The 10 most popular resources in the Education & Employers research webpages 2016

Throughout the year at Education and Employers we provide resources relevant to employer engagement in education, drawing on work from UK and international settings. Our research page is one of the most visited sections of our website and here we look at the most viewed materials from 2016.

Our research library is always growing, if you have any literature recommendations in the field please contact



At ten…  Work Experience: Impact and Delivery – Insights from the Evidence

Anthony Mann         

This report, published in collaboration with CPID and UKES, considers the value of work experience to young people within the contexts of: clarifying career aspirations, getting into university, academic attainment and employment. It also examines the quality of work experience and the opportunities and obstacles it affords both young people and employers.

The report finds that work experience placements have different impacts on different students. For some, they are an opportunity to challenge stereotypes about specific careers, for others they allow students to determine careers that are not suitable for them in the future. Work experience placements have been credited for increasing employability skills and a route for offers of permanent employment opportunities. For independent school pupils, the benefits of work experience placements are less surrounding career guidance but more as a useful addition for university applications. Anecdotal teacher perceptions have suggested that work experience placements are linked to higher levels of student attainment, with borderline and low-attaining students gaining the most from experiences.

A summary and key insights from the research are available here.

(Uploaded April 21 2012)


At nine… ‘A theoretical framework for employer engagement’

Julian Stanley & Anthony Mann

In Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: Theories and Evidence, Mann, A., Stanley, J. & Archer, L. (eds), London: Routledge (2014), pp.36-52.

This book chapter conceptualises employer engagement in education through the ‘life course’ theory – arguing that life is contextually constructed in a social and cultural manner and that the outcomes of a person are shaped by past events and experiences, creating a chain of outcomes. The authors depict employer engagement in education as a useful resource in the ‘life course’ as it provides advantages for youths when later progressing through the labour market. The impacts of increased levels of engagement can be broken down into human, social and cultural capital to form the basis of the theoretical framework.

The authors use the example of work experience placements to demonstrate how resources are drawn in different ways. The experience gives individuals practical employability skills, a form of human capital. The students also form relationships with potential employers, advancing their social capital. Furthermore, the experience allows students the opportunity to discover whether the profession is correct for them, or not, building their cultural capital. Data from existing studies is used to illustrate the ways in which human, social and cultural capital can be seen to relate to episodes of employer engagement.

A summary of the chapter is available here.

(Uploaded 12 January 2016)


At eight… ‘Careers education in a primary school’

W.P. Gothard

In Pastoral Care, 16(3), pp.36-41 (1998).

The author situates this study within the background theoretical literature and argues that Key Stage 2 is a critical period of child development within which careers education can play a vital role. High levels of inquisition and engagement amongst the children studied indicates their receptiveness to learning about employment opportunities and skills. Whilst broadening horizons about the world of work, careers events can also bolster student competencies in decision-making, presentation, sociability, listening and planning. The author suggests developing successful career engagement for primary age children should emphasise activity and creativity and be followed by written exercises.

A summary of the article is available here.

(Uploaded 6 January 2016)


At seven… Nothing in Common: The Career Aspirations of Young Britons Mapped Against Projected Labour Market Demand 2010-2020

Anthony Mann, David Massey, Peter Glover (both UKCES), Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel and James Dawkins published in collaboration with b-live and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

The report maps the career aspirations of 10,729 British teenagers against the projected demand for UK employment over the period 2010-2020 as established by UKCES analysts. A statistical test shows that the aspirations to have nothing in common with projected employment demand. The report includes full details of teenage occupational aspirations segmented by age. It highlights the value of employer engagement in providing young people with access to reliable information about jobs and careers through such interventions as

A summary of the report is available here.

(Uploaded 19 March 2013)


At six… Why does employer engagement make a difference to young people?

Anthony Mann and Steven Jones

In Engineering UK 2016.

