’s new world of work product for Key Stage 2, Paws in Jobland.

 The final activities of the day included a CASCAiD products ‘hands-on’ session, allowing delegates to experience CASCAiD software they hadn’t tried or to learn new about new features with their current software. 

Alongside the hands-on session, Sales Executive Deb Colfer ran a session looking at support materials and training options, including our free online webinars.

 Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. Based on delegates’ feedback, a good day was had by all.  Some of the comments from the evaluation forms included:

 “Very good useful information”

“Useful day and good to meet a range of people. It was also good to look at Adult Directions”

“Very useful to have a day concentrating on tools to support guidance”

“Extremely useful to a CASCAID software novice; informative advice”

“Very friendly, well-informed speakers”

“It was really excellent, thank you!”

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