The Impact Of Employer Engagement With Schools

Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow 

This report presents a review of the research on the impact of employer engagement with schools and pupils. The intention is to use the research to encourage more engagement and to focus action on those groups and activities where there is particular evidence of strong impact. It synthesises different research reports of the Education and Employer’s Taskforce and other published and grey literature on employer engagement and education

Executive Summary

The current report synthesises different research reports of the Education and Employer’s Taskforce and other published and grey literature on employer engagement and education.  The report focuses on translating already published research findings into easily understandable graphs and tables and presenting the research findings in an accessible language. In total, the findings of 62 studies are included in this report. The intention is to use the research to encourage more engagement and to focus action to those groups and activities where there is particular evidence of strong impact.

Key Findings

Reviewing previous publications on employer engagement in education in the UK, this report, provides a comprehensive analysis of how employer engagement impact school and young people’s outcomes:

The transition from school to work

  • Young people require more assistance in navigating an ever more complex, competitive and fast-changing labour market.
  • Young people’s aspirations develop early, are influenced by social background, and do not match
    labour market demand
  • Careers aspirations develop at a young age and are shaped a young person’s social background and gender
  • There is a mismatch between young people’s career aspirations and actual labour market demand
  • A successful transition to work requires a set of skills – job searching, CV and interview skills – that current pupils are not sufficiently trained for

The impact on schools and pupils

  • overall, there is a good evidence base for the effectiveness of employer engagement in
    raising pupil’s educational attainment.
  • Although it is difficult to draw robust conclusions about the effectiveness of
    different employment engagement activities for economic outcomes, there is some level of that shows that job shadowing, work experience and enterprise activities are the most
    effective for raising economic outcomes
  • It is also evident that different employer engagement activities affect different outcomes. For example, Work experience is among the top three most effective activities for the following outcomes: Self-management, understanding the world of work, improving attainment, career thinking, broadening and raising aspirations, accessing part-time work.
  • Employer engagement activities fulfil different “roles” across pupils’ educational journeys

Who benefits from what?

  • It is evident that pupils from different backgrounds are gaining different kinds of capital from engaging with employers.
  • A study reports that secondary school teachers from more disadvantaged
    schools were highly likely to agree that employer engagement activities have a positive impact
    on educational achievement than teachers from more affluent schools.
  • Teachers report that different employer engagement activities can be to be effective for learners at different stages.

Benefits for employers

  • Employers report recruitment opportunities” and “a better community and public image” were some benefits most of engagements with schools
  • Employers working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)-related
    fields in particular believe that employer engagement is an effective way of attract a diverse group of young people to the STEM fields.
  • Employers activities in school, from the perspective of employers, in most cases are as a form of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  • Engaging with pupils, particularly through work placements, gives employers access to the valuable  resource of creativity.

Good practices and practical implications

  • Starting early is a critical practice for relevant implications
  • Using the “authentic” information provided by employers to provide insights into jobs of the future in the regional labour market.
  • Volume matters: Numerous studies have shown that the higher the numbers of times pupils engage with employers through a certain activity, the greater the impact of employer engagement.
  • Volume matters, as the higher the numbers of times pupils engage with employers positively affect the impact of employer engagement.
  • Tailor activities to learners at different stages.

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