What makes a career talk sing: Under what school delivery circumstances or student attitudinal contexts are career talks associated with optimal, long-term wage outcomes? Chris Percy, Independent Researcher Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel, Education and Employers Research The 1970 British Cohort Study provides a large, robust longitudinal dataset to explore pathways to labour market Survey background Follows ~17,000 born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970 Survey attrition rate 16,571 Data is available at Birth, age 5, 10, 16, 26, 30, 34, 38 and 42 14,350 12,981 Data for background variables from birth 16 11,206 Labour market outcome data at age 26 8,654 Birth
5 10 16 26 Outcome variable: Wage for full-time employed at age 26 Full-time weekly income in 1996 (age 26) [nominal ] 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 1813 1392 1022 717 610 441
54 101 158 90 53 34 23 49 Distribution of selected careers activity during 1986 Number of times activity engaged in, age 14 Number of respondents 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0 1
2 3 to 6 7 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30 31 to 40 Careers talks with outside speakers Timetabled careers classes in school Other school times when careers were discussed Informal chats with staff (up to 4) 41 + Each career talk with external speakers linked to +0.8% wage Year 10 Career Talks with External Speakers Control variables (Bold = In regression) Academic ability Teacher assessment of academic ability at 16 Maths - CSE/O-level results Highest level of qualification at 26
Cognitive assessment age 5 (hum. fig. drawing) Socioeconomic status Father socio-economic status Mother socio-economic status In receipt of council housing (or benefits) Benefits received from government Early home learning environment Frequency of parents reading to child age 5 Mothers interest in childs education age 5 Amount of TV watched age 10 Demo-graphics Gender Whether has a UK parent Local labour market LEA economic activity rate
Regression Results Number of talks at year 10 vs. Ln Wage at age 26 Co-eff: R2 N 0.008 [0.001 p-value] 24% 784 (outliers excluded) Individuals who found career talks very helpful display a stronger wage premium Perceived usefulness of career talks Did you find the careers talks useful? 3000 Regression, Career talks coefficient 2660 2500 Model 2000 1500 1196 797 1000 500 0
Did not find Found very helpful helpful Yr 10 With Controls 0.9% N = 90 1.6%** N = 130 Yr 11 With Controls 0.2% N = 266 0.9%** N=274 181 * Sig at 10%; ** Sig. at 5% EVIDENCE-INFORMED HYPOTHESIS Conclusions: What can we learn by applying the same analysis to different in-school careers activities? Is it information content in the speech that matters or the person
delivering it? # Timetabled internal career classes # Careers chats with school staff # Other school times careers discussed # Careers talks with external speakers But are activities really separable? Career talks with internal or external speakers reflect staff efforts within same school culture Intensity index: Internal school careers culture For careers classes or other times careers were discussed, in either year 10 or 11: > 30 + 5 > 20 + 4 > 10 + 3 >3 +2 >0 +1 +1 for each of careers teacher, form tutor, year head or other teacher whom you saw to discuss your future +1 if you had a careers officer interview = Max of 25 possible points Affects how useful external speakers are felt to be Intensity Index* 0-5
6+ Very Helpful 42% 58% Quite Helpful 45% 55% Not Very Helpful 54% 46% Not at all Helpful 63% 37% * Approx. split top/bottom half of n=4,834 respondents Ordinal regression, control number of external speaker careers talks remains stat. sig. EVIDENCE-INFORMED HYPOTHESIS
Conclusions: Why does it matter that these are not separate activities? Is it information content in the speech that matters or the person delivering it? Do external speakers add more value in a school environment that is rich in internal careers activity? # Careers talks with external speakers Student perspective on utility Yr 10 wage premium if also had careers adviser interview / Yr 10 internal activity? # Timetabled internal career classes # Careers chats with school staff # Other school times careers discussed 0.1%pt increase but also more consistent
EVIDENCE-INFORMED HYPOTHESIS Conclusions: What about student attitude? Is it information content in the speech that matters or the person delivering it? Do external speakers add more value in a school environment that is rich in internal careers activity? How do student attitudes inter-relate with the wage premium of careers talks with yr 10 external speakers? (we cant explore before / after talk effect) # Careers talks with external speakers Student perspective on utility Yr 10 wage premium if also had careers adviser interview / Yr 10 internal activity? 0.1%pt increase but also more consistent
