Research team: Sharon Gewirtz (PI) (KCL), Meg Maguire (KCL), Alison Wolf (KCL), Chris Winch (KCL), Sait Bayrakdar (KCL), Andrea Laczik (Edge Foundation) and Olly Newton (Edge Foundation)
This five-year ESRC-funded study is investigating how England’s vocational education and training (VET) system can better support the school-to-work transitions of the 50 per cent of young people who don’t go to university. Routes into further education, training and employment for these young people are often characterised by complexity, instability, uncertain prospects and drop-out. This study is focusing on the 16-20 age group and has a particular emphasis on engaging with the perspectives of young people themselves, including those who are marginalised and whose input is often not heard in policymaking. The research addresses pressing national policy priorities as England is currently engaged in fundamental reforms to its VET system. These have been fuelled by linked concerns about equality and productivity, in particular, the disparities in education and skill levels that can prevent those from disadvantaged regions, women, and black and minority ethnic and disabled people from accessing high-skilled employment. The project will provide new understandings of how these disparities are produced and how they might be reduced.