Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Scientrific Careers

Recently a school in the Southern Board organised a STEM awareness day seeking the assistance from BEAM creative network. The work shop involved Year 10 students from a number of schools.

'an entertaining and enjoyable workshop - lively and engaging with learning taking place without students conscious knowledge. A welcome addition to the new revised curriculum with emphasises on 'active learning and creativity'. comment made by a teacher.

It is another way of spicing up teaching and learning in any school setting. Contact Kathryn on 02887769157 or email:

They can work with any topic/subject in your school - you tell them and they will create a workshop to meet you pupils needs and ability.


Career focus learning in English

Recently I made a presentation to a post primary school on 'Preparing for Success', at the end of which a conscientious head of english wanted to know where she could get career focus lessons for english classes.

I give her these to look at LINK


Sporting Chances?

In the past three years, more than 200,000 young people have left university with a sport and/or leisure related qualification in search of a job. If you add to this figure the number of Further Education qualifications also completed in this time, it is clear to see that demand to work in the sector is high. The opportunities to develop a career in sport, whether as a sportsperson or as an individual seems set to continue to rise.
To progress in these areas, however, your CV must feature volunteering and work experience, and evidence that you have what it takes to make an impact on the sports world.

As a teacher of PE or just a teacher interested in sport what are you doing to support the Olympics 2012, more interestingly what are your pupils thinking? Do they need support, advice or guidance?



Want to be a DJ

If we ask any young person do you know: Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, David Guetta, Paul Van Dyk? What do they do for a living? The answers will come quicker than 'google'.
What is it that makes young people want to become the next DJ? If you have young people in front of you who like to 'turn the tables' then this video case study may help them discover their potential.



What do I know about Business Studies?

In a previous life my world evolved around teaching Business Studies and getting young people interested in a subject that I was fascinated with (and still). I had pupils coming to me looking for information as to potential careers if they were to study GCSE/GCE Business studies/ Accountancy. To be honest it was very limited as to what I could really tell them - now I don't have any excuses.

Smaart FAB is the U.K’s first student magazine completely dedicated to promoting a positive image of courses and careers in Finance, Accountancy and Business to young adults. Smaart FAB is produced in association with The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

With useful case studies and information for both the student and the teacher it is vital that when we promote our subject that our information is correct and up to date. I hope this helps and by the by it is FREE.


Friday, 11 December 2009

How good is your Righting (Written) English!

Graduates seeking careers in journalism need to improve their written English if they want to be considered for jobs in the media, according to anew UK-wide survey.

More details (page 12)


Drama Schools Demanding £40k for Training

If your school offers drama or have students interested in studying drama, then they need to read this!
Reality shows such as The X Factor have inspired a whole new generation of fame hungry young people, who can take their pick from several thousand drama schools through the UK. But are they ACCREDITED.

More details (page 9)


The Pop Star Who's Not Too Cool For College

King's College student Jonathan Gill (member of JLS) is a second year theology and religious studies student at the top London University, taking a year off to focus on JLS UK Tour.

As a Careers or Music teacher what a diverse career pathway this young man is going to have. Interestingly for a music teacher or pupil: Has he ever studied Music? Does he play a musical instrument? What a music research project this would be!

More details (Link) and band details (Link)


Keeping Parents Informed

Preparing for success outlines the valuable role parents play in their children's decision making. It is important to keep parents inform not only when pupils are making decisions and choices but also other information, advice or guidance that they may need(How to fill out application forms, student finance, getting organised to study, apprenticeships, UCAS forms - clearing and timetable, to name a few) The new SMAART Parents Paper will not only give you ideas as how to keep parents informed but also articles that are extremely useful to parents.

If you already produce a parents newsletter for your CEIAG Department, let us know and we can share the good practice with others.


Friday, 30 October 2009

ETI Coming to a School Near You!


In a letter title 'Planning for the Successful Implementation of the Entitlement Framework by 2013' addressed to your principal, dated the 27th October 2009. The Education Minister makes a reference to Post Primary Inspections:

'Post Primary inspections will, from January 2010, routinely include a focus on the school's progress towards full implementation of the EF and the quality of its careers education'

Our contacts details are available at the end of the Blog, if you wish to discuss the above.


NISCA Conference

If you haven't already done so, DO IT NOW and put your name down for a place at the Annual NISCA Conference being held on the 28th November in the La Mon Hotel Belfast.

The talks,the workshops and the networking will enhance your understanding and delivery of CEIAG within your school. This year SELB will be hosting 3 different workshops focusing on:

A CEIAG Pack for Teachers
ICT in the Careers Classroom
CEIAG/STEM Teacher Placement

Registration for Event


Make Your Mark Challenge

If you want to promote Entrepreneurial and Enterprising Skills in your school, then you need to registrar before the 9th November!

