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National Careers Service - Belief in a Career

29 July 2014

Prospects delivered training to all London National Careers Service advisers to understand the impact a customer’s religion or belief has on their lives.National Careers Service

Prospects holds the Prime Contract to deliver face-to-face careers advice on behalf of the National Careers Service across Greater London. Prospects has advisers in every Jobcentre in the capital and in outreach locations all over London, and different subcontractors covering all London boroughs.

European Union European Social FundProspects created the project, Belief in a Career, and was one of 41 providers nationwide that won funding from the Skills Funding Agency. The project recognised that religious and non-religious beliefs can affect the training, career and education choices people make. 72% of advisers surveyed before the project said that they would find addressing issues raised by a customer’s religion or belief challenging, and they would welcome training to understand these concerns fully.

In response, workshops were run to help advisers create an interview environment that is inclusive for customers with religious or non-religious beliefs. At least one adviser from each sub-contractor attended to encourage a consistent approach across the network.

One National Careers Service adviser who attended the training gave the following feedback. 'Really thought-provoking. A lot of the application of religious examples in relation to harassment and victimisation were things I didn't know much about, e.g. discrimination by association. I particularly enjoyed the information on how religion/reflection/prayer is used to make career decisions and that these are often the most used strategies. These points reminded me why I got into careers advice, helping people reconcile their working lives into their whole lives.'

Two Equality and Diversity Champions, Fatma Emin and Leroy Kraku, were recruited from the National Careers Service network. They interviewed customers, employers and advisers to research how a lack of understanding about religion and belief can prevent a customer moving into the job market. This research led to the Belief in a Career Adviser Guide, which covers topics including The Equality Act 2010 and the types of discrimination as defined by the act, key religions, faiths and beliefs in London and case law examples to generate discussion.

In June and July, the project manager Michaela Moher attended Equality and Diversity Innovation Fund dissemination events in Newcastle, Stratford-Upon-Avon and London to share the findings of the project with education and training professionals, employers, learners and other stakeholders.

For more information and resources, visit the Equalities Toolkit project page.

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