Skip to main content Skip to navigation

IER News & blogs

Select tags to filter on

Work experience, contacts and confidence needed to secure fulfilling employment, researchers find

paths2work_black_logo_final.jpgA new study led by IER raises concerns that employment and career development opportunities for young people are becoming polarised between those with the resources to access secure, fulfilling employment and those on the path to precarious and unpredictable working lives with poor prospects.

The report, Present tense, future imperfect? Young people‚Äôs pathways into work was published on September 28. It presents the findings of a three-year study examining the youth labour market in the Midlands from the perspectives of young people themselves, and their employers. The project was conducted by a team led by Kate Purcell.

The study finds evidence that young people with solid educational and family backgrounds, with the contacts and confidence to seek out career opportunities, are highly likely to gain access to work in secure occupations with good conditions of employment and career development. By contrast, job-seekers without these advantages are increasingly found in low-skilled, low-paid jobs, very often on short-term contracts with no guaranteed hours and with few opportunities for progression.

This research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


Nurturing the talent pipeline in Northern Ireland

deirdre_hughes_2015.jpgThe way in which teenagers think about their future in education and employment has a significant impact on what becomes of them as adults. Good-quality careers education and young people's exposure to the world of work can make a real difference to academic, social and economic outcomes, according to IER's Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE Principal Research Fellow and Chair of the Senior Advisory Group for Skills Northern Ireland. Deirdre is chairing a breakfast meeting with NI business and education leaders, including a keynote address by Peter Weir MLA, Minister of Education, Northern Ireland.

Organised by Prospects Events, sponsored by NIE Networks and supported by Ulster University, a brand new major Skills Northern Ireland event at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on 8 & November 2016 offers young people and parents the opportunity to meet employers, discover careers and learn more about Northern Irelands major skills shortages.


Work Experience Week #WEWeek2016

Deirdre HughesDr Deirdre Hughes OBE delivered a keynote presentation at the official launch of Work Experience Week at the Guildhall, London. Work Experience Week is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of high quality work experience. It covers all experiences of work, from apprenticeships to traineeships, internships to volunteering as well as more traditional work experience programmes. It was an opportunity for organisations across the country to host activities showcasing their work experience provision, and to demonstrate the difference a high quality placement can make to an individual’s employment prospects and life. This year’s launch event showcased experiences of the world of work for young people that help employers develop a talent pipeline for their businesses and expand development opportunities for their existing workforce.

Sat 15 Oct 2016, 09:16 | Tags: work experience, young people