Go For It in conjunction with the Department of Education have just launched the UK's largest one-day enterprise competition for schools and colleges.

Schools are invited to enter a team of enterprising students to generate new and innovative business ideas in response to a secret brief, meeting the curriculum requirements for enterprise education.

Sub cover is avail!

More details at


Teacher TV - STEM Subject Choice and Careers Series

Teacher TV is just that TV that the Teacher can use in their classroom. If you are having problems in trying to promote STEM in the classroom, take a look.

This series looks at the kind of skills needed to work in STEM professions, examines the careers available and includes advice from research scientists, engineers and project managers. The eight programmes are:

Science teacher Nichola Offer uses a range of techniques to help her students think about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) professions.

Nichola focuses on IVF and invites the school nurse, Rachael Bines, into the lesson to talk to her Year 8 class at the Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough, about her work and to provide professional support.

The students perform a role play which gets them thinking about the number of professions involved in IVF and raises some interesting questions.

The second part of the lesson challenges students to focus on one particular profession by searching various STEM careers websites, with the students creating a poster display of their findings

Teacher Daniel Gadd links maths lessons to the use of maths in the world of work, helping students understand how their learning relates to the real world.

The class at the Graham School, Scarborough, focuses on how logistic managers use network diagrams to aid efficiency in deliveries and when laying cables.

Daniel relates the topic firstly to paper rounds, and the students develop the idea further, working on a cabling exercise to calculate the minimum amount of cable needed to link a series of towns. Daniel challenges his students to model one of the ideas they are working on.

The students also research how different people use maths in their careers, culminating in a presentation to their peers at the end of the lesson.

Maths teacher Eva Cowlishaw and science teacher Amy Lucas introduce Year 9 students at CTC Kingshurst Academy, Birmingham, to engineering careers using the context of structural engineering in theme park rides.

In the maths lesson the students look at rigid structures and learn how they are important in engineering, and have the chance to investigate their own choice of rigid structures.

In science, the students model an ejector seat ride using a variety of apparatus. Their investigation looks at the different forces involved in the ride and how to monitor its speed.

For the final part of the day the students take on the roles of interviewers and candidates in mock interviews for a structural engineering job.

Choosing Careers
Lorette Parker, head of careers at Collingwood College, Surrey, invites eight professionals to the school to talk about their careers in STEM-related professions.

Amongst the group are research scientists, engineers and project managers. Lorette hopes they will help motivate the students to consider STEM professions as a possible career path.

In small groups, the students interview the visitors, getting as much information as they can. They are expected to meet and greet the visitors in the same way they would act in a real job interview.

The experience proves to be an eye-opener for the students and many are surprised about the opportunities available in STEM professions.
Equality and Diversity

Two secondary schools in Blackburn explore STEM careers, by encouraging their students to take a hands-on approach to learning.

Witton Park High School takes a workshop for year eight girls which aims to show the students alternatives to gender stereotyped jobs. The girls are asked to consider traditional jobs along with high paid STEM related jobs. They also take part in a team building activity.

Meanwhile at Pleckgate High School, where teachers are trying to engage all students with STEM, an interactive mobile laboratory, staffed by practising scientists and engineers visits the school.

Small groups of students take part in the onboard experiments, which are designed to be accessible to all learners and introduce them to new aspects of STEM.

STEM Subject Choice and Careers - Role Models and Work Placements

A group of STEM ambassadors visit Bradfield School in Sheffield to share their stories with a group of Year 9 girls.

As a lesson starter the pupils take part in an exercise aimed at combating some of the stereotypical images of STEM related careers. The ambassadors then take questions from the pupils about the sort of careers that are available to pupils who take up STEM subjects.

Meanwhile another group of learners are followed as they take part in a work placement run by the Connaught Partnership. Here the video examines the processes and procedures needed to ensure a successful work placement.Apprentices at an aerospace manufacturer in Bolton discuss the benefits of experience in the workplace and a learner in Sheffield talks about the value of her work placement at a firm of architects.

Information, advice and guidance

At Collingwood College in Camberley, Science Teacher Angalika Newton is eager to introduce careers in science to her students.Angalika works with Head of Careers Lorette Parker to plan a lesson to introduce the kinds of jobs that science can lead to.

They are looking at introducing a range of techniques into the classroom which will equip the students with the information they need to make informed choices. These include bringing outside visitors into the school, peer-to-peer and one-to-one learning conversations and consolidating their ideas in the form of a careers map.

This programme is part of a series looking at the careers available in STEM professions.

Economic Wellbeing

Riddlesdown High school in South London is taking steps to encourage pupils to study science, maths and technology.

