Careers Services: History, Policy and Practice in the United Kingdom

Careers Services: History, Policy and Practice in the United Kingdom

Careers Services: History, Policy and Practice in the United Kingdom

Careers Services: History, Policy and Practice in the United Kingdom


From the pre-war Juvenile Employment Service to the diversity provided by Careers Scotland, Careers Wales, Connexions and Guidance Partnerships for Adults, David Peck analyzes the origins and development of careers guidance over the past one hundred years. Each new development in U.K. careers services is related to wider changes in social, education and economic policy, with references made throughout to major political figures with an interest in career choice, from Winston Churchill to Tony Blair. Particular attention is paid to the growth of a professional ethic among careers advisers: their training, qualifications and practice. This is the first ever published work to cover the history of the careers services in the U.K. Wide-ranging and meticulously researched, this book will make a significant contribution to the increasingly urgent debate on the future of career guidance, and for the first time calls the professionals to examine their past in order to improve and inform the future of careers services and their clients. Practitioners working in schools, further and higher education or with adults and young workers, student careers advisers and their tutors, should find this book an essential and comprehensive resource.


I'd already had three jobs when I entered the Youth Employment Service in 1957 but satisfaction had eluded me. From my beginning in Sheffield'ss Youth Employment Bureau I was fascinated by the problems people experienced in choosing and finding jobs and absorbed in the task of helping them to choose.

Later, as a vocational guidance officer, I enjoyed the satisfaction of working in and with schools helping individuals and institutions solve their problems. Visiting employers, finding out about jobs and those who succeed in them, finding ways to make this knowledge available to young people, parents and teachers, provided all the stimulus I needed.

Moving to Lincoln to lead its small Youth Employment Service widened my interest further. Contributing to the work of a local education authority and influencing headteachers made me realise the potential of career advice to make a wider contribution. the opportunities provided by the new Careers Service and my move to Shropshire led to my involvement with the national scene through the Institute of Career Guidance and the Heads of Careers Service Association.

I published my first article in 1964 and have written something almost every year since then. the idea of writing this book was first put to me in the early 1980s but began to take shape in about 1997. It would not have come to fruition without the encouragement of a large number of friends and colleagues who have offered advice, ideas and practical help.

First among these I must mention my colleagues at the Centre for Guidance Studies, Tony Watts, Deirdre Hughes and Judith Ayton, who have struggled with my barely legible handwriting and sometimes convoluted prose. They have kept me in touch with the real world. From the wider, real and modern world of career guidance Iyve had invaluable help from Cynthia Gittins, Lyn Barham, Roger Little, Peter Jones, Geoff Ford, Dermot Dick, Nicky Peck and many others.

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