26th Oct 2012
You can teach an old dog new tricks
Careers guidance isn't just for school leavers as Angela Rooney, careers manager at the Department for Employment and Learning's Careers Resource Centre in Belfast, explains
High quality careers advice is equally valuable to everyone, including those in work, who are considering further education, training or a change in career direction.
In order to help people of all ages achieve their potential we must ensure that professional careers services are accessible.
The Careers Service provides free careers information, advice and guidance to clients of all ages, whether employed or unemployed.
To enable those currently in work to avail of careers services outside their normal working hours, the Careers Resource Centre in Ann Street, Belfast provides a drop-in service on Saturday mornings from 10am to 2pm and is extending its opening hours each Thursday from October 25, until 8:30pm. Appointments are not needed.
Careers Resource Centres were created to provide appropriate facilities where people of all ages can access high quality careers information, advice and guidance.
In addition to internet facilities, a wide range of up to date careers resources are available to support career research and job search activities. These include books and guides on areas such as choosing a career, going to college, training opportunities, going to university, finding a job and how to write a C.V. Assistance is available on how to use career resources and services to meet your individual requirements.
You can choose to work independently using the careers information and internet facilities available, or take advantage of one-to-one support from a careers adviser if needed.
Private interview facilities are available for a careers guidance interview which is an impartial one-to one meeting between you and a professionally qualified careers adviser.
Careers advisers can help you identify and analyse your skills, explore specific career areas and help you set your career goals. They have knowledge of the local job market and can advise on current job opportunities.
The extended opening hours are aimed specifically at adults but open to all. Careers advisers will be on hand to offer careers information, advice and guidance to anyone thinking about changing jobs or career direction, looking for education/training/employment opportunities, or looking for information on a particular career.
Help is also available for the unemployed, anyone thinking about starting their own business or those who are ready for a new challenge.
The Careers Service provides information on up-to-date employment trends and future job opportunities. Check out job information on www.nidirest.uk/careers. It also provides information on further and higher education including post graduate study.
Further Education Colleges and Universities offer a wide range of courses at various levels that may suit your career path. A range of financial support is available and we will go into more detail on this in next week's article.
If the idea of a more practical route to the job of your choice appeals to you, then training may be an option to consider. Training is available through the Training for Success and ApprenticeshipsNI programmes.
Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to achieve nationally recognised skills and qualifications in a variety of occupations. Many employers will advertise apprenticeship vacancies through the normal recruitment channels including newspapers and websites. For more information visit www.apprenticeshipsni.info.
If you are considering working overseas or vacation/voluntary work information is also available on these options.
If you need advice on your CV, interview skills and application forms, careers advisers are there to help. Guidance is also available to help develop personalised career plans.
The benefits of guidance include increased motivation and self confidence, greater self awareness and identification of achievable aspirations. It can enhance decision making skills and increase your awareness of opportunities.
If you need further information, please go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers where you will find the contact details for your nearest Careers Office and careers adviser.
This site also carries extensive information on career planning. You can also contact the Careers Service by phone on 0300 200 7820.