We see students at the school participate in a role play as members of a residents' association. During the activity they discuss a proposal to build a pharmaceutical plant in their neighbourhood.

The pupils weigh up the pros and cons of the proposal, considering the economic benefits that the plans could bring to the community, against potentially negative issues such as environmental disruption.

Later, staff discuss the challenges of teaching the value of STEM subjects as they often feel ill-equipped to educate pupils about opportunities in science related careers.


BringItOn - the Next Phase

The Department for Employment and Learning, in association with e-skills UK, Momentum and Invest Northern Ireland has just launched the next phase of its ICT career attractiveness campaign - BringITon. The campaign aims to create greater awareness about the wide range of exciting career opportunities available within the ICT industry in Northern Ireland.

This phase of the campaign will include TV, radio, online, outdoor and for the first time cinema advertising. A series of events in universities and schools also kicks off this month to deliver the message directly to the young people who could be the IT professionals of tomorrow. Many of Northern Ireland's ICT employers are already involved in the campaign and have contributed much to the success enjoyed so far. If you would like to get involved or would just like to find out more about what is happening please pay a visit to our website -


The F Word!

45,000 Science Jobs required to Feed the World!
On the back of what were very successful STEM Conference in CAFRE Loughry and CAFRE Greenmount, I have included the quote below some 'food for thought'. If there is ever a time to promote CAFRE to our young people, it is NOW!

"Over the next decade, we will need tens of thousands of skilled food scientists to respond to the challenges we face in feeding the world safely and healthily. These men and women will have food science and food technology degrees and will be the foot soldiers in ensuring we produce enough of the right stuff to keep us alive!"

Job prospects for food scientists and food technologists in the UK are excellent, according to advisors from the leading Food and Nutritional Science department based at the University of Reading.

Professor Bob Rastall of the University of Reading said: "At a time when there has never been so much public interest in the importance of food, the UK food industry is still crying out for qualified food scientists and technologists."

Employment projections suggest the UK food and drink industry will need around 137,000 new recruits over the next decade with 45,000 of those jobs requiring high skill levels¹. The number of applicants for roles as qualified food scientists and technologists or nutritionists is in decline while the number of students studying food science at universities and further education colleges has also fallen as fewer school children choose science and technology based subjects

Professor Rastall continued: "The work of food scientists and technologists touches so many aspects of our relationship with food. Careers in food science will have a positive impact on the health and well-being of the nation, through the ready availability of good quality food. Future food scientists will be the guardians of the safety of the food we eat. They will be working on food security, conduct research on how the food we eat impacts on our health as well as advising food companies on the development of new products linked to optimal nutrition.


Why Hospitality & Tourism Sector?

As the economic downturn continues it seems that the Hospitality and Tourism sector is weathering the storm rather better than most.

Yet, this sector is experiencing major challenges in attracting appropriately skilled people. A recent report by People 1st, the organisation charged with identifying the skills needs of the sector, highlighted a lack of skills in three main areas that were holding the sector back from reaching its full potential, namely management and leadership skills, customer service skills and chef skills. (For this reason alone Careers teachers need to inform their pupils of the potential opportunities that currently exist now and in the future).

At the end of 2008 a Future Skills Action Group undertook research in how to address this shortcoming. The report highlighted the fact that more needs to be done to sell the benefits of working in the Hospitality and Tourism sector to the public. With this in mind, the following actions are being taken:

• Regional Career events will be organised, to encourage young people to consider a career in the sector;

• People 1st will be expanding the existing UKSP web based skills and recruitment site; and

• People 1st will be recruiting a number of employers to act as Ambassadors to participate in promotional activities. (More in our Post 16 Blog)

With all this activity going on and a thriving sector, there is no doubt that this is an exciting time for the Hospitality and Tourism industry in Northern Ireland and more importantly for our young people who are considering a career in this Sector.


Careers Lessons for Language and History Teachers.

These resources are a series of online resources for teachers to introduce a careers dimension within KS3/4 subject delivery, across three subjects: English, history and languages. These resources were conceptualised as practical career-related activities linked with elements of the English, history and modern languages curricula.

The language resources are now publicly available on CILT’s Languages Work website

The history resources can be viewed at

The English resource will be available soon.


Students Opt to Stay at Uni!

Two thirds of final year students admit to being concerned about the current economic climate, and over a third are planning to continue their studies next year, according to a new report by the National Union of Students (NUS) and HSBC.

The 'Students in Employment and Post Course Plans' survey, published yesterday, also reveals that middle class students are more likely than any other group to have to support themselves financially while at university.

Findings include:
- 66% of final year students are concerned about the current economic climate
- 30% of final year students said they had changed their plans for after they graduate as a result of the economic climate
- 38% of final year students planned to do further studying, up from 27% last year
- 42.5% of students from middle income families work during term time, compared to just 36% from poorer families and 27% of students from richer families

NUS President Wes Streeting said: "It is clearly an extremely worrying time for many students, with top up fees leaving them in record levels of debt and graduate job prospects drying up.

