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Research reports and publications

The following wide range of published research studies provide evidence on the impact of careers-related interventions on participation in learning, achievement, progression and participation in employment:

Adams, E., Smart, D., McGregor, A., MacDougall, L. and McLintock, S. (2008). Review of Work Experience in Scotland.

A review of work experience arrangements in Scotland that, amongst other things,  finds there is no co-ordinated approach to recording the impact of work experience. 

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Bimrose, J., Barnes, S-A. and Hughes, D. (2006) Developing Career Trajectories in England: The Role of Effective Guidance, Coventry, Warwick Institute for Employment Research.

A qualitative evaluation of the effectiveness of guidance involving the tracking of 50 adults over a five-year period and the building up of detailed case studies; guidance was fiound to be useful, especially when it enabled participants to focus on ideas,  provide insights and improve their self-confidence.


Blenkinsop, S., McCrone, T., Wade, P. and Morris, M. (2006) How do young people make choices at age 14 and age 16? RR 773, London, DfES.

A qualitative study exploring the interactions between structural and organisational contexts and their impact on the decision making processes of young people; found wide variations in young people's decision making processes in terms of timing and mindset, suggesting that a single approach to support will not work for all.  


Bowes, L., Smith, D. & Morgan, S. (2005) Reviewing the evidence base for careers work in schools. CeGS Occasional Paper. Derby: Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby.

An in-depth review of evidence for the impact of careers work in schools; identifies a number of key success factors including recognising the importance of individual rather than organisational needs, effective integration of careers work within the wider curriculum, and the timely delivery of careers work by suitably qualified staff.


Brennan, John and Blasko, Z. and Little, B. and Woodley, A. (2002) UK graduates and the impact of work experience. HEFCE, UK.

Based on UK-wide data, this report examines the link between the work experience of undergraduates and their subsequent experiences within the labour market post-graduation.


Brunwin, T., Clemens, S., Deakin, G., Jones, A., Mortimer, E. and Tarvin, K. (2005) Improve your Connexions: Connexions user satisfaction survey. Results from the second wave survey in phase 1 partnerships (2004). RR622. London: DfES.

Over 18,000 young people who had been in contact with Connexions were surveyed using a variety of methods including face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews and postal self-completion questionnaires; 7 out of 10 respondents said Connexions had helped them decide what to do in the next couple of years.


Hall, L., Wreford, S. and Huckle, C. (2008) Connexions Direct: User Satisfaction Survey 2008. RW042. London: DCSF.

A survey of a large sample of Connexions Direct users covering all channels of communication including telephone, webchat, email and website; 92% of respondents said they were either very, or fairly, satisfied with the service they had received.


Hillage, J. (2001). Pre-16 Work Experience Practice in England: An Evaluation.

An evaluation of pre-16 work experience practice that includes an assessment of the impact of placement on young people.  


Hoggarth, L. and Smith, D.I. (2004) Understanding the Impact of Connexions on young people at risk. London: DfES.

Large-scale study of the impact of Connexions on young people at risk of underachievement and disaffection; highlights the importance of recognising the achievement of both 'soft' and 'hard' outcomes. 


Howieson, C. and Semple, S. (2001). Effectiveness of the Careers Service in Scotland. Edinburgh: Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Department, Scottish Executive.

Large-scale survey of careers service staff, careers teachers and school pupils; identifies some of the factors involved in successful careers guidance interviews and the reasons why some pupils participate in guidance interviews and others do not.

Hughes & Gration (2009). A Literature review of research on the impact of careers and guidance-related interventions. Reading: CfBT Education Trust.

A review of 100+ published sources of evidence relevant to the assessment of the impact of careers and guidance-related interventions; identifies the key factors involved in effective interventions and assesses the evidence for impact of a broad range of providers and for a broad range of customers.   



Hughes, D., and Gration, G., (2006) Performance Indicators and Benchmarks in Career Guidance in the United Kingdom. CeGS Occasional Paper. Derby:  Centre for Guidance Studies (CeGS), University of Derby.

