Diversifying the Careers Workforce: Opportunities and Challenges

  • Siobhan Neary International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), University of Derby, Derby
Keywords: careers workforce, guidance, practitioners, diversity, workforce


Attracting high quality candidates with relevant and pertinent experience to any profession is often a challenge. A UK based research project is presented that employs a protean lens to examine the motivations and expectations of career changers who have recently moved into the field of career guidance and counselling. The research comprised of a mixed methods design, utilising an online self-completed survey and interviews aimed at practitioners who have transitioned into the careers field over the last five years. The data reflects practitioners working in a range of settings including, schools, further education colleges and higher education. The initial findings present several important issues for the careers field in the UK which may have wider applicability. Respondents transitioned from a diverse range of professional backgrounds including HR, education management consultancy and research. A common motivation focused on supporting and influencing a social justice agenda. The research identifies that the field is successful in recruiting highly qualified and experienced candidates, the challenge is about diversity and attracting a workforce that better reflects the populace.


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