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'Moving on'









































We should pose the question. It would be foolish to assume that conventional solutions always work in new situations. And enabling learners in their planning for today’s working life is, in many important respects, a new and changing challenge. This is particularly so for people for whom the very idea of ‘a career’ might well seem like a bad joke.

And so the question ‘what are we going to do about careers?’ is the running header for an on-going project in The Career-learning Café’. A project map of material is set out below. It is launched here in January 2005; and there is more to come.

ideas for action

The project is based on an extensively up-dated model for career-learning, called ‘CPI’. It works with three key factors for contemporary career development: coverage, processes, and influences:

CPI-1 - coverage: both ‘hard’ information and ‘fuzzier’ impressions figure in what career learning must cover– learning of ‘self’ and ‘opportunity’, and also of what people actually do, both as individuals and socially, in and about their working roles;
CPI-2 - processes: taking account of the on-going and multi-layered learning narratives which shape the way learners see themselves in working life - set up in early childhood, and reaching far beyond schooling life-long;
CPI-3 - influences: coming to sustainable and fulfilling resolutions of what feelings urge and other people want - dynamic social-and-emotional pressures which can crystalise into the stereotypes that most damage people’s life-chances.

CPI takes account of what is now known of career development and careers work, and it suggests where that new thinking can take us:

CPI-a - new thinking: any useful new model will be based on a broadly-based scanning of what is known of both changing career-planning needs and changing patterns of provision;
CPI-z - in thinking ahead:
reform comes, not by discarding earlier thinking, but by extending it and applying it to the emerging interests of contemporary stakeholders – learners, their communities, researchers and policy-makers.

There are five lines of new thinking here: ‘CPI-a’,’-1’,’-2’,’-3’ & ‘-z’ . Together they form one of the two project-map dimensions.

action from ideas

The other project-map dimension shows how new thinking leads to reformed practice. So, in addition to the underpinning thinking, the map also lists materials for working on practical applications...

CPI - ideas for action: what is the evidence for CPI? - what factors does this evidence identify? and what directions for contemporary and future practice does it signpost?

leading to action...

PRO - for programmes: what this means for how we develop and use materials and methods – for example in IAG, progress-file work and programmes like ‘The Real Game’;
ORG - for organisations: what does it mean for the schools-and-colleges, the services and the centres that provide help? – in the careers-work roles they set up, in the patterns of resource allocation they use, and in their community-links;
HLP - for helpers: and what understanding, attitudes and skills do learners most need to find in the people who set out to help them in their career planning? – whether those human resources are professional advisers, voluntary mentors or distracted teachers.

There are impications here for what happens in our schools. And work on these issues is commonly reflected in programmes set up by Connexions. They are also clearly represented in the the Tomlinson report on the reform of 14-19 curriculum and qualifications.

But none of the learning factors identified in CPI are solely applicable to young men and women. Some belong to childhood. And some become most pressing in adulthood - indeed they become poignant in the later years of life. The breadth, depth and dynamics of CPI is for all sectors of careers work - life long.


Essex, Southend and Thurrock Connexions has substantially supported the project. Bill is particularly grateful to Kath Wright of EST Connexions, for her imaginative and professional use of the ideas and for her generous encouragement in their development.

The material is, however wholly the responsibility of The Career-learning Network, and should not be taken to reflect EST Connexions policy.



go straight to
project map
of resources




























The project map linking you to all the available materia on 'what are we going to do about careers?'

A pdf version of this introduction and the project map

New Thinking for Connexions and Citizenship - the background thinking for this project

An earlier case for the The Reforming Careers Coordinator

The most successful earlier model for this work - DOTS

more on how the Café will move on

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