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Careers talks and lessons boost young people’s earning power

Published

Teenagers who receive career education in secondary school can expect higher earnings in adult life, new research shows.

Commissioned by the Education and Employers charity, the research measures the earnings benefit as an extra £2,000 per year for every six careers sessions given to people aged 14 to 15.

The study, by Christian Percy and Elnaz Kashefpakdela from the University of Bath, used data from the British Cohort Study, which has been tracking the health, wealth and education of people since 1970. It concluded that there was a long-lasting employment impact from careers talks and lessons.

Anthony Mann, director of policy and research at the charity Education and Employers, which commissioned the research, said that even an hour-long careers talk could have an impact on pupils in later life.

“This demonstrates how much young people can benefit when employers and schools work together,” he said. “The more exposure young people have to professional careers provision, the better.”

Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said: “Everyone would expect that career insights which children obtain early in school will change the way they engage with learning in related subjects, their view of their own future and their career aspirations. For the first time, it has now been possible to provide evidence for that.”

Kath Grant, ASDAN Director of Education, said: “Talks by employers work very effectively as an enrichment activity added to a balanced, regular programme of personal development and education about work.

“One organisation that has effectively linked the world of work with schools and colleges is Inspiring the Future. The charity arranges for volunteers from apprentices to CEOs, archaeologists to zoologists to pledge just one hour a year to volunteer in a state school or college near where they live or work to talk to young people about their job and career route.”

ASDAN’s Careers and Experiencing Work Short Course helps young people explore career options and prepare for entering the workplace.