Research has shown that young people who have regular contact with employers during their time at school are less likely to become a ‘NEET’- not in education, employment or training.

There are long term benefits to be gained by students if their schools have strong links with business, however research identified that these links were notoriously stronger within private and grammar schools. The links with businesses can include visits from employers, careers talks and work experience placements.

The Education & Employers charity found that if a student had contact with four or more employers before they left school, they would be 86% less likely to become a ‘NEET’. Unfortunately, the research also highlighted the advantages that the ‘better-off’ students enjoyed as they appeared to have far more contact opportunities with employers. The Social Mobility Commission supported these findings by acknowledging that professional families tend to exploit social connections in order to access employer contact and work experience opportunities.

There is a significant importance and value in experiencing the ‘world of work’ whilst still at school. Provided alongside structured careers advice, the usefulness of first-hand work experience cannot be underestimated. It can help young people make informed choices about their future. Employer engagement can have a huge impact on getting the young person to seize opportunities and realistically view the ultimate goal of securing a job. Employer engagement can enhance the lives of young people. In an ideal world, every employer should allow time for employees to visit schools to meet with students – particularly in deprived areas. These types of visit can help hone a young person’s social and communication skills. The key to effective employer/student engagement is to raise aspirations.

Schools who work closely with employers help teach young people to communicate clearly, directly and with confidence. Employers who offer apprenticeships ultimately produce loyal, well trained and highly effective local employees.