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The seventh Skills in Focus event took place at Jury's Inn, Glasgow on Friday 22 November 2013, hosted by Paul McKelvie OBE, Chair of the Joint Skills Committee. The Skills in Focus series is intended to stimulate informed debate around current and future skills issues.

The event featured a presentation titled 'Making, shaping and showcasing career services at work' from Dr Deirdre Hughes, OBE. Dr Hughes is a Commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and Chair of the National Careers Council for England. She has written extensively on UK, EU and international careers policy, research and practice.

The event attracted senior representatives from across the careers landscape. The organisations represented included the Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Education Scotland, Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, The Federation for Industry Skills and Standards and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. There was also representation from individual Scottish businesses, colleges, universities and local authorities.

Dr Hughes provided a perspective on the policy trends for Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) over the last decade by highlighting some of the international challenges with changing labour market conditions and the experience of Careers Services in responding to these. The position of Scotland was then considered in terms of its ability to meet these challenges and in the case of Skills Development (SDS), modernise its service accordingly.

Dr Hughes emphasised the important role that employers play in articulating future skills needs alongside robust and useful labour market intelligence. She concluded by looking at the experience of some other nations in modernising careers services

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