‘What works in careers and enterprise?’ Careers and Enterprise Company seminar – 20th March 2017.


In the first of a four-part seminar series, the Careers and Enterprise Company invited Dr Anthony Mann of Education and Employers to join Professor Tristram Hooley to discuss the current landscape of careers provision , drawing on recent publications to guide practice for teachers and other careers professionals.

The seminar began with Professor Tristram Hooley (Director of Research, Careers and Enterprise Company) who asked ‘What works in careers and enterprise?’ The talk began by highlighting that careers and enterprise education has had a chequered history. The area has fallen in and out of political favour with some politicians arguing that it is poorly evidenced. Professor Hooley argued that this criticism is unfair. In fact the evidence, while far from complete, can provide practitioners and other stakeholders with a strong steer about the value of careers and enterprise education and how to do it well. Drawing on recent research conducted by The Careers & Enterprise Company, the Gatsby Charitable Trust and other researchers, his paper explored what the evidence says, where gaps and questions continue to create challenges for the area and what this means for the young people preparing for their careers in schools and colleges in England.

Dr Anthony Mann (Director of Policy and Research, Education and Employers) continued the discussion by offering insights from a number of Education and Employers studies on the specific  subject of employer engagement in education. It began by dissecting the findings from the recently published Contemporary transitions: Young Britons reflect on life after secondary school and college. The paper sets out results from a rare survey of young British adults aged 19-24 which asked: how did they engage with employers whilst in school, what did they make of the experiences, what they wished they had received and, using statistical regression, what difference did interactions make to their economic prospects. Through the use of statistical analysis and control variables, insights for policy and practice emerge.  Greater volume of school-mediated employer engagement is associated with better economic outcomes, demonstrating relationships between the number of school-mediated teenage engagements with employers recalled by young adults and significantly reduced incidence of being NEET and higher earnings.  More highly regarded employer engagement is associated with the best economic outcomes. And, access to school-mediated employer engagement is not fairly distributed. The presentation then discussed the findings of a recent Education and Employers publication assessing the structural changes to the 21st century labour market, noting that despite young people being more highly qualified than ever before, mounting evidence shows them struggling to compete for economic opportunities. In response to this increasingly complex, competitive and changing labour market schools must do more to mitigate structural forces placing young people at disadvantage within the labour market. It is within this context that the value of employer engagement is most clearly seen.  The presentation concluded with practical advice from the research for professionals working in schools and colleges.


Anthony Mann’s slides are included below.

Mann 20 03 17


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