"Middle class students in particular are feeling the pinch. They do not qualify for grants or bursaries, but their families are not earning enough to support them through a degree.

"It is remarkable that some vice chancellors are still insensitive enough to call for even higher fees during a time of economic crisis. They have to acknowledge that students and their families are already bearing enough of a burden."

According to a recent report by Universities UK, graduates would owe an average of over £26,000 if the cap on fees were raised to £5,000 a year, and over £32,000 if the cap were raised to £7,000 a year. Despite this, more than half of university vice chancellors surveyed by the BBC in March called for charges of at least £5,000 per year, or for there to be no upper limit.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Teaching Resources for CEIAG!

For those who don't already know we have a VLE (A Virtual Learning Portal ie where we have numerous teaching materials/resources/power points, etc that you the teacher can use in CEIAG programme of work from Key Stage 3 to Post 16.

Clicking on the LINK will take you to the Clounagh website - you must enter your user name and password (create one if you haven't already done so - ANYONE CAN JOIN). Click on the link CEIAG - and your in!

We have a Labour Market Information Section which contains numerous presentations and information from different Sector Skill Councils. If you have difficultly contact the team at Silverwood.


DEL Skills Newsletter

The Department For Employment and Learning like to keep in touch with those who have an interest in what they do. As a result they issue a monthly newsletter that contains useful information for those in the CEIAG world.

July Issue

May Issue


94% asked for better CEIAG Advice

An Equality and Human Rights Commission report has outlined the attitudes and aspirations of over 1000 young people aged 14 - 19. One of the outcomes from the study has highlighted the need for better CEIAG – with a massive 94% asking for better advice on career options and one in five youngsters admitting to never having had one-to-one careers sessions. Read more


Pupils Abandon Traditional Subjects

Traditional subjects are being marginalised at secondary schools as more students elect to take vocational subjects.



LMI Factsheets

A series of easy-to use Northern Ireland Fact Sheets is now available for your use. The Fact Sheets cover a variety of occupations within the 25 Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in Northern Ireland. They provide information on job prospects, relevant skills and entry requirements as well as highlighting current vacancies and skill shortages.

Fact Sheets


Local Labour Market Information

The Department for Employment and Learning has published labour market profiles for the six Workforce Development Forums (WDFs) in Northern Ireland
These are Belfast Metropolitan WDF, North West Regional WDF, Northern Regional WDF, South West WDF, South Eastern Regional WDF and the Southern Regional WDF. A report providing an overview of labour market information for Northern Ireland has also been published.

View all reports here.


Have you a Space Cadet in your Classroom?

The UK space industry contributes nearly £6 billion to the UK economy and supports 19,000 jobs. The following article will give a student an insight into the world of a UK Astronaut.



Creative Careers in IT

E-Skills UK have developed 'SHOWCASE' a resource that will take your students on an interactive tour of the IT World.


Need a Visiting Speaker for your Classroom!

The Retail Ambassador programme has been developed by Skillsmart Retail to allow retail staff to promote the sector in schools and colleges across the UK, encouraging young people to consider a career in retail. Click on the link for further details. (information is stored on the Clounagh VLE website under Labour Market Information Section)


Travel and Toursim Newsletters

People 1st have now launched two Diploma newsletters for the Diploma in travel and Tourism and the Diploma in Hospitality. The newsletters are both featured on the respective websites, and and once registered users can download past publications.
The Diploma in Hospitality newsletter is circulated every 1st of the month, with the Diploma in Travel and Tourism being circulated on the 17th of every month.


Free Lesson Plans and Video's

'Step into the NHS' is a website and communications programme designed to raise awareness amongst 14 - 19 year olds of the wide range of careers in the NHS. The NHS does not just employ nurses and doctors, but has over 300 different careers, many of which are not directly involved with patient care. Not only will you find individual lesson plans but 20 video profiles, a career mapper for students and much more.



Tuesday, 19 May 2009

ICT Web Resources

We have been asked by teachers where can they find a list of web sites that related directly to CEIAG? While we review web sites on the Blog we too have been challenge as where to store them.
We have finally developed a Web base resource that will allow us to store all web sites that we have recommend or used in the pass. It will allow you the teacher to access a database of web sites that have common key words. While it is very much in its infancy we hope to have it fully operational by the start of the new school year (September 2009).
If you have any websites that you want to share with others please forward to


Comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland

Comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland
An updated easy- to-use guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland has been published
by QAA and the authorities responsible for the maintenance of credit and qualifications frameworks in the UK and Ireland. Qualifications can cross boundaries - a rough guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland has been produced to avoid confusion with the numbering of levels in the various frameworks across the UK and Ireland. It enables comparisons to be drawn and includes examples of major qualifications at each level. Find it here.

