This paper marks an introductory exploration of a pre-existing longitudinal dataset on the impact of two types of activity: formal work experience placements and part-time paid employment during term-time. It exploits the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), a government-funded survey tracking the opinions, activities and outcomes of initially around 15,500 of the same young people each year, all of whom turned 14 during academic year 2003/04. At the time of writing data is available over five years, until the young people were 18 or 19, providing a rich data source on their short-term outcomes.
The key findings are that young people who work intensively part-time, over ten hours per week, are more likely to see the benefit of education in terms of earning a job in the future. Young people working fewer than ten hours per week were more likely to be critical of the value of the education they were receiving. Importantly, working part-time during school years tends to reduce the time spent not in education, employment or training (NEET) after compulsory education, even after controlling for prior attainment.