Introduction

This section provides resources for "making the case" for careers, referring to both challenges that careers services can tackle and evidence that such services work.

The situation in the UK changed significantly over a decade ago. The former “Connexions” service was withdrawn in 2013 with responsibility for careers provision transferring to schools and colleges. Thereafter, a review by the Gatsby Foundation was used to define best practices both in the UK and globally, to define a new set of benchmarks, encapsulating “Good Career Guidance” (Holman, 2014). Subsequently, Gatsby, the Career and Enterprise Company and Education and Employers have contributed to a growing evidence base on “what works”. 

Many smaller scale and some larger scale studies now exist demonstrating the positive outcomes of career guidance on secondary school students. 

Questions now being asked about optimising investment across measures, Gatsby are also due to produce the results of a major review of their benchmarks in autumn 2024, following an extensive literature review of evidence and consultation.

Contents


  1. Headlines - Headlines that summarise the high level purpose and value of careers interventions.

  2. Landscapes & contexts - Reviews and analysis that describe the environment in which CEIAG operates, and overall impact of CEIAG

  3. Case studies - Examples of realising different, specific benefits for service recipients, and applying to theory to practice

  4. Future research questions - Informed by our stakeholders, some candidate topics for future research projects

  5. Relevant institutions - Prominent research-active organisations, either commissioning or producing evidence.

  6. Journals/publications - Relevant journals and publications for further research

  7. Data sources - Open national and international datasets on this group, to provide context.

1. Headlines

The academic literature and many other publications have made the case for the importance of investment in careers education for this age group. Some of the explicit and implicit motivations that have been cited include the following:

  • The imminence of career decisions and the need for plan for them e.g. Ashby and Schoon (2010), OECD’s Career Readiness Project.

  • Young people need to be equipped with certain ‘career skills’ to make effective choices and make best use of the educational curriculum e.g. Morris (2004).

  • Moreover, they lack employability skills needed by employers, which are not being delivered by the current education system, but this is not appreciated by young people themselves (Dawson and Harrison, 2023)
  • 88% of teachers don’t feel that they qualified to offer careers support to their students (Sutton Trust, 2022)

  • The option of multiple educational pathways creates the motive to support some complex decisions with long term implications, particularly between 14-19  e.g. Marson-Smith et al (2009), UCAS (2021)

  • Careers support can play an important role helping to overcome disadvantages and inequalities e.g. Mann et al, (2018) 

  • Careers support can help to mitigate future adverse life outcomes, particularly young NEETs e.g. Careers and Enterprise Company (n.d.) 

  • Students in secondary education demand more and better career guidance than they are receiving. 2 in 5 school-leavers wanted more advice. e.g. Moote (2018), UCAS (2021). Meanwhile. current secondary school students are not engaging enough with career guidance by aged 15 (Mann et al, 2024).

  • It is well known parents strongly influence children's formative career thinking (Barnes et al, 2020), but they also feel ill-equipped to give the best advice (e.g. Reed, 2024)

  • Longer term life-, wellbeing- and employment-outcomes can be positively affected by earlier career guidance e.g. Hughes (2010)

  • A prevalence of career regrets (often reported in usually in the grey literature) exist amongst the working population, referencing a lack of earlier support e.g. O’Neill (2024)

  • A Government review showed much good practice, but there were inadvertent biases in content and some lack of focus on individual needs (Ofsted, 2023)

The academic literature and many other publications have demonstrated CEIAG adding tangible value:

  • International literature reviews showed that a clear majority of evaluation studies into career guidance provided benefits for students (Hughes, 2016) and expansive international examples for the effectiveness of career guidance (Hughes, 2024).

  • Delivery of the Gatsby benchmarks has been found to equate to clear progress in the career capabilities, knowledge and career readiness of young people (e.g. Hanson et al, 2020, Careers and Enterprise Company, 2023, 2024)

  • Careers support can provide tangible benefits to disadvantaged students (e.g. Robinson and Salvestrini, 2020)

  • Careers guidance can provide, from the average of international studies, a cost: benefit ratio of 2.5:1 when invested in support during compulsory education (Hooley et al, 2023).