In a chapter for Engineering UK 2016: The State of Engineering Anthony Mann and Steven Jones analyse why school-mediated employer engagement activities benefits young people, and how engagement can be optimally delivered. This chapter is drawn from work by Jones and colleagues in 2015 conceptualising the ‘Employer Engagement Cycle’ – our most popular publication from the Education and Employers research pages last year.

Access a summary of the article here.

Uploaded 11 February 2016)


At five… Employer engagement in education: A bibliography

Rachael McKeown and Anthony Mann

Over the last six years, Education and Employers have worked to find and amplify research providing reliable insights of relevance to the key questions shaping the field of employer engagement in education.

In this bibliography, we reference works which we have found to be of particular value to our own work. We hope and expect this list will grow, year on year.

Access the PDF here.

(Uploaded 13 November 2015)


At four… It’s Who You Meet: Why Employer Contacts at School Make a Difference to the Employment Prospects of Young Adults

Anthony Mann

This report looks at youth unemployment levels and provides statistical evidence to support the verdict that the more times a young person (aged 14 to 19) comes into contact with employers during their schooling then the less likely it is that they will become NEET by the ages of 19 to 24. The results also show that the more employer contacts that there are then confidence will increase with young people. Young adults surveyed who recalled more activities while at school were less likely to be NEET and earned, on average, more than peers who recalled no such activities. The author suggests that the reason for such increases is related to social capital gains and increased professional interactions that are useful for young people.

Read the full report here.

(Uploaded 21 February 2012)


At three… Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: Theories and Evidence

Anthony Mann, Julian Stanley and Louise Archer

The first collection of research essays on the subject of employer engagement in education, the book features 17 essays overwhelmingly drawn from papers presented at Education and Employers seminars and conferences. Authors include: Louise Archer, Chris Percy, Tricia le Gallais, Prue Huddleston, Becky Francis, Anthony Mann and Elnaz Kashefpakdel.

“This important book takes the first step in field building – pulling together what researchers know from a variety of cases and databases about the conditions under which employers can be mobilised to create an opportunity structure for young people, and about the barriers to bringing such opportunities to scale.” – Nancy Hoffman and Robert Schwartz

Read summaries of the book’s chapters here.

A blog about the book is available on the OECD educationtoday blog.

The book is available to purchase via RoutledgeGuilford Press and Amazon.

(Uploaded 19 May 2014)


At two… Presentations from the International Conference on Employer Engagement in Education and Training

July 21 and 22 2016 saw the coming together of key thinkers from around the globe for the International Conference on Employer Engagement in Education and Training. The conference, jointly hosted by Education and Employers and the Edge Foundation, represented a rare coming together of researchers, addressing our conference theme from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives.

Academics and scholars were joined by influential practitioners and policy makers to discuss ideals of best practice for delivering equitable, efficient and effective employer engagement strategies. Some 300 delegates from more than twenty countries attended the event which was kindly hosted by the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and supported by Barclays LifeSkills.

Access the presentations and videos from the conference here.

(Uploaded 25 July 2016)


Most popular… Career education that works: an economic analysis using the British Cohort Study

Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel & Christian Percy

In Journal of Education and Work, 2016.

In this article, the authors examine the relationship between career talks with people from outside of school that British teenagers took part in at the ages of 14-15 and 15-16 and their later earnings at age 26.

The study uses longitudinal data (specifically the British Cohort Study) for its analysis. The cohort study follows people from birth through their lives into adulthood, tracking some 17,000 individuals. It provides a rich and reliable set of measurements including socio-economic factors which could potentially affect income, i.e. parental social class, academic ability, home learning environment and demographics. Analysis found a statistically significant relationship between student perceptions of the career talks that they experienced and later earnings. Students who found career talks to be ‘very helpful’ at age 14-15 were compared with those who found careers talks ‘not at all helpful/not very helpful’. Findings demonstrated that for students aged 14-15 who found career talks ‘very helpful’ witnessed a 1.6% increase in earnings per career talk they attended. This also proved significant for young people aged 15-16; with a smaller affect size, they benefited from a 0.9% earnings boost.

Read a summary of the article here.

(Uploaded 17 May 2016)