Chris James, Emeritus Professor of Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Bath reflects on the value of the Research Library.
The online library provides a comprehensive repository of the different and effective approaches to employer engagement and careers education. It brings together the latest thinking with selected research published over the past 40 years.
Free to access and searchable by keyword, it features summaries of a wide range of studies with abstracts and links to the full reports. Over the last decade the library has become a valuable asset for researchers, academics and policy makers. With research articles and reports from leading figures and education bodies, visitors can examine issues such as employer-led learning, youth employment, career related learning in primary schools, and social mobility, as well as information on gender, ethnicity, and specific subject study such as STEM.
The main library is complemented by an extensive on-line video collection and a physical library. The video collection comprises over 150 videos of researchers discussing their work and its implications for policy and practice, together with conference presentations and seminars.
The physical library located in the Charity’s offices just off Fleet Street, London contains many out-of-print reports, including material from the former Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick, and is accessible by appointment.
The library plays an important role in shaping future direction in the field and driving positive change, explains Dr Anthony Mann, Senior Policy Analyst (Education and Skills) at the OECD:
“To understand the impacts of employer engagement in education on young people, employers and society and the characteristics of its most effective and equitable provision, it is essential to draw on high quality research and important to understand how schools and employers have sought to work together in the past.”
“Globally, I am aware of no better resource for accessing high quality materials than the Education and Employers library. Very well catalogued, it an essential resource for anyone interested in ensuring that today’s policy and practice is undertaken in light of existing knowledge.”
The online library can be accessed here.
Chris James, Emeritus Professor of Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Bath reflects on the value of the Research Library:
First things first, Education and Employers has a crucial role in connecting the worlds of education and employment. The links between those two worlds are very significant for society generally, and for young people in schools and colleges, the link between those two worlds is central to their future lives.
It’s easy to develop ideas and conclusions about the relationship between those two worlds on the basis of personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Important though those ideas are, insights from high quality research provide a much more secure and robust base on which to develop theory, make policy and to determine the best actions in practice. Having a secure research-based foundation on which to build thinking about the relationship between education and employment is essential. It informs and underpins high quality policymaking and practice. That’s why the Education and Employers research resources are so important. They provide that essential secure research-based foundation which serious researchers, policymakers and practitioners require. Developed over 10 years, the collection is an invaluable resource for all those who have a serious interest in employee engagement in education, youth employment, education pathways, careers education and all those places where the worlds of education and employment interact.
The library charts developments in and changing attitudes to employee engagement in education and with articles covering a very broad range of issues including employer-led learning, the involvement of the world of work in school governing, careers education in primary schools and social mobility. Very usefully, the research is ‘open access’ – those with an interest in research reports and articles are free to access, which reflects Education and Employers values and charitable status.
The Education and Employers’ research collection has three sections, all of which inform a research-based understanding.
- The research library provides succinct and clear summaries of over 200 significant research articles and reports from the last 40 years. Importantly, the articles have been selected on the basis of their academic quality and relevance to careers education and matters that connect the realms and employment and education. The way the library’s structured enables those using it to search by key words – very helpful as any (serious) researcher will tell you. The library gives the abstract and the link to the full report/article. It is a comprehensive collection comprising academic papers and wider research reports from leading research and education bodies including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); The UCL Institute of Education; The International Labour Market; World Economic Forum; the Edge Foundation; the Sutton Trust; the Department for Education; Social Mobility Foundation, King’s College, London; the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD); Universities UK; and importantly, reports of the Education and Employers own research.
- The video library is a collection of over 150 videos where leading figures in the field talk about their research. This library also contains footage of conference presentations, symposia and seminars, which are often places where new ideas under development are shared and discussed. Many of these videos are particularly valuable for the way they bring research to life, give valuable summaries and syntheses different ideas.
- Education and Employers research blogs are an important source of research information. They provide insights into ongoing research and issues that are emerging in the research world about research projects, and syntheses of ideas. This part of the library contains over 50 blogs. It is a unique collection.
In addition to these e-resources, Education and Employers has a large collection of ‘hard copies’ of research reports of various kinds. They welcome visitors to peruse the collection in person. Make sure you book before you go, though. Just contact the Education and Employers via email@example.com to arrange a visit.
All those who have an academic research interest in careers education and the relationship between the spheres of education and employment – academics and masters and doctoral students – will find the research library particularly valuable. It’s so useful to have the key articles and report gathered in one easily accessible place. The videos and the blogs will also give them valuable insights.
Policymakers (those who develop government policy) and practitioners (those at the chalk face as it were) will find the resources in the video library the blogs of particular interest. They may also find the research library resources useful and stimulating. Drawing on the high-quality research reported in the various articles/reports will enhance the authority of their work
Importantly, all those using the resources, both the e-resources and the ‘hard-copy resources’ will find them to be focused, organized and accessible.
In developing the research library, Education and Employers have put together a significant resource for researchers, policymakers and practitioners. I would urge all those who have a serious interest in the interplay between the education world and the employment world to explore the library in depth – it will enhance the quality of their work.