  • When asked about which sources of career guidance were most helpful out of those they used, young people (secondary school to mid 20s) cite career guidance professionals and industry professionals as the most helpful, comfortably outperforming websites, friends and family etc (Prospects 2024)

2. Landscape & contexts

Selected publications, listed below, cover literature reviews and specific studies that help to make the case for careers investment by describing the context in which it operates, and reviewing literature to show the overall impact.

Publications tend to provide one or more of the following types of insight for practitioners, decision-makers or policy makers, denoted in the "Purpose" column below: U = Understanding users, needs and experiences, P = Practices and their evaluation, C = Supporting or informing the investment case for careers, E = Understanding enablers of success in systems, processes and workplaces, T=  Developing and criticising theories and frameworks. 

NB: We have generally tried to include resources that are free to access, but have included a few important studies that require payment. These are denoted by "(Paid)" next to the URL link in the title column.

Case studies are described in the section below this one, which reference particular studies including ones where theory has been applied to the design of a service, to generate particular outcomes.


Title

Type

Brief description

Location

Evans, J. H., & Burck, H. D. (1992). The effects of career education interventions on academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Journal of Counseling & Development, 71(1), 63–68. (Link)(Paid) 

C E

This literature review involved a a meta-analysis of 67 studies that examined the impact of career education interventions on the academic achievement of n=82,268 1st–12th graders. Results showed a positive effect. 6. A greater increase in academic achievement was seen when studies were grouped by subject matter taught (math and English), ability level (average), and grade level (elementary). Results increased if the program was in its 2nd yr of operation with the same students and if the average hours of intervention over a 9-mo period ranged from 151 to 200.

US

Maguire, M.amd Killeen, J, (2003), Outcomes from careers information and guidance services, A paper prepared for an OECD review of policies for information, guidance and counselling services Commissioned jointly by the European Commission and the OECD (Link)

P C

This is a formative review paper that pulled together a wide range of international studies to examine the impact of career guidance on both individuals and the wider economy and society. The paper serves to provide a review of earlier studies and an inventory of types of benefit. The paper also discusses evaluation practices. The report references career guidance for both those in education and adults.

International

Hughes, K. L., & Karp, M. J. M. (2004). School-based career development: A synthesis of the literature. (Link)

P C

The paper examined the evidence behind career interventions used in secondary schools to 2004 in a US context. "This synthesis of the research literature, covering meta-analyses and individual studies on comprehensive guidance programs, career courses, counselling interventions and computer-assisted career guidance, finds many benefits to students of career guidance and academic counselling interventions. On a variety of career-related and academic measures, student subjects did have increased outcomes. However, there are also limitations to the interventions and to the research methods studying them.”

US

Everitt, J., Neary, S., Delgardo, M.A. and Clark, L. (2008). Personal Guidance. What Works? London: The Careers & Enterprise Company. (Link)


P

This research was commissioned by The Careers & Enterprise Company in summer 2018 to establish what works in the provision of personal guidance in schools and colleges and to identify the impacts on young people: a rapid evidence review of the academic and grey literature which   informs what is currently happening within this area;, case studies with schools and colleges across England which highlight good practice and the challenges of implementation; expert interviews with key thought leaders relevant to the area -  this builds on the findings from the literature review

England

Gikopoulou, G. (ed) (2008), Report on Effective Career Guidance. European Network of Education Councils (Link)

P

This 221p report documents the evidence for different career interventions on client outcomes in schools. The report covers sections on career guidance theories, project methodologies and a series of activities and exercises. Critiques are offered of different theories and approaches. While this document was written as a “practical guide” for schools, it also contains many references, with the proposed practices grounded in careers research.

