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Recommendation 6: Exposure to fair work

People should have a right to have a wide range of meaningful opportunities to experience work and understand what fair work is.

I know I’ll get lots of chances to explore jobs and work in different ways.

- The outcome of this change for a young person using career services

Why has this been recommended? What did the evidence say? 

  • Young people have an appetite to explore and try a wide range of possibilities for careers. If not supported early, they can feel trapped in their decisions 
  • Exposure to the world of work is inequitable and inconsistent 
  • There is currently no minimum expectation, entitlement or right to these experiences, or mechanisms to evaluate who is and isn’t accessing them 
  • The senior phase curriculum focuses on qualification achievement. The opportunity to access a variety of work-related experience and to develop other skills is limited and unequal 
  • Employers find it easier to identify their contribution in the senior phase as it is more directly linked to their recruitment of young people 
  • There are long-term benefits of practical experience of the world of work (improved exam results, decreased likelihood of unemployment, and an increase in income when in work) 
  • Work placements are linked with better employment outcomes 
  • Those who didn’t recall undertaking work placements report unemployment levels (not being in education, employment or training) nearly 50% greater than those who had spent time in a workplace during school 
  • Work outcomes experienced by young people are poorer than the rest of society and are often more heavily concentrated in precarious and low paid work. 

Find more information on the evidence gathered through the Career Review

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The change 

  • Young people have a clear understanding of their entitlement to work experiences at different stages of their learning journey 
  • Work experiences incorporate a range of offers: job shadowing, mentoring programmes, employer and sector tasters 
  • A systematic approach to shape services and offers which deliver against these entitlements 
  • Entitlements are captured in a framework, which defines outcomes, roles and responsibilities. A framework is co-designed with those involved in supporting career choices and aligns to DYW Futures recommendations 
  • Education and career service providers understand employer needs and how to engage effectively to overcome barriers to participation 
  • Young people understand fair work practices and their expectations of employers in this regard. 

How it addresses inequalities 

Every person is entitled to accessible and inclusive work-related experiences embedded within the curriculum that incorporate equality and diversity and aligns with their goals and ambitions. 

Download the Career Review Equality Impact Assessment 

What happens next? 

As part of the co-design of the Career Development Model, the Career Review Programme Board will set out the lifelong experiences that should be available from early years.

The Career Review Implementation Plan will: 

  • outline how existing models for employer engagement will be enhanced and new models developed 
  • detail the approach to be taken to simplify the ways employers, trade unions and representative bodies connect with young people in all educational settings 
  • set out action that will be taken to support young people in all educational settings to enhance their understanding of fair work practices and workplace rights and responsibilities. 

The Career Review Implementation Plan and Target Operating Model will include the approach to be taken to ensure all organisations with a role in facilitating education/employer partnerships and experiences have access to and can make use of labour market intelligence to identify and engage with employers in growth sectors and those with labour shortages locally and nationally. 

Career Review

Learn more about the Career Review.

Career Review


Explore the other recommendations.