About me

Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE

Deirdre specialises in careers, employment and skills policy, research and practice at a regional, national, European and international level.

Biography 

With over 25 years of experience working in careers, employment & skills policy, research and practice, Deirdre has combined her academic research and teaching with senior advisory roles reporting to Ministers in the UK and working with senior leaders from education and industry. Her PhD on ‘The UK Evidence-Base for Careers Work’ has contributed to numerous reports to Governments, as well as post-graduate and doctoral level programmes of study. She was appointed by the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions (DWP) and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) as a Commissioner with the UK Commission for Employment & Skills (2011 -2015).She was a Board member of the UKCES Strategic Management Group, Research Group and Skills Assessment Panel, specialising in careers policies and practices in the four home nations of the UK.

She was Chair of the National Careers Council in England (May 2012 – September 2014) reporting directly to three Skills Ministers: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-careers-council. During this time, the Council produced two major reports to Government with senior leaders from education, business and careers fields promoting “a culture change in careers provision for young people and adults”. The Council worked closely with the National Governors’ Association to produce guidance for Governors across England: http://www.nga.org.uk/Guidance/Pupils-and-parents/Careers/Focus-on-Careers-Education-and-Guidance.aspx In partnership with Nestlé UK & Ireland, Deirdre produced the first ever ‘Careers HeatMap of careers provision across England’ by local authority and local enterprise partnership (LEP) areas.  Deirdre continues to provide written and/or oral evidence to Assemblies and Parliamentary Committees in each of the four home nations of the UK.

Deirdre has taught in three UK Universities on career education and guidance, social science studies, enterprise in higher education and the use of LMI and ICT. Her qualitative research includes, for example, professional identity transformation, impact assessment, returns on investment (ROI) from careers provision, design and delivery of career support services at a national and local level, career decision making, career adaptability and skills supply, the effective use of labour market intelligence/information and ICT, work with young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Deirdre has undertaken and contributed to major national, EU and international research and consultancies, including literature reviews, on legislation on careers guidance in EU member states; benchmarks and quality assurance frameworks; the use of LMI and ICT, adult careers information, advice and guidance; social mobility and young people and adults; careers and guidance-related programmes and interventions within and outside of the workplace.

She is currently working as a Senior Consultant with Pontydsgu, within a European consortia (including the University of Warwick IER) focusing on ‘Scalable cost-effective facilitation of professional identify transformation in public employment services EmployID’, with Pontydsgu and Professor Jenny Bimrose & Professor Alan J Brown – Institute for Employment Research, funded by: European Commission, Project Start Date: 01/02/2014 – Project End Date: 31/01/2018. Visit: https://employid.eu

Deirdre is Chair of the Promotions Senior Advisory Body for the DfE/CfBT ‘Core Maths Support Programme’ in England (2015 – 2017): http://www.core-maths.org/ and Chair of the Independent Quality and Governance Board for the UK matrix quality standard (2016 – present): http://matrixstandard.com/ She was appointed by Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills, Wales as an external independent expert for the appointment Chair of Careers Wales and Board members (2015 – present).

Deirdre is Co-Editor of the British Journal for Guidance and Counselling: International Symposium Series working with Professor Frans Meijers (The Hague University):  http://www.routledgementalhealth.com/journals/details/0306-9885/. and a part-time Principal Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research (IER). She has undertaken external examiner/evaluator/trainer roles at the University of Ulster, University of the West of Scotland, Limerick University, Reading University, the Open University and University College Dublin (UCD).

She works closely with business, education, trade union and careers sector, practitioners, leaders and policymakers. She is a member of the Education and Employers Taskforce Partnership Board: http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/. Deirdre has well established working links with Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England advising on careers, skills and apprenticeship growth plans and is the principal author of ‘London Ambitions: Shaping a Careers Offer for Every Young Londoner’. The London Ambitions model has now been adopted and customised in other parts of England.

Overall, Deirdre has a broad portfolio of regional, national, European and international clients who have successfully commissioned DMH & Associates Ltd. services, including work with academics and expert consultants in countries such as: Austria, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the USA. She is a longstanding member of the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDP): http://www.iccdpp.org/  In 2012, Deirdre was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen for services to career guidance.

