Economic, Social, and Personal Outcomes of Vocational Qualifications

June Wiseman, Philip Roe, Elizabeth Davies, Stefan Speckesser, José Vila-Belda Montalt

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    The report presents key findings and conclusions from research undertaken on behalf of the London Borough of Newham by BMG Research, in partnership with the Institute of Employment Studies, to identify the economic, social, and personal outcomes of vocational qualifications. In the context of high levels of unemployment amongst young people both in the UK as a whole and in Newham this research seeks to identify the relative benefits of different post-16 progression routes. In seeking to maximise the number of young people who find work after the end of compulsory education at age 16, a key question arises as to what provides the best preparation of young people for the jobs market. There are three basic routes at age 16 (although young people may combine routes or move between them): • continuing in academic education, in 6th Forms or FE College, with the aim of securing employment post-A Level or, later, post-University; • pursuing vocational qualifications, usually in FE; and • leaving school and seeking to move directly into employment, sometimes as part of an Apprenticeship.
    Research identifies significant returns to education, and vocational qualifications that increase the productivity of individual workers relative to qualification levels below NQF-2 or relative to having no qualifications, resulting in higher wages and better employment opportunities. Undertaking and successfully achieving vocational qualifications are investments in early life which increase lifecycle earnings relative to not having achieved these qualifications.
    This research aims to explore motivations for pursuing different pathways post-16 and how different pathways, qualifications (including level and type of course), and experiences (such as undertaking work experience) impact upon young people’s outcomes in terms of employment, wages, and satisfaction.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherLondon Borough of Newham
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Publication series

    NameResearch Report
    PublisherLondon Borough of Newham


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