02 SES 08 C, Transitions, Career Learning And Work Experience Placements
Parallel Paper Session
This paper explores the role of work experience placements in providing valuable career learning opportunities for 14-19 year olds. Work related learning (WRL) and specifically work experience placements have been a feature of the English education system for many years and are under constant review. The role of work experience in providing young people with some real (and relevant) experience on which to start career planning is often an integral part of the careers education programme for schools.
This paper will highlight the concept of career related learning skills and will explore how these are located within wider theories of vocational choice and guidance (Super 1990, Gottfredson 2005, Krumboltz 2008, Roberts 1997). The traditional DOTS model of career planning developed by Watts and Law (1977): D – Decision learning; O – Opportunity awareness; T – Transition learning; and S – Self awareness is well established. The DOTS model is often under-utilised in the design and delivery of work experience for children in secondary education (post 11), at a point in their lives where it could make a huge difference in terms of career learning and planning skills. Added to this, many schools are endeavouring to develop new ways of embedding careers education, information, advice and guidance and the option of using work experience placements to support this is often left unexplored. For the purposes of this paper, the target group will be 14-19 year olds participating in a work experience placement (which often takes place at age 14-16 for a period of 1 or 2 weeks).
The benefits of creating work experience opportunities which are planned, structured, meaningful and which encourage reflection by the individual about what it means for them, will be explored in depth through reference to successful programmes which have been developed in the past and are currently running. The role of employer organisations in providing work experience opportunities which encourage applications from a diverse range of applicants and which can help engage young people in the career planning progress will be examined.
An in depth evaluation of one successful current scheme run by the Royal Air Force (RAF) will be used as a case study. The authors have undertaken project development and an evaluation exercise on behalf of the RAF and will make reference to the results of the data.
Dean Glyn, Collins Jill, Morton Pat and Guy Mary (2011) Ensuring the Future Work Force - A Royal Air Force Perspective presented at the Education Employer Taskforce Conference, October 2011 Hughes Deirdre and Gration Geoff (2009) Evidence and Impact: Careers and guidance-related interventions Nicoletti C and Berthoud R (2010) The Role of Information, Advice and Guidance in Young People's Education and Employment Choices Watts, A.G, (2011) Careers England Policy Commentary 15A (Revised Version): The Coalition's Emerging Policies on Career Guidance Wolf, Alison (2011) Review of Vocational Education; The Wolf Report
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