Some further selected examples of EU research and consultancy include:

  • Senior Associate working on a major European Commission funded research project Scalable cost-effective facilitation of professional identity transformation in public services (EmployID)’ on behalf of Pontydsyguwith Professor Jenny Bimrose and Professor Alan J Brown, from Warwick University Institute for Employment Research (IER) (February 2014 – January 2018).
  • Expert consultant on the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network, specialising in quality assurance and the evidence-base for policy and systems development ELGPN. She also co-authored a major EU report on Youth Unemployment: A Crisis in Our Midst and co-designed a Quality Assurance and Evidence Base (QAE) Framework piloted in 14 EU countries (2011-2015).
  • British Council International Seminar keynote presentation in Belfast, N.Ireland on ‘Careers Education and Guidance for a Global Economy’ with representatives from Albania, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan and the Unites Arab Emirates (24th October 2014).

On behalf of the Assembly governments in the four home countries of the UK, she has written UK Country Reports to feed into international symposia on Career Development and Public Policy: http://www.is2015.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/UnitedKingdom.pdf

Some further selected examples of her work include:

2016

  • London Skills Show, in association with Prospects Events Ltd., hosting a breakfast panel meeting with young people, employers and the Deputy Mayor of London (December 2016). Visit: http://www.skillslondon2016.co.uk/
  • Skills Northern Ireland in association with Prospects Events Ltd., chairing a Senior Advisory Panel and hosting a breakfast meeting with senior leaders and practitioners, with a special keynote address delivered by Minister Weir on behalf of the Department of Education. (November 2016) Visit: http://www.skillsnorthernireland.co.uk/ 
  • Welsh Assembly Government independent expert on the selection panel for Careers Wales Chair and Board member appointments (2015 – 2017)
  • KareerHub a unique online course and LMI resource currently being tested and developed within a consortia in Northern Ireland. Visit: http://www.koremanagementsystems.co.uk/
  • Yorkshire and The Humber: Shaping a Careers offer for All Young People, commissioned by the National Careers Service in Yorkshire and the Humber.
  • The Black Country: Shaping a Careers Offer for All Young People, commissioned by the Black Country Career Development Partnership Group.
  • International Literature Review: Careers Education with Education and Employers, London (on behalf of the University of Warwick IER) – commissioned by the Education Endowment foundation (EEF), funded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, London. Visit: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Careers_review.pdf
  • Adult Education: Too important to be left to chance (on behalf of the University of Warwick IER) commissioned by the All Parliamentary Group for Adult Education, London: House of Commons, Westminster. Visit: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ier/research/adult_education/
  • Assessing and measuring the impact of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) with Adviza Thames Valley and Impetus, The Private Equity Foundation, London. Project Start Date: 01/6/2015 – Project End Date: Ongoing. Visit: http://www.impetus-pef.org.uk/charity-partners/current-partners/

2015

  • Evidence and Impact Assessment Paper for DfE Minister responsible for careers policy. Funded by Careers England Limited. Project Start Date: 01/10/2015 – Project End Date: 15/11/2015. Visit: http://www.careersengland.org.uk/documents/Public/Careers%20England%20Policy%20Commentary%2032%20-%20Careers%20provision%20for%20young%20people%20where%20next%20-%20Dec%202015.pdf
  • London Ambitions: Shaping a Successful Careers Offer for young Londoners with London Enterprise Panel and the London Councils. Project Start Date: 01/10/2014 – Project End Date: ongoing. Visit: http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/londonambitionscareers
  • Evaluation of lifelong guidance system in Hungary (on behalf of the University of Warwick IER) funded by Consensus. Project Start Date: 08/09/2015 – Project End Date: 15/10/2015
  • LMI for All: Stakeholder engagement with Prof. Jenny Bimrose, Dr Sally-Anne Barnes, Dr Nick Sofroniou and Graham Attwell, (Pontydsygu), Wales (on behalf of the University of Warwick IER) funded by: UKCES/DfE, Project Start Date: May 2015 – Project End: ongoing.
  • Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance in Surrey with Adamson, J. & Stutz, A. CfE Research, Leicester. Funded by: Surrey County Council. Project Start Date: 1/06/2015 – 31/11/15.
  • Strengthening the Quality Assurance and Evidence-base of Lifelong Guidance, on behalf of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN), University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Project Sart Date: 2011 – Project Finish Date: 2015.
  • UK Country Report, International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy (ICCDPP), Iowa, USA (14th – 17th June 2015). Project Start Date: 1/03/15 – Project End Date: 17/06/15. Visit: http://www.is2015.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/UnitedKingdom.pdf
  • UK Country Team Synthesis Report -7th International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy with Hooley, T., Horler, K., Jones, E.G. & Stewart, S. ICCDPP, Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Project Start Date: 17/06/15 – Project End Date: ongoing
  • Research into the Impact of the Mayor of London’s ‘Championing Careers Guidance in Four London Academies’ with Adamson, J., & Bowes, L. et al. CfE Leicester. Project Start Date: 1/10/2014 – Project End Date: 30/11/2015
  • Careers market policies and practices in England and The Netherlands with Professor Frans Meiers (The Hague University) and Professor Marinka Kuijpers (Open University, The Netherlands). Project Start Date: 1/01/15 – Project End Date: ongoing
  • Quality assurance and evidence-based policy systems development: QAE Framework on behalf of European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN). Project Start Date: 2011 – Project End Date: 2015. Visit: http://www.elgpn.eu/
  • Careers Provision: How to mend a fragmented system, SSAT Invitational Dinner: Keynote speaker and published research findings. Project Start Date: 11/2/2015 – Project End Date: 20/7/15. Visit: https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SSAT-Journal-03-Excerpt.pdf
  • Research on the Use of Information by Students and their Advisers – A report for the UK higher education funding bodies. Funded by: CfE Research, Leicester. Project Start Date: 1/06/2015 – 1/09/15
  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the matrix Standard (2015) with Bowes, L., Reece, L., Reece, L., Moreton. R,. Howe, P., & Burkin, G. Funded by: Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS), London. Project Start Date: 01/7/2014 – Project End Date: 31/9/2014. Visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/406654/bis-15-1-evaluation-of-the-effectiveness-of-the-matrix-standard.pdf
  • Championing Careers Guidance in four London Academies, in association with CfE, on behalf of the Greater London Authority. The research team comprising social scientists and economists are undertaking an impact assessment working school leaders, teachers, young people, parents and employers (September 2014 – September 2015).

