AGCAS Phoenix, October 2020 – Responding to Covid-19

In this issue of Phoenix, we profile AGCAS members’ initial response during the first few weeks of lockdown, reflect on how they navigated the months that followed, and outline how they continue to evolve and futureproof careers and employability delivery within a changed – and still changing – landscape. You can read about the wide-ranging support and myriad of interventions that have been rolled out by AGCAS members across the UK since the middle of March.

Without question, this issue of Phoenix busts the truly archaic myth that university careers services are resistant to change. AGCAS members adapted very quickly to a shifting external context. Most were able to pivot to remote working overnight, building on their use of existing platforms to enhance online delivery; while for others it took a little longer to flick the switch. Either way, regardless of the time it took to get fully up and running following the announcement of a national lockdown, AGCAS members have done more than simply move provision online to replicate face-to-face delivery in a virtual world.

It is impossible to read the articles in this issue and not feel inspired by the commitment and dedication of AGCAS members. From the outset, in the midst of panic and uncertainty, university careers services have been doing everything they can to support students and graduates through very challenging times, in the face of many competing institutional priorities. The examples of service delivery featured will continue to offer significant value to students, graduates, employers and other stakeholders long after restrictions have been lifted, when we are all out the other side of the pandemic and its legacy.

The one constant during these highly unusual times is the strength of community that exists within the careers profession. University careers services are rich in collegial, specialist, expert practitioners. Ever conscious of the challenges ahead, it will be more important than ever to share endeavours, knowledge and best practice in responding to stakeholder needs, as we navigate the next few months.

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