Jobs are hard to get (4-point scale) Itself has 6% on wage; # Timetabled internal career classes # Careers chats with school staff # Other school times careers discussed Possible to get job if really determined There is an actual job I want to do All school subjects are useful Jobs are important (3x variants) CTs link to confidence CTs agree () ; Dont fully agree No premia Cross-tab only CTs No diff. Agree 1% vs 0.7% CTs No diff.; More imp. more premia Thank you Any questions Policy intervention at scale requires a perspective on two possible
confounding effects: individual agency and signalling effect Possible confounding effects Individual agency? Signalling or positioning effect? Concern over self-selection bias for proactive, gogetting students. fairly limited choice for students - Faith Muir, now Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church, was TVEI co-ordinator in a Hackney school e.g. students do better in job market just because they look better, not because they are better (if everyone is special, then no-one is special) Risk for all education policy Career talks with external speakers are unlikely to
have CV value, but may signal via talking points 190 student comments to 2011 YouGov survey on employer engagement suggest little concern little discretion for young people LA opt in - Prue Huddleston, Professor Emeritus at the University of Warwick Little agency concern for students (schools are harder to control for) Cultural Cap... Social Cap... However: Is this the right question? Attitudes are not fixed and motivation without the means to act has little value Human Cap... 0 50 100 150
Example quotes from students and teachers Social capital Cultural capital Told us from experience. Told us straight. My work experience placement made me determined to work hard in education and aim for a worthwhile job I will enjoy. (young adult) You got advice that seemed more genuine. You see the change in attendance, behaviour. They realise how important it is to get English and Maths. Impact on motivation is huge (teacher) I did work experience at a hairdressers. It made me realise that I wanted to go to university so that I got a good job and didnt have to fall back on boring jobs like hairdressing.
I trusted the word of someone in the working world as opposed to a careers advisor or teacher telling you what to do. Appendix (pending Q&A) Two surveys suggest that more diverse and more personal employer interactions are more often perceived as helpful Perceptions of utility (YouGov, 2011) Deciding on a career (b-live) Had xx% = Found helpful; (xx%) = Found very helpful Useful V Useful Source: b-Live foundation fieldwork, 469 respondents YouGov survey - 1,002 UK adults aged 19-24 Question: Some schools and colleges arrange for their students (aged between 14 and 19) to take part in activities which involve employers of local business people providing things like work experience, mentoring, enterprise competitions, careers advice, CV or interview workshops, workplace
visits, taking part in classroom discussions. 358 277 146 Did you take part in such activities between those ages? If so, on how many different occasions (more or less) did it happen? 64 2/27/ 20 2/27/ 20 2/27/ 20 2/27/ 20 70 2/27/20 72 2/27/ 20 Interval regression: Average correlation of 500 - 1,300
between wage and each extra employer contact (N=169, FT only) Control variables Age Highest qualification (L1-L5) Ethnicity (white vs non-white) Region of UK School type 14-16 School type 16-19 Gender Variable P-Value Value Age 0.02 900 Employer contacts
0.03 900 Independent school (16-19) 0.04 4,000 Highest qual level 0.01 0.08 5,0008,000 Conclusion of this study Each school-mediated activity with employers relates to average earnings premium of 900 (4.5%). Individuals who attended 4 or more engagement activities will earn on average 3600 more than their peers who did zero activities. Across range of models, higher level (2+) employer contacts relates to lower likelihood of NEET outcomes (at 5-20 percentage points) than comparable peers with 0 contacts. Statistically significant positive relationships between volume of engagement and career confidence
US: Careers Academies show an average 11% wage premium Engineering, IT, Healthcare etc combining academic and technical education with employer support e.g. typically 1.5x-3x more people participating in employer talks, school-based enterprise, job shadowing, mock interviews etc. (over half had such support) 1,764 participants randomly assigned to intervention or control group, tracked for 8 years Controls: Family characteristics, educational attainment, including gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, attendance rates, location of academy, cohort, duration of employment, hours worked per week, Kemple, J. J. with Willner, C. J. (2008), Career Academies Long-Term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment, and Transitions to Adulthood. New York: MDRC. Orr et al (2007) National Academies Foundation Career Academies in Neumark D. Ed. Improving School-to-work transitions, 190-191 From a global policy imperative employer engagement in education has become widely promoted as a means to: 1. Improve pupils general preparation for the world of work (within vocational education and across schooling) 2. Enhance social mobility 3. Address strategic skills shortages 4. Increase pupil engagement and attainment
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