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WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT MAKE?
CONSTRUCTING A THEORETICAL UNDERSTANDING
Education and Employers Taskforce Conference
12 October 2011
Julian Stanley
Head of the Centre for Education and Industry, University of Warwick
J.A.Stanley@warwick.ac.uk
Anthony Mann
Director of Policy and Research, Education and Employers Taskforce
Anthony.Mann@educationandemployers.org
Tina and Anglee Kumar are introduced to Sir Stuart Rose (ex
chairman of M&S) at Business in the Community’s �Turning
Work-Experience into Inspiration’ event
Tina and Anglee are introduced by Sir Michael Rose to Antony Jenkins, Chief
Executive of Barclays Bank
Tina and Anglee
organise a fashion
show at school to
raise funds for
charity. Stuart Rose
provides clothes,
shoes and press
gifts. Antony
Jenkins provides
work experience
placement and
personal gift of
ВЈ100 towards event.
�it has given me and my
twin, Anglee, a wonderful
experience as young
entrepreneurs and I have to
say I am really proud of
myself and Anglee’
Tina Kumar
Employer engagement = direct
involvement of employers in the
education of young people, e.g. work
experience, enterprise education,
mentoring, visits, reading support etc.
Questions
• How can employer engagement affect social, economic and
educational outcomes for young people?
• How can we situate accounts of employer engagement in
relation to broader sociological and economic theorising
about education?
Some social theories about education
• Life course analysis: education is a trajectory where prior
experiences and outcomes influence succeeding experiences and
outcomes (Elder, Gorard).
• Human Capital: education and workplace experience increase
labour productivity (Becker).
• Social Capital: social relationships give access to resources and
information and influence (Coleman, Granovetter, Bourdieu).
• Cultural Capital: knowledge, qualifications, habits and cultural
objects shape access to resources and people (Bourdieu,
Bernstein).
Employer engagement:
• Increases human capital as evidenced in attainment and labour
market outcomes. (Hypothesis 1)
• Increases social capital as evidenced in enhanced access to
networks of economic value. (Hypothesis 2)
• Increases cultural capital as evidenced in changes in habitus –
improved navigation through the education system and on into
employment. (Hypothesis 3)
• Interacts with pre-existing accumulations of human, social and
cultural capital to enhance pre-existing advantage and/or to
compensate for comparative disadvantage. (Hypothesis 4)
Four Surveys
1.
986 young Britons aged 19-24, exploring labour market position,
experience and perceptions of employer engagement activities
undertaken while in education, aged 14-19. Fieldwork, February
2011. YouGov.
1.
208 employers involved in the Taskforce’s 2010 Visit our Schools
and Colleges campaign. Fieldwork, January 2011. Taskforce.
2.
40 young people aged 16-19 enrolled in Cumbrian education
institutions. Fieldwork, March 2011, Taskforce
3.
333 young people aged 14-17, exploring experiences of employer
engagement activities and confidence in career progression.
Fieldwork, March 2010. B-live.
EE increases human capital as evidenced in
attainment and labour market outcomes
Taskforce/YouGov. 986
young adults, 19-24.
Great Britain. February
2011
0
1
2
3
4 or more
NEETs
26.1
23.4
16.6
15.6
4.3
NonNEET
73.9
76.6
83.4
84.4
95.7
272
350
145
64
69
P-Value = 0.001
Which of the
following BEST
applies to you?
Weighted Base
Number of employer engagement
activities undertaken whilst in
education (aged 19-24)
EE increases social capital as evidenced in
enhanced access to networks of economic value
• Offered unpaid work experience placements to school pupils – 74%.
• Offered paid employment opportunities to school-age pupils or
school leavers – 50%.
• Had ever offered paid employment to someone who had previously
been on an unpaid work experience placement - 41% (82%).
Source: 203 employers. January 2011.
EE increases social capital as evidenced in
enhanced access to networks of economic value
How important was it [for employment decision] that they did the
work experience with you?
(1-10)
– 55% - 6+
– 40% - 7+
– 24% - 1 (irrelevant)
EE increases social capital as evidenced in
enhanced access to networks of economic value
Survey of 40 young people aged 16-19. Cumbria. March 2011.
- 45% stayed in touch with the employer they did their work
experience for at least a few months with and half that number for
more than a year.
- 22.5% were offered paid employment after the placement with a
further 20% having discussed employment as a future opportunity.
EE increases cultural capital as evidenced in changes in
habitus – improved navigation through the education
system and on into employment.
