Yesterday, I exhibited for CASCAID at a careers guidance event hosted by Connexions Northumberland. Held at Dissington Hall, the event attracted around 40 delegates. While my main job was to help delegates by providing product demonstrations and answering questions at the CASCAiD stand, I was also able to attend a number of the seminars.
Delivering the keynote speech was Steve Higginbotham, President of the Institute of Careers Guidance (ICG). Steve delivered an update on the all-age careers service, discussing some of the challenges the Government is facing and how the service will look when it is fully operational.
With many careers guidance co-ordinators/teachers in attendance, Steve reiterated that schools could fulfil their new requirements for access to independent, impartial careers guidance by continuing to employ their own careers advisor, but also providing students with access to external sources of guidance, including web-based services.
I believe that CASCAiD software could be an excellent, low cost way of ensuring that schools meet Government requirements by providing young people with access to external, independent careers guidance. Our product features are impartial. For example, the careers matching tool in Kudos does not consider gender or background: it simply provides young people with a list of career suggestions that match their interests and aspirations. Also, all the information in CASCAiD programs is impartial and produced independently of schools.
I was also able to attend a workshop looking at CIAG in a recession. This was run by Caron Pearson, Curriculum Co-ordinater for Connexions Northumberland. In this session, Caron looked at providing guidance for students considering university. With the substantial rise in tuition fees, students need to be sure that university is the right choice for them and that their course of study will enhance their career prospects. As part of the workshop, we were also set a task to identify jobs which are on the rise, jobs on the decline and jobs which are fairly free from the impact of the recession.
Overall, it was a really useful and enjoyable event. I found it valuable to talk to customers about how they use CASCAiD products and identify future developments to further meet customers’ needs.