Europe

Hughes, D., & Gration, G. (2009). Evidence and impact: Careers and guidance-related interventions. Reading: CfBT..(Link)

U P C

This study was carried out by careers researchers at iCeGS and dmh Associations in the UK for the CfBT Education Trust, a charity providing education services for public benefit. It reviewed evidence for interventions within Integrated Youth  Support Services. Although effects were noted from the evidence base, the authors concluded that there was some challenge with interpretation to draw definitive conclusions.

 England

Sampson, J. P., Hooley, T., & Marriot, J. (2011). Fostering college and career readiness: How career development activities in schools impact on graduation rates and students' life success. (Link)

P C

This paper sets out the recent evidence around career development. This evidence is examined within the context of the college and career readiness agenda, and a focus on North American settings. The paper provides “a strong body of evidence which demonstrates that career development activity in schools can help young people to experience academic achievement, successfully

transition to the labour market and live happier and more productive lives.”

US

Westergaard, J..(2012) "Career guidance and therapeutic counselling: Sharing ‘what works’ in practice with young people." British Journal of Guidance & Counselling 40.4 . 327-339. (Link)

P T

This paper draws on research undertaken with therapeutic counsellors into ‘what works’ when counselling young people. It offers career practitioners the opportunity to reflect on four key emerging themes and to consider how the discipline of therapeutic counselling might inform guidance practice.

General

Haynes, G., McCrone, T. & Wade, P. (2013) Young people’s decision-making: the importance of high quality school-based careers education, information, advice and guidance, Research Papers in Education, 28:4, 459-482, (Link) (PW)

C E

This paper explores the decision-making processes of young people aged 13–14 years in 30 consortia across England as they chose their options for Key Stage 4 at a time when a new qualification, the 14–19 Diploma, was being introduced. It draws longitudinal national study coinciding with the change. Surveys of young people found variations in the quality of school CEIAG, measured by students’ understanding of the qualification and related pathways and satisfaction with their decisions.,

England

Meijers, F., Kuijpers, M., & Gundy, C.M. (2013). The relationship between career competencies, career identity, motivation and quality of choice. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 13, 47-66. (Link)

C E

The article reports measurements of the impact of career education and guidance among students (ages 12–19) enrolled in prevocational and secondary vocational education in The Netherlands. The study included 3,499 students and 166 teachers in 226 classes in 34 schools. Various positive outcomes were found in terms of decision quality and engagement in learning.

Holland

Hooley, T., Watts, A. G., & Andrews, D. (2015). Teachers and careers: The role of school teachers in delivering career and employability learning. (Link)

E

This report provides a review focussed on English schools of the role of teachers in careers education. Context is provided by a historical review over the course of the C20th, as well as reference to the practices across 13 countries. The report argues for the training and support of careers educators, so that the efforts of employers and all stakeholders realise the best outcomes for all. 

International 

Hughes, D., Adamson, J., & Stutz, A. (2016). Championing Careers Guidance in Schools: impact evaluation. CFE Research Study for the Greater London Authority. (Link)

P C

This report was commissioned by the Greater London Authority to evaluate the impact of  career programmes in London schools (“Championing Career Guidance In Schools”), tracking destination outcomes of students in Yrs 11-13 inclusively. Results included finding more progression to higher education and reduced numbers of NEETs.

England

Hughes, Deirdre, et al. "Careers education: International literature review. Report by Warwick University and Education & Employers (2016). (Link)

P C

The report was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), and supported by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch,and provided a review of the evidence base over the period from 1996.  73 studies were included. While direct evidence was deemed weak at the time, there were stronger cases made for “related” evidence such as that outcomes related to how teenagers think about their futures.

International

Elnaz T. Kashefpakdel & Christian Percy (2016): Career education that works: an economic analysis using the British Cohort Study, Journal of Education and Work, (Link)

P C

“This paper draws on the British Cohort Study 1970  to investigate the link between career talks by external speakers and employment outcomes, and finds some evidence that young people who participated in more career talks at age 14–16 enjoyed a wage premium 10 years later at age 26.”

