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We can’t all be at the top of the ladder: Problems with social mobility as an outcome of career guidance
Career guidance has long promised to level the playing field and help those from more disadvantaged background to compete with the more fortunate. The vision was that in a buoyant economy there were more and more opportunities which should be open to everyone. Social mobility was viewed as a social good and career guidance seen as a key contributor to it.

Career guidance could: provide access to information and intelligence about the labour and learning markets in ways that transcend existing social networks; demystify labour and learning market systems and support individuals to understand progression pathways and manage transition processes; engage with individuals’ assumptions about themselves and the world around them, informing and challenging them; listen to individuals’ aspirations and help them to operationalise these as well as considering alternatives; build the skills that people need to make decisions and transitions and to progress in their career (career management skills); broker access to networks beyond the ones that individuals normally have access to; and provide mentoring and support to encourage persistence and remaining resilient in the face of setbacks.

However, since the recession in 2009, some of the belief in social mobility has started to wane. Years of policy belief in higher education and economic growth have been called into question. Increasingly people have recognised that not everyone can rise up through society and that all too often the same people end up at the top.

So, in this webinar, we will look at what alternatives exist to social mobility and ask whether we need a broader conception of social justice? We will also look at the roles that career guidance can play in supporting social justice.

Professional Standards Competency - Diversity and inclusion

Time Zones


Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, ACT - 19:00
South Australia - 18:30
Queensland - 18:00
Northern Territory - 17:30
Western Australia - 16:00

Dec 10, 2020 07:00 PM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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Registration fee A$25.00AUD

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Tristram Hooley
Tristram Hooley is a researcher and writer specialising in career and career guidance. He is variously the Professor of Education at the University of Derby, Professor II at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and the Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers. He is interested in the way that our careers are twisted up with social institutions, expectations and the messy business of policymaking and politics. He writes the Adventures in Career Development blog at https://adventuresincareerdevelopment.wordpress.com/.