Deirdre Hughes
Associate Professor at the University of Warwick

Speaker on June 28, 2023

Career development: Tidal Waves, Turbulence and Transformation

For individuals and our national economy, it is a crucial time to focus on careers, skills, and future prospects. Labour markets are changing rapidly. Employers are unable to fill job vacancies due to skills shortages, which are worse in some countries than others. Skills and careers support makes an important contribution to societal wellbeing and productivity. Conflict and disputes highlight the discontent and disconnect between how government and citizens view modern careers, skills, and prospects. Associate Professor Deirdre Hughes will set out five big trends that are creating tidal waves and turbulence challenging how the career development field positions itself now and in the future. She will share her research findings on places and spaces for transforming careers support, including the use of ChatGPT, AI and machine learning in a guidance context. She will also explore ways of closing the gap in our understanding of contemporary and future perspectives on career development.


Hughes, D., Hambly, L., & Percy, C. (2022). Career development and wellbeing: a practitioner toolkit, Careers Wales, Skills Development Scotland and dmh associates, July 2022.

Percy, C. & Hughes, D. (2022). Lifelong Guidance and Welfare to Work in Wales: Low Cost Linked Return on Investment Methodology, Book Chapter, Thessaloniki: Cedefop CareersNet.

Hughes, D., Shakoor, I., Hampshire, K., & Croll, L. (2022). Career-related learning in primary 
schools: a city collaborative approach in England, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 50:3, 443-461, DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2021.1998363.

Akkok, F. & Hughes, D. (2021). Career Chat: The Art of AI and the Human Interface, In Digital Transitions in Lifelong Guidance: Rethinking careers practitioner professionalism – A CareersNet Expert Collection, Thessaloniki: Cedefop CareersNet, pp 89-100. See also: and

Hughes, D., Warhurst, C., Benger, E., & Ifans, M. (2021). Building better futures: decent work,
inclusion and careers support services, British Journal for Guidance and Counselling, Special
Issue: International Symposium Series, April 2021, Vol 9, (2) pp.213-227.

"Digital technology, including the use of ChatGPT, AI and machine learning, is becoming more integrated into our lives. This has the potential to transform career guidance, education, employment and social connection. It also brings tidal waves of change and turbulence for those most vulnerable in our society."