UK part of a European-wide study commissioned by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop); compares and contrasts the types and uses of data collected by a range of key providers in all four constituent countires of the UK and highlights some of the gaps.


Joyce, L. and White, C. (2004) Assessing Connexions: Qualitative Research with Young People. RR577. London: DfES.

Longitudinal qualitative study of young people using Connexions over time; found that the impact of Connexions reported by young people focussed upon improved self-confidence and personal behaviours and that frequency of impact reported increased with the level of support received.


Mason, G., Williams, G. & Cranmer, S. (2006).  Employability Skills Initiatives in Higher Education: What Effects Do They Have On Graduate Labour Market Outcomes?

Survey of different employability skills initiatives for undergraudates; found that whilst there is evidence of the impact of structured work experience on employability post-graduation, the explicit teaching of employability skills did not have a significant impact.

McGowan, Allister; Watts, A.G.; Andrews, David (2009) Local Variations

A Follow-Up Study of New Arrangements for Connexions/Careers/IAG Services for Young People in England. National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling


Moon S., Lilley R., Morgan S., Gray S. and Krechowiecka, I. (2004). A systematic review of recent research into the impact of careers education and guidance on transitions from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 (1988 – 2003). London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

An in-depth review of evidence for the impact of careers eduaction and guidance (CEG); the findings cover not only the impact of CEG but also the effects of other factors such as family and friends and they suggest that effective CEG should work with these additional factors.


Morley, L. (2001) Producing New Workers: quality, equality and employability in higher education. Quality in Higher Education. 7 (2),131-138.

Addresses employability as a performance indicator in higher eduaction and argues that social structures such as gender, race, social class and disability are important factors that interact with labour market opportunities. 



Nijjar, A. (2009) Stop and Measure the Roses. Higher Education Careers Service Unit, Manchester: HECSU Putting Research Outcomes Into Practice.

An investigation of the ways in which some UK university career services measure their effectiveness and success; these include the monitoring of the destination of leavers and of volumes of service activity, and the measuring of student satisfaction levels. 


Nunn, A., Johnson, S., Monro, S., Bickerstaffe, T., & Kelsey, S.(2007) Factors influencing social mobility, Department for Work and Pensions, Research Report No 450. Corporate Document Services

This research report examines the factors that are facilitating and inhibiting social mobility in the United Kingdom (UK) in the early years of the twenty-first century


Pollard, M., Tyers, C., Tuohy, S. and Cowling, M. (2007). Assessing the Net Added Value of Adult Advice and Guidance. RR825A. London: DfES.

Large-scale follow-up study of adults receiving information, advice and guidance in which the benefits of receiving information only are compared with those of receiving more in-depth support; found that in-depth support is positively associated with a range of learning outcomes but not with any labour market outcomes observable in the medium term.


Semple, S., Paris, M., McCartney and Twiddle, B. (2002) Learning gains from Education for Work. Interchange no. 74. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive Education Department.

A research study examining what young people learn from Education for Work and from their involvement in part-time employment; found many positive correlations between Education for Work activities and career ideas and perceptions of career skills.



Smith D, Lilley R, Marris L, Krechowiecka I (2005) A systematic review of research (1988–2004) into the impact of career education and guidance during Key Stage 4 on young people’s transitions into post-16 opportunities. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education.

This review of evidence at Key Stage 4 builds upon an earlier review of transitions from Key Stage 3 to 4 (Moon et al. 2004); identifies evidence that the level of young people's career-related skills is an important factor in their successful and smooth transitions post-16.




Why the Difference? A Closer Look at Higher Education Minority Ethnic Students and Graduates

Study of the participation in higher education of ethnic minority students, their achievements and progression; found that ethnic minority people as a whole are more likley to participate but with considerable variations between groups, and that ethnic minority groups do less well in degree performance and in the labour market. 


The Graduate Market in 2009

Annual review of graduate vacancies and starting salaries at Britain's leading employers.

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