Find it here


CEIAG STEM Resources

CEIAG STEM Resource Money
All schools in the SELB area have just recently received additional money that is to spent on STEM CEIAG Resources, to the value of £880. This is in addition to your already existing Department budget.
If you haven't been notified or received any correspondence to this please contact or telephone 02838310920


Quick Survey

This is our 5th edition of the CEIAG Blog and we want to find out what you think about it? We have over 3000 hits and have just recently made it available to all NISCA members. It is our intention to share it with all Careers teachers in Northern Ireland (Next school year).

However we need feedback from you, it will only take a few minutes to complete. Tell us what you think and email it back to



ETI Survey Inspections

ETI One Day Survey Inspections
If you are one of the 22 schools being visited by the Inspectorate over this coming week (18th - 22nd May 2009), you will be aware that the focus is on CEIAG and Progress File, among other things.

I hear you say 'Progress File' - that's not me I have nothing to do with that (not my responsibility). However this may be the case but CEIAG is involved in the information that is contained within the Progress file, especially when giving advice and guidance (formal or informal, pastoral or subject specific)or developing PCP or Individual Learning Plans.

Don't panic its a survey and the Inspectorate will publish its findings with recommendations, hopefully in time for the next school year.
If you are concern about this please contact me @


Quality Indicators, NI CEIAG Strategy!!!!!

It may all be too much at this late stage in the year to be faced with having two new documents to read. However we ask you just to do that - READ THEM. If you do nothing more than take the time to read and digest this information, it will be a step in the right direction.
We have spoken at length about both these documents arriving on your table and the importance and credence it gives to the work of CEIAG in schools. It may be the case that your principal is not aware of the CEIAG documentation and therefore it is up to you to inform them of changes ahead.

Our team is at hand to take you through this process of change - for some it may not be too much change for others it may be the case of bringing you into 'the heart of the school', where you belong.

Contact our team @ or 02838310920

Quality Indicaors

NI Strategy for CEIAG


Careers Information on Facebook

Career information on Facebook

The Actuarial Profession is launching a Facebook page, ‘Actuaries’,
which forms the hub of a digital campaign running across leading careers sites. Through one-to-one discussions with actuaries on the Facebook page, students will be able to gain a greater insight into a profession which is not that well-known, but ticks many boxes for graduate high-fliers. Actuaries are experts in risk, and the rise of risk management to the top of the financial services business agenda offers unprecedented career opportunities for the profession.

Facebook Link

For a full press release click here


Forecasting the Future Skills Needs of NI

Forecasting future skills needs
A report commissioned by the local Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) examines the workforce skills needed in N Ireland up to 2020.

The report itself is 205 pages long! We haven't tried to summarise it for you but we have identified some information that may be of interest for you.
Alarmingly, the forecast is for just a net 5000 new jobs per annum from now to 2020; compare that to the net 20,000 created in 2005 alone. The 5k growth is, however, more sustainable for an economy of our size. Despite the present gloom and doom the outlook is not all bad – with the economy predicted to undergo a transformation towards more skills hungry sectors and occupations. Priority skills areas are identified as financial and business services, ICT, life sciences and hi-tech manufacturing. And there will be a growing demand for a workforce with NQF Levels 4-8 – up from 28% in 2005 to between 43 and 49% by 2020.


Northern Ireland IT Snapshot

Northern Ireland IT Snapshot
E-skills UK has released new research on ICT skills in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland ICT Snapshot is the first dedicated source of information about changes in the demand and supply of ICT labour and skills in Northern Ireland.

The report is nine pages long but gives an snapshot on the following areas:

Current Trends
Employment Opportunities
Gender Issues
Recruitment Outlook
And much more..

Please click for a copy of the report


Friday, 10 April 2009


If you are one of the many teachers charged with the responsibility of placing pupils on work experience, then you will know the problems faced when asked 'Has this pupil been vetted?'

The vetting process is to over go a major revamp on the 12th October 2009. From this date, all people who work with children and vulnerable adults will be required to be vetted under the new VBS (Northern Ireland Vetting and Barring Scheme).
Everyone over the age of 16 will be required to be vetted for a one off fee of £58. They will not have to go through this process again in their life time. They will be automatically placed on a database, which is updated by previous and current employers. Sounds to good to be through - but this process is to be rolled out right across NI, all employing authorities will be required to follow this procedure. The fee of £58 is currently been looked at by the DE, as to who should pay the fee, if the person is still at school and wishes to go on work placement.