Britain

Collins, J. and Barnes, A. (2017). Careers in  the Curriculum. What works? London: The  Careers & Enterprise Company (Link)

P E T

The international and UK evidence base is examined to review the benefits of having career integrated in the secondary school curriculum. The paper reports many positive evaluation studies but causes for more evidence to deduce causations.

International

Moore, N., Vigurs, K., Everitt, J., & Clark, L. (2017). Progression for Success: Evaluating North Yorkshire’s innovative careers guidance project. Report for North Yorkshire County Council. (Link)

P C

The North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) Careers Guidance Project, ‘Putting the learner first – progression for success’ was established as a two-year project in June 2015. This paper describes the initiative and the subsequent progress made in careers provision.

England

Moore, N. and Hansson, J. (2017), My Future: Developing career education and guidance at school. Report for the My Future Erasmus project. (Link)

E T

The research sought to identify and critically evaluate career guidance frameworks and practice with young people aged 12 – 25 across Europe with particular focus on: Social inclusion and mobility, Career management skills, Use of technology and the influence of geography over outcomes.

Europe

Rehill, J., Kashefpakdel, E. T., & Mann, A. (2017). Transition skills (mock interview and CV workshops). What works. (Link)

P

This paper reviews the current evidence relevant to the design and effectiveness of employer-led transition skills events such as mock interviews and CV workshops. The findings provide schools and colleges with evidence to support the delivery of these events and activities

England

Rehill, J., Kashefpakdel, E., and Mann, A. (2017), Career events. What works? Report for Education and Employers (Link)

U P 

The paper provides a literature review and new survey data with students and inputs from teachers on 'what works' at careers events for secondary school students. Several high-quality studies exist demonstrating positive outcomes experienced by career event participants, but the literature at the time was "very limited" in terms of comparing types of event.

England

Hearne, L., King, P., Geary, T., & Kenny, N. (2018). “Science of the singular”: an explanatory single case study of whole school guidance counselling in Ireland. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 18, 315-335.

E

This article reports on a case study that describes the model of “whole school guidance counselling”. The author argues for the transferability of findings to other secondary settings in Ireland and abroad. Reviewing the activities of the school and stakeholder perceptions, the authors  conclusions include that: "A whole school approach offers noteworthy possibilities but a stronger positioning of guidance within the school system, a supportive school culture and greater partnership within the school community is required."

Ireland

Moote, J., and Archer, L. (2018). Failing to deliver? Exploring the current status of career education provision in England, Research Papers in Education, 33(2), pp. 187-215.(Link)

U C E

The paper investigates students’ views on careers education provision and their satisfaction. The work draws on data collected via a national survey of over 13,000 Year 11 students aged 15/16 years and in-depth longitudinal interviews conducted with 70 students from this cohort (aged from 10 to 16 years). Findings demonstrates a “clear student demand for ‘more and better’ careers education”. Some schools may not be meeting the statutory requirement to provide impartial careers support Moreover, analysis suggests that support is “currently patterned in ways that may be working to promote inequalities relating to gender, ethnicity and social class.”

England

Kuijpers, M. (2019). Career guidance in collaboration between schools and work organisations. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 47, 487 - 497. (Link)

P C

Studies are presented into school-employer collaborations, reviewing 17 previous studies, four case studies and 34 interviews. Several high quality studies demonstrate positive outcomes but few comparisons between different types of event.

International

Marcionetti J., Rossier J. (2019). A longitudinal study of relations among adolescents’ self-esteem, general self-efficacy, career adaptability, and life satisfaction. J. Career Dev. 48, 475–490. (Link)

U

The study examines the development of several important personal attributes related to career management skills: concern, curiosity, control, confidence. Research was conducted on 357 adolescents over 17 months during their time in secondary school. The importance of career adaptability was highlighted.

