02 SES 08 C, Transitions, Career Learning And Work Experience Placements
Parallel Paper Session
This paper focuses on the relationship between participation in school-age (14-19) employer engagement activities (work experience, careers advice from employers etc) and labour market outcomes among young adults (aged 19-24). The paper is situated within the context of comparative international data on the variation in youth (un)employment levels across the OECD countries. Studies by the OECD and International Labor Organisation have highlighted school-level labour market understanding and experience as important supply-side drivers of successful school-to-work transitions. A small number of mainly US studies (Neumark 2007; Kemble 2008) have found positive evidence of labour market impacts stemming from school-age employer contacts.
This paper presents new data from a sample of 987 young Britons on correlations between the volume of employer engagement undertaken within education (at ages 14 to 19) experienced in education and wage premiums (for those in receipt of salaries) and likelihood of NEET status (at 19-24). Statistical analysis includes a number of controls, including highest level of qualification. A review of British educational practice demonstrates the very limited likelihood of variation in school-age activities undertaken being driven by personal agency. The paper draws on qualitative data, from the survey sample, and human and particularly social capital theories (Granovetter 1973, Raffo 2006) to provide insight into causal factors behind positive labour market outcomes.
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