Leadership and Careers Provision

This FETL-commissioned paper is designed to stimulate ideas and discussion on how leaders can best create career pathways to success for young people and adults during volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) times. The content builds upon recent announcements in the Comprehensive Spending Review (Treasury, 2020),1 a literature review of leadership and careers provision, and 13 in-depth interviews with senior managers from further education (FE) and careers sectors in England – see Appendix 1.

There is an urgent call for national, regional and local leadership designed to take action on improving careers provision for young people and adults. ‘Career’ is a complex and contentious term, particularly in a Covid-19 context.2 Job roles and labour markets are changing rapidly. Job security has been abruptly and cruelly diminished for many, without warning. Staying healthy, paying the bills and managing to ‘put bread in the table’ are priorities for many individuals and families. This will require new skills and mindsets focused on opportunities, career adaptability and resilience. This paper argues for more collective action, and local places and spaces for inclusive careers support. This is crucial in supporting individuals’ education, economic and well-being outcomes. If ever there was a moment in time to take stock and improve the life chances of individuals surely now is the time.

Download >