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Careers Group hosts international summit to discuss the future of work


The Careers Group, University of London,  hosted the Global Careers Services Summit at Senate House on 13-16 March.

Wendy Thomson pictured with Summit leaders Dr Mark Presnell (Northwestern University), Suzanne Helbig (University of California, Irvine) and Bob Athwal (Skyscanner).

The Summit is an annual gathering of 100 Heads of global University Careers Services for thought leadership on the key issues shaping student careers and employability development towards graduate employment. 

Delegates travelled from Australia, North America, Japan, South Africa, the Middle East, across Europe and the UK, representing a significant diversity of university careers services in size, institutional type, student profile, service delivery and resourcing. This year’s Summit was the first in person since 2019 and to offset carbon emissions, cherry trees were planted by delegates in Gordon Square.

The Summit was hosted by The Careers Group, a federation of Careers Services and careers professionals from the University of London’s member institutions. Delegates were welcomed on the first afternoon by four sessions sharing practice excellence from City, King’s and University of London’s own careers services, as well as from The Careers Group’s new careers strategy module. Around a third of delegates arrived early to attend these sessions which demonstrated the sector-leading quality of Careers Group careers services on an international level.

Topics discussed by delegates during the Summit included helping students navigate the unimaginable future of work, with a presentation by Professor Karina Jorritsma of the Future of Work Institute at Curtin University in Australia, and creating effective partnerships with students and employers where delegates heard from a range of international employers. 

Delegates also heard from students from UCL, City, and four other global universities on how they make career decisions, with a focus on neuroscientific research of the late adolescent brain shared by UCL post-doctoral researcher Dr Emma Jayne Kilford. Five global careers services were given awards for innovation, student partnerships, academic partnerships, employer partnerships and diversity and inclusion. 

The Summit was also addressed by Professor Wendy Thomson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, who reflected on her own career journey and the key role university careers services play in enabling students to explore and achieve their goals. 

Dr Kate Daubney, Director of The Careers Group and host of the event, said:

“It was such a privilege for us to be invited to host the Summit, which is a unique opportunity for global Heads of University Careers Services to step away from the operations of their services and genuinely think differently about the challenges we all face. 

“Careers leaders are generous rather than competitive with each other, because each of our services and universities is so different, so the Summit offers a valuable opportunity to dig deeper into how the same problems can be solved in different ways. In that respect, the Summit also demonstrates its particular focus on embedding inclusion and celebrating diversity across our community.”