2020 Career Guidance and Development CPD Conference Scotland

The Career Development Institute, University of the West of Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Skills Development Scotland are delighted to announce a collaborative CPD conference, sponsored by Skills Development Scotland.

This builds on and amalgamates the CDI Student Conference Scotland and the UWS/ENU/SDS Research Symposium and in addition offers a broad CPD opportunity for selected practitioners in the sector in Scotland.

This Conference is designed to highlight the latest developments in the sector and is presented by a range of expert keynote speakers and workshop presenters all of whom are leaders in their field.


 Keynote Presentations

Keynote 1

Occupational segregation: A cradle to the labour market problem

Anna Ritchie Allan: Chief Executive of Close the Gap


Keynote 2

Unsticking the stuckness: coaching techniques for one to one work

Dr Julia Yates: Senior Lecturer, City, University of London            


Keynote 3

The transition to employment for autistic students and graduates 

Dr Jonathan Vincent: Senior Lecturer, School of Education, York St John University


Keynote 4

Adaptive Resilience and Future Skills

David Coyne: Programme Director for the Centre for Work Based Learning, Skills Development Scotland


Workshop Presentations

Workshops 1

Disrupting gender stereotypes: practical solutions for gender sensitive practice

Gender stereotypes: are they in decline, or is their impact as strong as ever? This workshop will look at why we still need concerted action to challenge gender stereotypes, and the importance of the careers practitioner role in this. The session will consider what current policy on tackling gender inequality asks of schools, and of teachers and practitioners, and what this means for your practice.

Lindsey Millen, Policy Manager, Close the Gap


Work-based learning in the senior phase. Why and how it works through Foundation Apprenticeships?

An overview of how work based learning is evolving within the curriculum for pupils aged 15-19 in Scotland, with particular emphasis on Foundation Apprenticeships. The workshop will explore the rationale for high quality work based learning and the crucial aspects of partnership delivery involving learners, employers, specialist learning providers, schools and parents/ carers.

Abigail Kinsella, National Partnership Delivery Manager- Education, Skills Development Scotland.


Dementia in the Workplace: the implications for career development practice

Dementia is, and will increasingly be, a workplace issue. At present, many individuals leave the workplace before, or on receipt of, a diagnosis of dementia. More attention needs to be given to supporting employees with dementia to either remain in work or exit the workplace, and career development practice has a key role in this. We consider the role of careers practitioners in the development and implementation of coping strategies to aid the continued employment of persons with dementia. When continued employment is not possible, the role of careers practitioners in the range of decisions, which extend beyond the cessation of work, is considered.

Dr Louise Ritchie, Lecturer in Dementia (Research), Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, University of the West of Scotland
Emma Bolger, Lecturer in Career Guidance and Development, University of the West of Scotland.


Workshops 2

Practising with an equality mindset

This workshop will highlight why equality is embedded in what we do, as practitioners and reflect on how as a profession, we are well placed to support customers to overcome the disadvantage they face, particularly in relation to intersectionality. It will outline the progress we have made so far and consider how we further plan and deliver our services, to ensure that we are capitalising on all opportunities to engage with equality groups.  This is an opportunity to discuss what we are currently doing well and to consider what else we could do.

Karen McGuire and Pauline Stratford, Senior Executives, Skills Development Scotland


Inclusive Career Learning and Development for Young People: What works

Focusing on equality and inclusion, the workshop will explore what we can learn from the evaluation of a careers guidance programme developed across 17 schools in Lambeth over three years. Included were three special schools and a pupil referral unit, a college and a university. The programme aim was ”To improve the labour market relevance of learning by supporting school and college leaders in their development and implementation of a whole school approach to delivering high quality careers guidance and a careers curriculum”. The project ran from July 2016 – March 2019 and had 3 main strands: (i) the development of internal staff involved in careers work in the school (e.g. teachers), (ii) the development and delivery of a stable careers programme for young people, and (iii) the engagement of employers (within the school through a project delivered over 26 weeks and externally through the provision of work-experience).

Dr Michelle Stewart, Careers Consultant


Social justice and careers work: issues of space & place

This workshop will draw on recent publications on social justice and careers guidance, introducing some contemporary thinking about how, as careers professionals, we can work in a socially just way. The session will ask questions such as: how far do the career development models we work with and some of our practices risk upholding unjust social systems, and what is our role in challenging injustice? The workshop will particularly consider issues of space and place in terms of equalities and social justice which is the presenter’s area of specialism.

Rosie Alexander, Senior Lecturer (Research), University of the Highlands and Islands


Workshops 3

The Capability Approach to Career Guidance

Most career theory is rooted in psychology or sociology. This workshop will explore an emerging theoretical perspective that is rooted in the work of economist and philosopher Amartya Sen. Sen’s Capability Approach has a particular view of social justice at its core. It can be applied to anyone, but it is particularly relevant to groups living in poverty or with constrained choices. The approach is simple, but it has implications that point to inadequacies in current models of policy and practice. Several studies have demonstrated the Capability Approach can provide a useful lens through which to analyse the career experiences of specific groups. Now attention turns to how the Capability Approach translates into models for guidance practice.

Dr Peter Robertson, Associate Professor, School of Applied Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University.


Accessibility and Group Career Guidance

The field of career guidance has traditionally been focused on one-to-one practice with little attention being paid to developing group and collective approaches. This is despite its potential to combine the benefits of counselling and coaching approaches (high quality interpersonal interactions) with group approach benefits (such as peer support and group learning). In addition group approaches have the capacity to more fully explore the wider community, cultural and socio-economic influences and power struggles of the group and address social injustice at a collective rather than individual level.

This workshop will introduce the Collective Career Coaching Approach as a model of practice. It has the potential to offer a structured approach to steer our practice towards the advancement of social justice.

Susan Meldrum, Programme Leader: Post Graduate Diploma in Career Guidance and Development, Edinburgh Napier University.


Domestic abuse and career guidance practice

‘Building Equality’, a project run by Scottish Women’s Aid, worked to challenge economic discrimination and develop effective models to improve and protect the economic independence of women experiencing domestic abuse. The learning from this is now being used to develop best practice approaches for clients experiencing domestic abuse. The workshop will enable career professionals to challenge their own perceptions, understand how domestic abuse affects an individual’s career decision-making and develop new competencies in how they can manage their own practice when working with clients in this group.

Emma Bolger, Lecturer in Career Guidance and Development, University of the West of Scotland.


Mindfulness Meditation

A global understanding of the positive effects of mindfulness has led to widespread adoption across sectors where individuals and teams are at risk of stress-related ill health. Research as to how the practice of mindfulness can help us to become more resilient by changing our physical and emotional response to stress has led to the adoption of mindfulness as a key life skill for all and the number one recommended therapy for the treatment of depression according to NICE.

Join us for a practical workshop that covers a range of techniques that you can take forward into your everyday, both professional and personal lives. Discover the key to embracing everything that unfolds in life, inwardly and outwardly. Learn to embrace the spectrum of stressors that we encounter each day - the good, the bad, the unwanted, the unimaginable – all contributing to the very essence of what it means to be alive!

David Hooper, CPD Accredited Mindfulness Teacher and Registered Careers Development Professional.