The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have published the final report of research undertaken by the Institute for Employment Research and BMG Research which looks at the need for greater levels of employers to work with schools, and the role of National Careers Service NCS in fulfilling this need.

The research included: a systematic literature review; a survey of over 300 employers; a survey of 98 schools and colleges; 12 in-depth interviews with schools; and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and National Careers Service Prime Contractors.

Key findings from the research included:

  • There is a plethora of existing employer engagement activity with schools/colleges that brings significant benefit to learners.
  • Larger employers involved in some form of training were more likely to engage with education, compared to SMEs.
  • Barriers to participation of employers with educational institutions were reported as mainly the lack of time and resources needed.
  • The nature and scope of employer engagement varied according to type of educational institution with models of interesting practices evident at a local and national level. However, the majority of activities with employers are organised for learners in the 14-19 age range, with an increasing emphasis on post-16 learners, particularly with regard to work experience and work shadowing.
  • Employer links not only inspire, inform and advise students about particular occupations and sectors, but also enhance the provision of careers and work-related education in the curriculum.
  • Schools and colleges would welcome support with developing links with employers. They need and want further information and support on employer contacts and the range of activities they can bring to the institution(s) such as mentors, role models, work experience, talks and visits to the workplace.
  • High quality, reliable labour market information (LMI) is in high demand from schools and colleges.
  • Less than half of all the employers surveyed were aware of the National Careers Service.
  • The visibility of the National Careers Service is not apparent to employers, particularly in relation to how it is informing and advising young people, parents, teachers and employers.
  • National Careers Service links with employers to support the provision of careers guidance for young people at an operational level in schools and colleges are limited in scope at present, but this is set to increase under the new National Careers Service contracts.


To read the full report please click the following link:

For more information about this research please contact Elizabeth Davies, Associate Director,

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