Work experience placements “boost pupils” earning power

Pupils with a high level of exposure to the business world – including work experience placements – can earn significantly more than their peers, according to research.

Young adults who took part in four or more activities with employers while at school went on to earn an average of £23,100 by their mid-20s, it was claimed. The total was £3,600-a-year more than those who failed to capitalise on business links.

The study, by the charity the Education and Employers Taskforce, said it underlined the value of activities such as work experience and school visits by local companies.

It follows warnings from Nick Clegg that pupils from independent schools are more likely to get top jobs after taking advantage of internships set up by their “sharp-elbowed” parents.

The disclosure also comes despite claims from the cross-party Commons Education Select Committee over a “worrying deterioration” in the standard of careers guidance in schools.

MPs warned that pupils were failing to pick the correct path into employment following a sharp decline in the “consistency, quality, independence and impartiality” of advice in schools.

Nick Chambers, director of the Education and Employers Taskforce, a charity set up in 2009 to promote contact between businesses and schools, said: “These are very important findings if we are to give young people of all backgrounds the best chance of earning more in later life.”

He said earlier research by the taskforce had shown that independent schools gave their pupils more contact with employers than the state sector, adding: “This research has shown the way for all schools to give their students the prospect of earning more in their early 20s and beyond.”

An initial survey of almost 1,000 students aged 19 to 24 was carried out in 2011 which explored their current employment circumstances and linked them to their experiences of work experience, workplace visits, careers talks and other links with businesses.

The research suggested that young adults who took part in four or more activities with employers while at school were earning on average £23,100 a year. This was £3,600 a year more than the average salary – £19,500 – of those young adults who failed to take part in any activities with employers.

Each employer “contact” was found to be worth on average an extra £900 a year, it emerged.

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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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