School’s out for summer, but the careers service is still in
Schools may be shut for the summer, but for school leavers, and indeed anyone needing careers advice, the doors to the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service remain firmly open.
Some may think that the Careers Service is only for those at or leaving school, but as Johnny Nolan, Careers Manager for Newry, Downpatrick, Kilkeel and Newcastle in the Careers Service explains, nothing could be further from the truth.
“In the current economic climate, it has never been more important for young people and adults to make informed and appropriate career decisions. Everyone needs and deserves top quality careers advice and guidance. Taking time now to fully explore all possible options will pay dividends in the future.
“In the Careers Service, we offer free, professional, personal and impartial guidance to people of all ages. Our ultimate aim is to support everyone in their career decision making, leading to informed, appropriate and achievable career choices.”
Johnny was keen to stress that the Careers Service has offices across Northern Ireland, making careers advice easily accessible to all.
“Careers advisers are located in Job Centres, Jobs & Benefits offices, Careers Offices and in our three custom built Careers Resource Centres in Dungannon, Ann Street in Belfast and at Richmond Chambers at the Diamond in Londonderry.
“In all these locations we have professionally qualified advisers who have excellent experience in helping young people and adults make informed decisions about opportunities in education, training and employment.
“We also work with young people in schools, further education colleges and training providers. Young people are initially introduced to the Careers Service in their school, where careers advisers will provide advice on all of the options available.”
Advances in technology have also made careers advice easier to find. He explained, “As a starting point, we’d recommend people take a look at www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers which has all the latest careers information, as well as interactive features, a course finder, a CV generator, a Parents Zone and much more.
“The website 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 will enable people to explore fully the range of careers available, and also provides the location and contact details for all careers offices throughout Northern Ireland.”
“Those without internet access can contact their local careers adviser by dropping into their nearest JobCentre, Jobs & Benefits office or Careers Resource Centre or by callling 0300 200 7820 where staff will be happy to point you towards your local careers adviser.
The current economic climate may have made things more difficult when it comes to trying to plan a career or find employment, but Johnny is keen to point out that it’s important to prepare for all opportunities.
“While there are not as many vacancies today compared to previous years, employment opportunities exist throughout all occupational areas. More growth is expected in certain areas like information and communication technology and retail and hospitality in support of tourism as well as in industries related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
“My first suggestion is that job seekers should make the most of their job-search skills and sell themselves well to prospective employers, so researching options with a careers adviser would be beneficial.
“The Careers Service has Industry Fact Sheets which provide information on job prospects and relevant skills, as well as highlighting opportunities available – invaluable support indeed. Think about taking the time to retrain and up-skill in order to maximise your options when the economy recovers.”
Johnny summed it all up by saying, “The most important thing to remember is that we’re here to help. We would urge anyone seeking information or making decisions on staying on at school, going to college, seeking employment or changing jobs to call in to their nearest careers office.
“We can also offer help with job applications or completing a CV.”
If you need further information, please log onto www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers to find your local careers adviser. This site also carries extensive information on education, skills and training. You can also contact the Careers Service by phone on 0300 200 7820.”
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