2014

2013

2012

  • Youth Unemployment: A Crisis in Our Midst – The role of lifelong guidance policies in addressing labour supply and demand with Dr Tibor Bors Borbély-Pecze, Hungary. Funded by the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network, Finland. Project Start Date: 2012 – Project End Date: 2012 .Visit: http://ktl.jyu.fi/img/portal/23229/Hughes_and_Borbely-Pecze_youth_unempl_concept_note_web.pdf?cs=1350649971
  • Improving Lifelong Career Guidance and ICT Support project: Legislation on Career Guidance in EU member states, EU-funded project on behalf of the Croatian Public Employment Service and Tribal Education Ltd, Project Start Date: 1/09/12 – Project End Date: 1/02/12.
  • Improving Lifelong Career Guidance and ICT Support project: Analysis and assessment of the statutory provisions underpinning National Guidance Fora in EU Member State, EU-funded project managed by the Croatian Public Employment Service and Tribal Education Ltd, Project Start Date: 1/09/12 – Project End Date: 1/02/12.
  • Improving Lifelong Career Guidance and ICT Support project: Quality Assurance Frameworks in an EU context. EU-funded project managed by the Croatian Public Employment Service and Tribal Education Ltd. Project Start Date: 1/01/12 – Project End Date: 1/05/12.
  • Online careers portal – design and structure of ‘TES Growing Ambitions’ Funded by: TES, London. Project Start Date: 01/09/2011 – Project End Date: 31/01/2012.. Visit: http://growingambitions.tes.co.uk/about

2011

  • Research Study on Costs Associated with a Revised Remit and Structure for the Careers Wales Service, with Professor Jenny Bimrose and Dr Sally-Anne Barnes (Institute for Employment Research), Funded by: Welsh Assembly Government, Project Start Date: 24/10/2011 Project End Date: 09/12/2011
  • Improving Individual Choice in Career Direction and Learning, with Professor Jenny Bimrose, (Institute for Employment Research), Professor Alan Brown (Institute for Employment Research) and Dr Sally-Anne Barnes (Institute for Employment Research), Funded by: UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), Project Start Date: 19/08/2010 Project End Date: 08/08/2011
  • The Role of Adaptability in Skills Supply, with Professor Jenny Bimrose, (Institute for Employment Research), Professor Alan Brown (Institute for Employment Research) and Dr Sally-Anne Barnes(Institute for Employment Research), Funded by: UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), Project Start Date: 01/10/2010 Project End Date: 31/03/2011
  • Perspectives on women in science, engineering and technology – A New Era for Careers: choices and consequences on behalf of The Smith Institute, London. Project Start Date: 01/03/2011 – Project End Date: 1/06/2011. Visit: http://www.raeng.org.uk/publications/other/women-in-set
  • Integrating new technologies into careers practice: Extending the knowledge base with Professor Jenny Bimrose, Warwick University [Institute for Employment Research] and Dr Sally-Anne Barnes, Warwick University [Institute for Employment Research]. Funded by: UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Project Start Date: 01/01/2011 – Project End Date: 31/07/2011. Visit: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ier/publications/2011/bimrose_2011_ict.pdf
  • KPMG, Belfast, research undertaken to review the impact of educational guidance services across Northern Ireland (February 2011).

