Chloe Reid, Cardiff University


The term ‘employer engagement’ broadly covers a range of activities, including but not limited to work experience placements, skills competitions, enterprise activities, volunteering and careers talks. Employers’ interactions and engagements with secondary pupils has recently been the subject of much attention in Welsh education policy. This includes proposals for providing age appropriate careers education from the age of 3 within the new curriculum (Welsh Government 2019), a pilot of the Gatsby Good Career Guidance Benchmarks and the introduction of a new database to facilitate exchanges between employers and schools

Despite these new initiatives, there is relatively little known about the nature of employer engagement (EE) in Wales, or its effect on young people’s aspirations and post-16 transitions. Alongside these discussions, there are questions about whether employer engagement may reinforce or offset inequalities.

To examine the issues discussed above further, the following research questions have been proposed:

  1. What is the nature of employer engagement (EE) in secondary schools in Wales?
  2. How and why does employer engagement influence young people’s aspirations and views of their post-16 transitions?
  3. How does social class influence pupils’ experiences of employer engagement?

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