Current practice varies from board to board, however in the SELB we advise that you contact the Board HQ in Armagh and ask for a vetting form, if your student requires to be vetted (waiting time 4-6 weeks approx). Contact us for further information.


STEM Teacher into Industry - Cohort One

If you are one of the lucky ones who have been selected to take part in the first Cohort of Teacher placement, organised by your ELB, then Good Luck and enjoy your experience.

If on the other hand you are wondering why is STEM the new Kid on the Block! Then take a look at this (GO!)


ETI Quality Indicators

The ETI have just recently published on their website 'Evaluating the Quality of Careers Education, Information,Advice and Guidance provided by Schools, Colleges and Training Organisations'. Link

A set of indicators have also been produced for those who provide Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (Link)

Watch the Blog for further updates on CEIAG Quality Indicators


You will never get a job playing Video games?

If you are trying to make careers exciting for those pupils who are 24/7 playing video games (PS3, Nintendo Wii, etc), the following link may allow you to discover what career options are for them in the world of GAMES!



STEM Employers in School!

If you are pondering on how to address the STEM agenda in your school - well help is at hand! Teacher's TV have developed a video resource highlighting how one teacher has tried to promote the awareness of STEM in the Careers Classroom to Year 8 students.

Click on the link for further details


Creative Cultural Sector

By 2014, some 700,000 people are predicted to be working in the creative and cultural sector. That's 700,000 people who could be asking for your advice on careers in advertising, the arts, music, design, cultural heritage and crafts. And, in the current climate, there is an even greater need for trusted careers advice across this creative footprint.

Click on the Link for a free online service offering the tools, knowledge and networks to support everyone starting out, or moving on, in the creative and cultural sector.


Employability is Vital

The CBI Director-General, Richard Lambert, said that it is even more important during the recession that students gain vital employability skills and experience of the workplace,so they are better equipped to compete in the increasingly tough jobs market after graduation.

Read More


What Careers Advice?

Young people find out about careers through a range of sources: TV Programmes, family and friends, hobbies and interests,celebrities and their subject teachers. There was no spontaneous recall of careers advice in schools. (Recent survey on Information Advice and Guidance)

The world of media is currently one of the strongest career influencers, as it introduces young people to new jobs, exposes them to potential lifestyles and opportunities and brings different industries and careers to life which
is important and can be inspiring. DO WE USE IT IN OUR CEIAG PROGRAMMES?

Read More


Massive Shortage in skilled Technicans

While the supposed lack of engineering graduates is widely bemoaned, many companies are instead desperate for competent school-leavers to fill junior roles.

Read More


Fostering Programme for Apprentices

Sir Reg Empey answered questions in the NI Assembly to emphasise progress with some of the main priorities for his Department. On apprenticeships,

he did not wish to see trainees who have been affected by the present economic downturn – perhaps even losing their ‘jobs’ – being disadvantaged. Ways to allow them to complete their training, and not wasting progress to date, were outlined – simulated work environments and full-time FE placements. By utilising such initiatives time spent in training to date thus counts, and the apprenticeship can then be completed successfully. Presently, schemes are in place for the construction, engineering and motor industries – but other parts of the economy may be given similar assistance, according to the Minister, if the necessity arises.

A further innovation mentioned was the ‘fostering’ programme for apprentices, whereby those who have lost their placement can be taken on by a ‘foster’ employer to continue their training, with some of Northern Ireland’s largest companies already being amenable to this project. It was also mooted that contractors who win public sector tenders will be required to take on apprentices, as part of the contract; this is already the case in Scotland.


Thursday, 26 March 2009


We have sadly just heard of the untimely death of a careers colleague, Margaret Bradford Banbridge Academy, RIP.


Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Conference Materials

All materials relating to your Area Learning Community are available on the Virtual Learning Portal. If anything is missing let us know.


LSDA NI Launches New Careers Education Pack

LSDA NI recently launched a new publication, Careers
Education for Work Based Learning Providers- A Resource
Pack. It has been produced for use with Training for
Success and Apprenticeships-NI learners. Careers
Education has been identified as a critical aspect of
ensuring young people entering Post-16 education and
training provision make informed choices on their future
career pathway.

Copies of the pack and further information can be
obtained by contacting Nicola Reilly at the LSDA NI Office,
telephone 028 9044 7711 or


Sector Skills Councils' Careers templates

The Northern Ireland Careers Service web-site provides a
host of information, advice and contacts to help people
of all ages make informed career decisions.

It contains many interactive features and a number of multi-media
resources that enable users to explore fully the range of careers available. It also provides details of all Careers Advisers throughout Northern Ireland. However, one of
the challenges for the Careers Service is to ensure that all careers information is relevant and up-to-date.