Switzerland

McIntosh, I., & Yates, J. (2019). Evaluating employer career interventions in English schools. Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, 42(1), 9-17. (Link)

P C

Government policy on English schools’ careers activities indicates an emphasis on employer interventions over traditional career guidance, but it was a less well studied form of intervention than traditional interviews. This paper compares the impact of career guidance interviews with employer engagements using a study of n=233 students, and finds vocational guidance interviews to be more effective. 

England

Millard, W., Bowen-Viner, K., Baars, S., & Menzies–LKMco, L. (2019). Making Careers Education Age-Appropriate. LKM and Founders for Schools (Link)

E

This report provides an overview of what good careers should entail and contrasts it with the provision in UK schools: Founders4Schools commissioned this research, because while there is  compelling evidence outlining the benefits good careers education and guidance  has for children and young people, much less is understood about when different  sorts of careers-focused interventions should take place. This report sets out  what children and young people’s careers education should entail, and when,  drawing on the literature and input of a wide range of education and careers  practitioners, experts, and employers. Barriers are noted to the delivery of good provision. Recommendations are made to schools and government. Schools are urged to begin careers education early and appoint a designated leader and work with parents. Government (and associated bodies) are urged to fund transport for rural areas, signpost to information, augment information contained on digital brokerage platforms, and tailor existing guidance so that it is age appropriate.

UK

Lazauskaitė-Zabielskė, J., Pociūtė, B., & Bulotaitė, L. (2019). The Role of Self-Efficacy for Satisfaction with Career Counselling and Goal Attainment Among Career Counsellors Working at Schools. Acta Paedagogica Vilnensia, 43, 141-155. (Link)

E

While many studies look at the experiences of students, this study examined the experiences of school career counsellors in three European countries, to understand the environment in which they did their work. The study measured the perspectives of n=246 counsellors. The results pointed to conditions that are favourable to effective counselling and satisfied counsellors i.e. the importance was raise of “self-efficacy for satisfaction with career counselling and goal attainment…the opportunity for development and feedback and satisfaction predicted satisfaction with career counselling only when self-efficacy was high…. the opportunity for development and feedback were indirectly related to goal attainment through satisfaction with career counselling only when self-efficacy was high.”

Greece

Ireland

Lithuania


Allnutt, R. (2020), A qualitative review of personal career guidance in secondary schools in England. Report by Career Wise for Gatsby (Link)

C E

This is a report about personal career guidance practice from the perspective of secondary schools. It has been informed by interviews with school Careers Leaders (or equivalent) in schools in England in January 2020.  The review examined the extent to which career guidance was aligned to Gatsby and what is the quality, or effectiveness, of personal guidance. The review was conducted across a pre-identified 21 secondary schools (including 12 with  sixth-forms) in England.

England

Hanson, J., & Neary, S. (2020, March). The Gatsby benchmarks and social mobility: Impacts to date. In Career Guidance for Inclusive Society: IAEVG Conference Proceedings. (Link)

U C E

Using recent case studies, the paper reviews how the Gatsby benchmarks are helping in the career development of young people, and benefits are being derived for the short, medium and longer term. Particular concern is given to the support for students with low social capital.

England

Hearne, L. and Neary, S. (2020). Let’s talk about career guidance in secondary schools! A consideration of the professional capital of school staff in Ireland and England. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance. (Link)

C E

The paper discusses the “whole school model” of career guidance, with comparisons made about English and Irish systems. Identifying gaps to its realisation, the study “specifically considers the conditions that could support the delivery of a whole school approach to career guidance through the concept of professional capital.”

England Ireland

Kamm, C., Gebhardt, A., Gonon, P., Brühwiler, C., & Dernbach-Stolz, S. (2020). Learners’ perceptions of a career guidance curriculum in different school-based support systems in Switzerland. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 72, 375 - 395. (Link)

U P

This article examines the different functions and further potential of a curriculum of career guidance in lower secondary school and bridge-year courses. With a focus on young adults following a nonlinear pathway to post-compulsory education in the Swiss Canton of Zurich, the author looks at why bridge-year courses are attended and how career guidance is perceived, and how career guidance can be optimised.