2010

2009

2008

  • Evaluation the effectiveness of career guidance: a longitudinal case study (DfES), with Professor Jenny Bimrose, (Institute for Employment Research), Dr Michael Orton (Institute for Employment Research) and Dr Sally-Anne Barnes (Institute for Employment Research). Funded by: Department for Education and Skills. Project Start Date: 01/10/2008 Project End Date: 31/10/2008
  • NEET SPEAKS: Influences Shaping Young People’s Choices of Education, Training and Employment with Davies, D., Bright, G., & Dyke, S. Funded by: South Yorkshire Learning & Skills Council, Sheffield. Visit: http://www.derby.ac.uk/media/derbyacuk/contentassets/documents/ehs/icegs/NEET-speaks.pdf

2007

  • Maximising the Value of Career Development for Sustainable Growth and Social Equality: England Country Paper. Commissioned by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), Sheffield. Project Start Date: 01/07/2007 Project End Date: 25/10/2007.

2006

  • UK Country Report for Finnish Presidency Conference: Update on Progress in Implementing the May 2004 Council Resolution on Guidance Throughout Life. Commissioned by the Department for Employment and Skills, Sheffield. Project Start Date: 2006 Project End Date: 1/05/2006
  • Shaping the Future: Connecting Career Development and Workforce Development: UK Country Paper, Third International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia. Project Start Date: 2006 Project End Date: 1/05/2006. Visit: http://careers.qut.edu.au/is2006/Country%20Papers%20Received/UK%20Country%20Paper.pdf
  • Critical Review of Quality Assurance Mechanisms for Information, Advice and Guidance with Professor Jenny Bimrose Warwick University (Institute for Employment Research] and Professor Audrey Collin, De MontFort University. Funded by: UFI Limited, Project Start Date: 22/06/2005 – Project End Date: 31/01/2006

2005

  • A Market in Career? Evidence and Issues. Funded by: Department for Education & Skills,Sheffield. Project Start Date: 2005 Project End Date: 2005.
  • Connexions: Developing Options and Opportunities. Funded by: Univesity of Derby. Project Start Date: 2006 Project End Date: 1/05/2006.
  • Peer Review: Supporting lifelong learning through the development of guidance services in Latvia. Funded by the European Commission – DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, pp. 129-136. Project Start Date: 2006 – Project End Date: 1/05/2006. Visit: http://pdf.mutual-learning-employment.net/pdf/latvia05/UK.pdf
  • A systematic literature review: career development interventions in the workplace with Professor Jenny Bimrose, Dr Sally-Anne Barnes & Dr Michael Orton, Warwick University [Institute for Employment Research] and Lindsey Bowes, Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby. Sheffield: Department for Education & Skills.
  • Mobility of leaders across public services with Penna Consulting. Funded by: Cabinet Office, London – Office of Public Services Reform (OPSR). Project Start Date: 2005 – Project End Date: 2005.

2004

  • Investing in Career: Prosperity for citizens, windfalls for Government. Fundd by The Guidance Council, Winchester. Project Start Date: 2004 – Project End Date: 2004.
  • A Market in Career Provision? Learning from Experiences on the East Coast of America. Funded by: learndirect, Sheffield. Project Start Date: 2004 – Project End Date: 2004.

2003

  • Protocol: Review of the impact of careers education and guidance on young people’s transitions from Key Stages 3 to 4. In Research Evidence in Education Library, London: Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre), Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education. Project Start Date: 2002 – Project End Date: 2003.

2002

2001

For details of her publications: visit: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ier/people/dhughes/publications/ 

Evaluation, Research & Development

DMH & Associates Ltd offers high quality services drawing on the international, national and local evidence base for careers work. We work in partnership with a wide range of organisations to find innovative and practical ways of developing effective careers policies, research and practice.
Career Matters Button

Posts of the Past