Employment and Skills

Work Experience availability depends on social class

Work Experience availability depends on social class

A study undertaken by the Education and Employers Taskforce has shown the importance of work experience in improving pupils academic achievements and in helping young people pursue their career aspirations.


According to the research, work experience helps young people to clarify their career aspirations by stretching their career horizons. The report however, revealed that half of work placements are found by pupils or their family as a result of their social networks. Pupils, therefore, have more chance to gain work experience within their own social circle, which questions work experience as a tool to challenge social determinism.


The study has also found that work experience is often a key asset in admission for university. Unfortunately, pupils taught in independent schools have better access to high quality work experience, more valued by universities, than state-educated young people.


Regardless of the social origins of pupils though, the study has shown that the majority of both pupils and teachers believe that work experience helps young people to be more motivated at schools and to improve their academic achievements.  The study revealed that one-quarter of pupils are offered part-time employment following a work experience placement.

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