Switzerland

Keele, S. M., Swann, R., & Davie-Smythe, A. (2020). Identifying best practice in career education and development in Australian secondary schools. Australian journal of career development, 29(1), 54-66. (Link)

P C E

This review aimed to identify the tenets of best practice in career education and development within Australian schools, using an analysis of 13 articles. Best practices were deemed related to an “embedded, whole-school approach with services tailored to the individual, school, community and culture”

Australia

Mann, A., Denis, V. and Percy, C. (2020), "Career ready?: How schools can better prepare young people for working life in the era of COVID-19", OECD Education Working Papers, No. 241, OECD Publishing, Paris, (Link)

U C T

The paper describes the insights that can be gathered on the career-readiness of students in different countries using open data sets. The results show marked differences between the career readiness of different countries. Variations between countries can be used as an assessment of the education systems in different locations.

International

Poulsen, B. K. (2020). Insights and outlooks: Career learning in the final years of compulsory school. Education Inquiry, 11(4), 316-330. (Link)

P C

This article reports from a Danish research and development project on career learning in compulsory school. Collaborations between schools and businesses were used to increase student insight. The career learning outcomes were found to be related to decisions taken by teachers and career professionals in designing the interventions.

Holland

Robinson, D. and Salvestrini, V. (2020), The impact of interventions for widening access to higher education : a review of the evidence. Education Policy Institute (Link)

P C

“The goal of this review is to provide evidence on the interventions that have been shown to be most  effective in improving participation for disadvantaged students, and to identify gaps in the current research base.” 92 studies were evaluated. Measures include but transcend careers support. Evaluations are carried out across different dimensions of outcomes.

England

Wilson, A., Minhas, P., & Bello, S. (2020). Parents' engagement in the career guidance of their children: autumn 2020. (Link)

U C

This is a research report commissioned by the Gatsby Foundation. It explores how attitudes and preferences have changed  within (n=2,001) parents of 11-18 year olds engaging with different careers activities have changed since COVID. Parents have become more pessimistic about their children' s futures, but felt positive about the supported offered by the school or college. About 8 in 10 parents willingly engage in their children' s career development.

England

Andrews, D. (2021), Access and partnership: How schools in England responded to changes in career guidance services in the first two decades of the 21st century.  (LInk)

E

This is a long term retrospective review that discusses the inter-relationship between guidance in schools and the policy and economic context. Over the past 20 years career guidance services 

for young people in England have undergone two  major changes: from privatised careers companies  to Connexions, followed by the dismantling of the national service. These events in the paper lend to providing critical retrospective analysis of the careers policies and systems employed in different timeframes. 

England

Bakke, I. B. (2021). Career and cultural context: collective individualism, egalitarianism and work-centrality in the career thinking of Norwegian teenagers. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 51(1), 1–16. (Link)

U P E

The paper reviews the Norwegian schools career system. Supported by research that provides insights into the views and values of Norwegian teenagers’ and their counsellors, the author argues how career guidance is influenced by Norwegian cultural values related to welfare: “collective individualism, egalitarianism, and work-centrality.” The paper provides insight for policy on relating cultural values to the characteristics of the key assumptions underpinning a guidance system.

Norway

Barnes, S.A. and Bimrose, J. (2021), Labour Market Information and its use to inform career guidance of young people: An overview of the labour market systems for career guidance in England. Coventry: Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick. (Link)

P E

The aim of the report was to provide an overview of the supply of labour market information (LMI) and intelligence through interpretation (LMI+) in England, to highlight data sources and gaps. The report includes a review of 119 sources and includes an overview of the role of different organisations in its provision. Interpretation of the classification and analysis included interviews with eight stakeholders who are those engaging with the information, or using it to provide a service to career clients. The report therefore provides an overview of the wide range of sources that exist, where to find them, and perspectives on gaps.

