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What works? Work experience and volunteering

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183 Euston Road

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NW1 2BE

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Careers & Enterprise Research Seminar, 26th June 2017

Seminar Details:

16:00-16:30 Arrival

16.30 Introductions – Professor Tristram Hooley, The Careers & Enterprise Company

16:30 - 17:00 Jonathan Buzzeo, National Institute of Economic & Social Research will examine Work experience, job shadowing and workplace visits

17:00-17:30 Joy Williams, Institute for Employment Studies, will examine Involving Young People in Volunteering: What Works?

17:30 – 18:15 Questions and discussion

18:15 – 19:30 Networking

19:30 Departures

If you have any queries please contact research@careersandenterprise.co.uk

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Jonathan Buzzeo – Research Fellow

There is a lot of formative evidence to suggest that participating in a work experience placement is a ‘potentially effective’ activity for young people to undertake (a 2 on the Early Intervention Foundation evidence scale). It has been shown to have a positive impact on employability skills, motivation in education, career-decision making and knowledge of the world of work. However, many of these outcomes are reported by participants themselves and there is a lack of robust, long-term investigations in this area.

The evidence base on job shadowing and workplace visits is far less extensive. Both activities have been shown to be ‘potentially effective’ for participants in just a few areas: job shadowing has been linked with an increased likelihood of continuing in education after leaving school, while workplace visits can assist in career-decision making and gaining an understanding of the world of work.

The evidence offers several lessons for how work experience may best be delivered, though there is no substantial discussion on job shadowing or workplace visits. It suggests that education providers should take the lead in finding a range of high-quality placement opportunities for students. Students should also be matched to opportunities that are aligned with their career interests, and be properly prepared and debriefed in order to get the most out of the placement.

Joy Williams – Research Fellow

Involving young people in volunteering can support them to develop skills and with support to create and reflect on their experiences it can support a transition into work.

Encouraging volunteering is now an established government policy and more young people are recorded as volunteering than ever before. Nationally organised campaigns such as National Citizen Service (NCS) and Step up to Serve have contributed to this. The research reviewed here shows that volunteering develops personal effectiveness and employability skills in young volunteers, in addition to supporting organisations, services and individuals.

However, there remain some challenges to increase diversity amongst volunteers to better reflect the population. The evidence points to the importance of programme design in securing the maximum benefit for volunteers. This includes: accurate advice and guidance on implications for welfare benefits; attaching qualifications and certificates to programmes; brokerage support from different sources (schools, host organisations, other public sector bodies); and signposting to start and signposting to continue volunteering.

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183 Euston Road

London

NW1 2BE

United Kingdom

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