Sector Skills Councils, through their extensive research and understanding of employers’ skills requirements, are uniquely placed to provide robust careers information about their sector. In a new project the Department for
Employment and Learning and Sector Skills Councils are developing careers templates for each of the 25 sectors. Each template will contain relevant information about
the sector such as job roles, skills and qualifications for entry to the sector, and job opportunities. This valuable resource will be used by Careers Advisers to promote
each sector as a possible career to their clients. The development of the templates will take place during January to April 2009 and is being co-ordinated through
the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils (ASSC). Further information on
the project is available by contacting Claire Toner at ASSC on
or 028 9044 7735
The Alliance
of Sector


DEL Occupational Information Days

DEL are running a series of Occupational Information Days where people involved in the CEIAG field can get the most recent update in particular sector skills councils.

Date 24th March 2009
Balmoral Hotel, Belfast
10.00 – 12.30 Creative and Cultural Sector Skills Council

1.30 – 14.30 Lifelong Learning Uk

14.30 - 16.00 Electrical Training Trust

26th March 2009
Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera
10.00 – 12.30 Creative and Cultural Sector Skills Council

1.30 – 14.30 Lifelong Learning Uk

14.30 - 16.00 Electrical Training Trust

12th May 2009
Balmoral Hotel, Belfast
10.00 – 12.30 Skills for Logistics Sector Skills Council

1.30 – 16.00 Skills for Justice

14th May 2009
Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera
10.00 – 12.30 Skills for Logistics Sector Skills Council

1.30 – 16.00 Skills for Justice

23rd June 2009
Balmoral Hotel, Belfast
10.00 – 12.30 Lantra Sector Skills Council

Afternoon session to be confirmed

25TH June 2009Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera
10.00 – 12.30 Lantra Sector Skills Council

Afternoon session to be confirmed


UU’s ambitious plans

The University of Ulster has been releasing details of its future strategy over the past two weeks. First up was the announcement of the expansion of its city centre campus in Belfast’s cathedral quarter,

with some provision being moved from the Jordanstown campus on the outskirts of the city.
Next up is raising the profile of the campus in Londonderry. The Magee campus hopes to attract an additional 2000 students to an enhanced range of courses.
Plus Coleraine – location of its other Campus – is to benefit from the construction of a new business park.
With a projected budget of £250m earmarked for the changes, this will be a major boost to the NI economy and the areas targeted.
There are concerns however, from local representatives and onlookers, about the future of the (presently) largest campus at Jordanstown. The university has moved quickly to allay fears by earmarking it as a centre of excellence for sports studies – but this has done nothing to quell the disquiet in the Newtownabbey/Jordanstown area, just five miles from Belfast city centre.
Northern Ireland’s only other university, the Queen’s University of Belfast, obviously also headquarters in the city (as does the physical presence of the OU). This may also be a veiled rationale for the proposals by the UU – to become a ‘city’ university and once and for all shake off its ‘polytechnic’ roots.
Articles here and here


FSA teaching resource

The Financial Services Authority have developed a free pack for colleges: Money for Life which can be downloaded from here


Latest labour market figures released

Figures released today showed another marked increase in unemployment benefit claimants over the month and a rise in the Northern Ireland unemployment rate.

Read more


Occupational Studies

The widely-used CCEA Occupational Studies have been subject to review, as announced by CCEA last October. The intention was to have the suite of qualifications, used by

most of the school/college partnerships with the 14-16 cohort as part of the Entitlement Framework, revised and ready for first teaching in September2009.
However, the changes will not now be effected until 2010/11 (probably first teaching in September 2010).
This is to allow further consultation with stakeholders. You can see a press release on the CCEA website by following the links from the homepage - Latest News and then 2009 (the website has no internal hyperlinks).


Monday, 9 March 2009

STEM in Schools -

Latest News

To celebrate Science and Engineering Week Teachers TV are broadcasting a range of programmes including: STEM Subject Choice and Careers - Careers, which shows secondary pupils researching career paths in STEM related subjects. While in STEM Subject Choice and Careers - Science, a teacher uses a range of methods to help pupils think about the future of their careers in science professions. STEM Subject Choice and Careers - Maths, shows a teacher's innovative link of a maths lesson to the world of work, helping pupils relate their learnings. And STEM Subject Choice and Careers - Engineering shows a Year 9 class engaging in contextual learning about the structure of theme park rides.


Raising Aspirations

Teachers TV looks at how children can be inspired by the world of work.

The programme features Swalwell Primary School in Gateshead which is based on an estate where many are long-term unemployed. Previously a large number of the children at the school had little understanding of the world of work or had very limited aspirations.

The school aims to raise the aspirations of children at the school by embedding career-related learning across the curriculum. SEAL is used as a platform to discuss and explore different careers, while teachers relate subjects like maths to the world of work. The ethos of the school is to demonstrate to children the purpose of going to school and how education and learning fits into the ‘bigger picture’.

