Tuesday, 14 February 2017


This important study explores the perceptions of 390 secondary school staff about the value of 16 different work-related activities which are commonly undertaken by school students between the ages of 12 to 16. Unusually, the study only asks teaching staff to comment on those activities taking place in their own schools, activities about which they can be expected to hold an informed view as to how their students react to the different experiences presented. Respondents were asked to identify activities which they felt were particularly effective in helping young people to develop four key employability skills, to increase their attainment and to achieve a range of important outcomes linked to their ultimate progression out of education. Finally, different types of learners, distinguished primarily by attainment levels, were identified and respondents asked if any of the activities were particularly effective in their support.

The research suggests that priority should be given to activities involving real-world workplace experience and as a minimum, young people should take part in one or more activity over key stages 3 and 4 related to:
  • Sustained engagement with working world;
  • The development of career exploration and recruitment skills;
  • Skill development through enterprise activities. 
It also suggests that the needs of higher and lower achievers should be considered separately.

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