Written by Careers Development Consultant, Elly French

January is a time for both reflection and planning in almost all aspects of life. It’s no different for CSW, and for Career Development Consultants, it’s a useful point in the year for lots of reasons. Let’s take a light-hearted look at two of the key roles we have within the organisation and see whether we can help you make it through what can feel like the longest month of the year!

Working with staff and decision makers

Career Development Consultants work with school staff, curriculum leaders, employers and a wide range of other people as part of our daily work with young people, and we know that it’s a very busy time of year for them in preparing students for exams, developing new programmes, preparing for recruitment drives and planning transitions of all kinds. To help make use of some of your Christmas goodies and to mobilise those good intentions, here are some suggestions which we think are particularly pertinent for this time of year:

In your new diaries and calendars: have you pencilled in local Apprenticeship Fairs, the next Big Bang event in June 2020 or other labour market opportunities in your area? Or spoken to CSW if you need more information and awareness? Have a look at our website for more information.

New Year’s resolution to get organised? Looking at the Gatsby Benchmarks for Careers Education now that 2020 is here, are there ways in which CSW and our staff can support you to meet the now statutory requirements placed on all education settings? Take a look.

Thinking about the future and planning budgets? Do you know about the range of additional Services to Education that CSW can offer, alongside skills support, business development and programmes such as Adapt2 that are newly launching this year?

Self-improvement a focus? Training and information updates may be your thing: For staff development, cohorts of students, labour market or parents’ events – as the experts in the field, is January a time to think about whether CSW can update and collaborate with you on your plans?

Take a look below at the kind of research that informs our staff’s work and see how we can continue to support and develop your own work with young people.

Working with young people

Of course, the bulk of the daily work of a Career Development Consultant is spent working with young people. We are professionally trained, hugely experienced and work tirelessly to support young people from the age of 14 to make positive choices, informing and guiding them in as many ways as possible about their options around education, employment and training in order to move successfully into adult life.

If you’re a young person – or an adult wanting to support and encourage a young person – January is a great time to contact CSW. We’ll put you in touch with a Career Development Consultant, and we’re not just about “What do you want to do when you leave school?”. We know that it’s much more complicated than that. Have you seen the top 10 jobs being predicted as booming in the decade ahead? You might be surprised to read that the most robust and comprehensive research doesn’t come up with the weird and wonderful, but some rather familiar sectors and occupations:https://futureskills.pearson.com/research/#/findings/occupations

(originally in The future of skills: employment in 2030: Bakhshi, Hasan; Osborne, Michael; Schneider, Philippe; NESTA .28 September 2017).


  1. Food Preparation and Hospitality Trades
  2. Teaching and Educational Professionals
  3. Sports and Fitness Occupations
  4. Natural and Social Science Professionals
  5. Managers and Proprietors in Hospitality and Leisure Services
  6. Health and Social Services Managers and Directors
  7. Artistic, Literary and Media Occupations
  8. Public Services and Other Associate Professionals
  9. Other Elementary Services Occupations
  10. Therapy Professionals

Many of these do already exist, but it’s the roles within the sectors, and the way in which work will be carried out that is predicted as changing – and so we’re looking more broadly at education, training and development. We help to prepare young people for the world ahead by highlighting the importance of identifying and practising wider skills such as those listed below by this world-leading research:


  1. Judgment and Decision Making
  2. Fluency of Ideas
  3. Active Learning
  4. Learning Strategies
  5. Originality
  6. Systems Evaluation
  7. Deductive Reasoning
  8. Complex Problem Solving
  9. Systems Analysis
  10. Monitoring

(See more at https://futureskills.pearson.com/research/#/findings/top-skills).

What do these terms mean, and how can young people develop and demonstrate them instead of focusing only on a list of requirements for one job or career? And who really knows at the age of 14, 16, 18 or even older which, job or sector is going to meet all of their needs for the rest of their life? That’s just one of the tasks of our Career Development Consultants – translating the latest research and knowledge in order to support young people to be flexible, adaptable and ready to take on the challenges of roles they’ll be employed in over the next ten years. But it’s also wider than that – we passionately believe in also helping young people to discover what makes them tick as individuals, and helping them to make choices that will lead them to live happy and fulfilled lives, whatever the job market, because work and learning is only one part of the equation needed.

Dreaming of holidays in the sun?

January also brings other prompts. The mince pies were still warm when the first holiday adverts arrived on TV screens and laptops, and young people’s career and employment choices can be compared to preparing for a holiday to a new destination and taking a flight. There’s a brighter future, somewhere sunny, and the pictures look good – but how do you get there, and what will it really be like? Perhaps, you don’t know where you want to go, but you just don’t want it to be ‘here’ – wherever ‘here’ is. We work with all young people – from the high-fliers who know where they want to land but need a route map to get there, to those who don’t think they can even attempt a take-off yet. And stretching the metaphor – for those young people who got on the wrong plane, missed their flight completely, or can’t begin to think about going on holiday, there’s no doubt that Career Development Consultants and our colleagues provide a unique and potentially life-changing service, whatever a young person’s abilities or background.

If you’re a young person who doesn’t like making phone calls, or don’t know who you should speak to, you can contact us in a variety of ways to make that first contact. https://cswgroup.co.uk/contact/

And we won’t really ask you to get on a plane … although, who knows – for some people to achieve their hopes and dreams, the sky really is the limit!

So go on – give us a try; whether you’re a professional working with young people, an employer thinking about the future of your firm, a parent or carer unsure of how best to support a young person, or a young person yourself – get in touch. It could be the one New Year’s resolution that you actually keep, and we know you won’t regret it!