The school supports the connection between school and the world of work through a series of initiatives. The school works with Headstart, a scheme which delivers hands-on workshops for children to get a feel for jobs. Workshops are presented at the school by local employees such as telecommunications engineers, chemists and mechanics. The workshops provide tangible role models, make links to education and beyond 16/18, and challenge gender stereotyping.

The school also works with Newcastle University who invite Year 6 pupils to spend a day on campus. Through these visits children learn about university life, that university is open to all, and that certain careers require higher education qualifications.

This programme shows how the introduction of career-related learning in Years 5 and 6 improved attainment and raised aspirations in a deprived area of Gateshead. The activities underline the importance of partnerships and raising aspirations for all abilities. They include:

Getting children to imagine their future lives (integrated with the SEAL programme)
Using ICT and maths in a practical and fun way to explore the world of work
Visiting universities and having contact students (linked to the Students into Schools scheme)
Taking part in a careers morning with ‘hands-on’ activities provided by employers many of whom have brought along younger workers to run them (as part of the Headstart programme for Y6 children)
Challenging gender stereotypes by getting the children to match pictues of people with job titles.
The programme was first broadcast at the beginning of February and can now be downloaded from the Teachers TV website at


Sector Careers Link

Sector Careers Link is the e-newsletter from Sectors Skills Councils (SSCs) on their activities supporting Careers and Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) services.

If you register, Sector Careers Link will be sent directly to your inbox every quarter. Visit


Monday, 16 February 2009

Teacher into Industry

There still is a number of places available for Cohort One of the 'Teacher into Industry', currently being offered by the STEM CEIAG Group.

Click on link for more details.


Thursday, 5 February 2009

CEIAG Professional Development

With in each of the Area Learning Communities (ALC), schools are charged with developing a strategic process for improving the curricular provision in their ALC.

In developing their action plan to bring the situation forward, school principals have identified the need to oversee the quality of the CEIAG provision available to all pupils, firstly within their own school, and then within the wider ALC.

Four of the five ALC's within the SELB have instructed the SELB Curriculum Advisory Support Staff (CASS) to organise training for Heads of CEIAG within each of the ALCs. The Venues and dates are:

Dungannon/Cookstown ALC 16th and 17th February 2009 SW College, Dungannon

Newry ALC 2nd and 3rd March 2009 SRC Newry

Banbridge ALC 5th and 6th March 2009 Dromanitine Conference Centre

Craigavon ALC 11th and 12th March 2009 SRC Portadown Campus


Careers Strategy Launched

The joint DEL/DE all age CEIAG strategy: Preparing for Success, Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance was launched on Wednesday 28th January 2009, by the Education Minister, in the new Careers Resource Centre on Ann Street, Belfast.

The goal of impartial information, advice and guidance is defined, with the aim of allowing all people to plan their life and career transitions in an informed and coherent manner.The strategy will be implemented over the next five years, in parallel with the Success through Skills (DEL) and Revised Curriculum and Entitlement Framework (DE).

Press Release

Download Copy


Monday, 2 February 2009

Bring IT On Campaign

On the 1st January 2009 a series of adverts on television, radio and online were launched. The adverts aim to encourage young people to pursue a career in IT, particularly the software sector.



One to Watch

Success Through Skills. The Department for Employment and Learning is to undertake a skills forecast exercise. It is expected that once complete, the study will forecast the demand for skills in NI in the short, medium and long term under a number of economic growth scenarios.


Labour Market Information

The Department for Employment and Learning has recently published information on each of the Workforce Development Forum (WDF) areas in NI, with some interesting findings.

The reports examine labour market issues within each of the WDF's and provide information on employment, qualifications, vacancies, redundancies, etc..

Read more


Apprenticeship Guarantee

Every week we hear of more redundancies across Northern Ireland in the Automotive, Construction and Engineering sectors.

The Minister of the Department for Employment and Learning, Sir Reg Empey, has given a guarantee, that will ensure apprentices in key skills areas, complete their training.

Those apprentices who are completing apprenticeships in key skills areas of construction, engineering and the motor industry will be able to complete their training, even if they have been made redundant


Unemployment Up Again!

Unemployment figures have increased by 1800, to 35,900 claimants in December 2008. The last time it was this figure was back in August 2002. The Construction Industry equated for 44% of the rise in claimants. Read more.


ESA Bill Presented

The Education for Skills Authority for Northern Ireland will commence for business on the 1st January 2010. The relevant Bill was brought before the Assembly by the Education Minister.



DEL Review of Student Funding

DEL in Northern Ireland has launched a review of variable fees and student finance in Higher Education. Link