Evidence review for the Careers and Enterprise Company report. What works?: The evidence on careers events with employers.
By Jordan Rehill, Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel and Anthony Mann
This technical annex, commissioned by the Careers and Enterprise Company, presents the evidence on the operation and impact of careers events held in UK schools and colleges which underpins the guidance document What works? The evidence on careers events. The full results will be available from the Careers and Enterprise Company in the near future.
As modern school-to-work transitions have become increasingly complex, the need for adequate careers provision has become more vital. Technological and workplace organisational change have meant that investment choices (what and where to study and the value of qualifications and experience) have become more difficult. In response, wider research and governmental guidelines have advocated involving employers in careers provision to provide students with a greater opportunity to understand the current labour market and the world of work.
Literature and new data were gathered and analysed to understand the potential impacts and optimal delivery of three related types of careers events aimed at supporting the career decision-making of young people: careers talks, careers carousels and careers fairs. Several high-quality studies exist demonstrating positive outcomes experienced by career event participants. However, it must be noted that the literature remains very limited on the comparative value of each type of these events. More comprehensive research is needed on the value of different types of career events to students of different age, attainment level and socio-economic background.
The wider literature, as well as evidence from a new student survey and practitioner survey carried out for this evidence review, suggests that participation in careers events with employers can also have positive impacts on the decision making, employability skills and educational engagement for the young people taking part. Of the three most common forms of careers event, it is the careers carousel which appears to be most often effective in supporting students.
Summary of the findings
Young people can be expected to respond to the different formats of careers events in different ways and practitioners are advised to reflect on pupil characteristics and objectives prior to determining event design.
It is important that the people providing information to pupils about jobs and careers can draw on personal, first-hand experience of the professions they are speaking about.
The more interactions a young person has with people from the world of work through careers events, the better.
Pupil perceptions of the helpfulness of careers events are related to better outcomes in later life.
Preparation and follow up
Positive impacts can be expected to be optimised when young people are well prepared for careers events andundertake follow up activities after the activity.
Access the technical report: How to make the most of careers events with employers Technical report