In a survey of over 1000 teenagers carried out by the Career
Colleges Trust, the overwhelming majority - 83% - think that work
experience should be compulsory on their school / college
curriculum, suggesting the Government was wrong to remove it from
the curriculum in 2012.
In the North East region, 81% of respondents think work
experience should be compulsory. Around a quarter (23%) reported
not having done any work experience at school yet over half (59%)
had proactively organised their own placement.
Nationally, more than two thirds (67%) of those asked believe
work experience is beneficial for finding employment, with more
than half (56%) saying that it allows you to learn valuable skills
that are not taught in the classroom.
Traditional education environments including secondary and
grammar schools, were highlighted in the research as being the
least likely to offer work experience, with students at Career
Colleges and FE Colleges taking part in far more work
The survey also revealed that degrees are no longer felt by
teenagers to be the most important thing for getting a job.
Professional training (55%), relevant work experience (41%), a
strong CV (40%) and good careers advice in school (22%) are viewed
as having more value than just a degree qualification (19%).
In fact, to achieve the future career of their dreams, a
proactive 92% of committed teenagers have or would consider taking
a part time job, undertake work experience (90%), transfer to a
specialist college (67%) or start an apprenticeship (72%).
Marcus Clinton, Principal of Northumberland College,
"At Northumberland College we prepare our youngsters for work
through carefully chosen career pathways leading to employment in
areas that help to close the productivity gap in our region. Our
Career College students are able to start their journey on
specialist technical routes earlier whilst still pursuing their
core GCSE's which gives them an advantage over their peers who are
studying a traditional GCSE programme in schools. Additionally,
Career College students are also able to work with employers
earlier and therefore gain the resilience and experience that will
enable them to succeed in their chosen career pathways."
Ruth Gilbert, CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, said:
"It is clear from this research that today's teenagers in both
the North East and the rest of the country, are desperate for good
work experience opportunities and are very much aware of the
benefit this will have on their future career.
"Schools are increasingly narrowing their curriculums, with
more emphasis on academic subjects to meet Progress 8 measure and
perform well in the league tables. This is having a negative effect
on students who not only would benefit from a more vocational
pathway but on ALL students who need experience of industry.
"Work experience is a key component of both the Government's
Careers Strategy and T-Levels - yet it is not featuring on the
curriculum at many schools. Career Colleges are leading the way
with sector specialist, employer-led pathways and schools should be
supported to follow suit and create a much clearer line of sight
from education to employment.
"Crucially, our research shows that young people themselves
WANT the opportunity to develop employability skills and recognise
the importance of doing this. Schools, employers and the Government
simply must work together to support this."