EE increases cultural capital as evidenced in changes in habitus
Frequency of careers advice
14 to 19
P-Value = 0.000
To what extent did it help you to decide the
sort of job or career you wanted in later life
Total
Unweighted Base (442)
Just once or twice
Three times or
more
A lot
A little
9.6%
51.0%
28.1%
58.6%
Not at all
39.5%
13.3%
100%
314
100%
128
EE interacts with pre-existing accumulations of human, social
and cultural capital which can serve to enhance pre-existing
advantage and/or to compensate for comparative disadvantage
School type attended between 14 to 19
Grammar or
Table 10: 14 to 19
An
Comprehensive
State
Independent
P-Value = 0.000
State School
Selective
School
School
To what extent did
A lot
15.7%
19.0%
35.8%
WEX help you to
A little
38.1%
40.0%
44.8%
decide the sort of job
Not at
or career you wanted
46.2%
41.0%
19.4%
all
in later life
Total
100%
100%
100%
Weighted Base (644)
472
105
67
EE interacts with pre-existing accumulations of
human, social and cultural capital which can serve to
enhance pre-existing advantage and/or to
compensate for comparative disadvantage
School type attended between 14 to 19
Table 11: 14 to 19
Grammar
An
Comprehensive
or State
Independent
P-Value = 0.038
State School
Selective
School
School
A lot
8.7%
9.6%
15.1%
To what extent did
17.8%
21.3%
32.1%
WEX prove useful in A little
getting you a job after Not at
73.6%
69.1%
52.8%
you finished education
all
Total
100%
100%
100%
Weighted Base (597)
450
94
53
EE interacts with pre-existing accumulations of human, social
and cultural capital in different ways for individuals and
definable social groups which can serve to enhance pre-existing
advantage and to compensate for comparative disadvantage
School type attended between 14 to 19
Table 12: 14 to 19
Grammar or
An
Comprehensive
State
Independent
P-Value = 0.031
State School
Selective
School
School
A lot
6.1%
11.0%
12.9%
To what extent did it
A little
18.7%
17.0%
29.0%
help you to get in to
Not at
university
75.2%
72.0%
58.1%
all
Total
100%
100%
100%
Weighted Base (605)
443
100
62
Environmental
factors
contributing to
capital
formation
Family
Social Capital
Cultural Capital
Human Capital
Employer
interventions
contributing to
capital formation
Peer Group
School
Locality
Work
Outcomes for Young
People in Education
(stage n)
п‚·
Relationships
п‚·
Personal Identity
п‚·
Qualifications
п‚·
Aspirations
п‚·
Competences/skills/
knowledge
п‚·
Dispositions and
attitudes
п‚·
Decision making
Employer
Engagement 1
Gender
Outcomes for Young
People in Education
(stage n + 1)
п‚·
Relationships
п‚·
Personal Identity
п‚·
Qualifications
п‚·
Aspirations
п‚·
Competences/skills/
knowledge
п‚·
Dispositions and
attitudes
п‚·
Decision making
Employer
Engagement 2
Ethnicity
Other institutions
Outcomes for Young
People in Employment
(stage n+ 2)
п‚·
Relationships/
Networks
п‚·
Income & Status
п‚·
Experience of
Work
п‚·
Personal Identity
п‚·
Aspirations
п‚·
Competences/
skills/knowledge
п‚·
Dispositions and
attitudes
п‚·
Decision making
Employer
Engagement 3
Lifecourse
Implications for Research
• Robust research to explore the difference that employer engagement
makes to a range of outcomes, e.g. achievement, employment, selfefficacy etc.
• Longitudinal work to explore how interventions combine with
�environmental factors’ and accumulated outcomes over life-course.
• Explore different impact of different kinds of employer engagement with
different groups.
• Explore sources of employer engagement, e.g. individual, social and
corporate motivations.
• Theoretical work to conceptualise relationships between different kinds of
capital and their application.
Conclusions
• There is some rigorous evidence of impact in relation to some of
the outcomes under investigation.
• The concepts of social, cultural and human capital can be used
separately to make sense of the evidence arising from the
evaluation of employer engagement.
• There is scope to bring together �capital’ concepts to provide a
more satisfactory account of how employer engagement works.
• A life-course approach is helpful – but some outcomes from each
stage will have a more lasting impact upon later stages than others.
• EE raises policy issues: universal versus compensatory deployment
Julian Stanley
Head of the Centre for Education and Industry, University of Warwick
J.A.Stanley@warwick.ac.uk
Anthony Mann
Director of Policy and Research, Education and Employers Taskforce
Anthony.Mann@educationandemployers.org
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