England

Hanson, J., Moore, N., Neary, S., & Clark, L. (2021). An evaluation of the North East of England pilot of the Gatsby Benchmarks of good career guidance. University of Derby (Link)

P C E

This evaluation - covering different aspects - includes a longitudinal study to examine the impact of implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks on schools in the North East of England. The report describes: The rate of adopting the Gatsby benchmarks was measured across schools, enabling factors to adoption, challenges, stakeholder perceptions, finance factors, and student career readiness scores, which increased significantly through the c3 years of the study..

England

Hector, M. (2021) Transition to ambition: navigating the career maze. Policy Connect and Skills Commission (Link)

P C E

This enquiry started in 2020 so was somewhat contextualised by the events of COVID. It describes a systematic review of the different career services provided along the path from compulsory education into higher education for transitioning into the workforce. It asks what people of all ages need from career guidance, and therefore what differences can be made to the career system. Amongst the cross-cutting themes described, the paper noted the unstable policy environment, problems with the digital divide, and the challenges with accessing reliable LMI.

England

Houghton, A. M., Armstrong, J., & Okeke, R. I. (2021). Delivering careers guidance in English secondary schools: Policy versus practice. British Journal of Educational Studies, 69(1), 47-63. (Link)

E

A small scale pilot study demonstrates the importance of contextual factors to the provision of career guidance: “Analysis showed the centrality of…  location, history, ethos and values; its self-evaluation development plans; the position and status of the careers policy, career advisor, and the students’ profile/background”

England

Wilson, T., Allen, J., Pye, K., & Pye, M. (2021). School, college, and student perspectives on information shared about educational pathways: Gatsby Benchmark 7. (Link)

P

Mindful of the Gatsby benchmarks, and the general importance of accurate information, this research was to understand the breadth, quality and frequency of information being provided to school and college students about their onward education options. A survey was conducted of career leaders and advisors in 200 schools and 80 colleges and a survey of n>300 11-19 year old students. along with some depth interviews. The research found that, while A levels and BTECs are discussed most, vocational pathways receive less coverage.  The information most valued by students is also measured, which is that jobs they are able to get with a given course.

England

Dodd, V., Hanson, J., & Hooley, T. (2022). Increasing students’ career readiness through career guidance: measuring the impact with a validated measure. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 50(2), 260–272. (Link)

P C

A survey carried on pupils (Study 1, N = 1508) in England taking part in a career guidance pilot programme. The instrument fitted a nine-item one-factor structure. In Study 2 (N = 2240), we found further evidence the factor structure was a good fit to the data. In Study 3 (N = 5242), we tested the relationship between career guidance activities and career readiness. Greater participation in career guidance activities was significantly associated with increased career readiness, demonstrating an application of the Student Career Readiness Index (SCRI) measurement framework.

England

Holt-White, E., Montacute, R., and Tibbs, L. (2022), Paving the way: career guidance in secondary schools. Report for the Sutton Trust. (Link)

E

This review examined the careers provision in secondary schools, revisiting a previous 2014 study that had found a “postcode lottery” in careers support across schools. The report found the extent and nature of careers support, the extent of linkages to the curriculum, the number of schools collaborating with the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) and student self-reporting of activities. Barrier were reported to further progress and recommendations created for Government, the CEC and schools..

England

McMahon, M., & Watson, M. (2022). Career development learning in childhood: a critical analysis. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 50(3), 345–350 (Link)

E T

This short article introduces a journal edition focussing on Career Development Learning in Childhood: A Critical Analysis. It serves to offer a short overview of contemporary challenges, such as a lack of linkage between research, policy and practice to power learning.

International

Røise, P. Students’ critical reflections on learning across contexts in career education in Norway. Int J Educ Vocat Guidance (2022). (Link)

U

The paper evaluates the career education experiences of students progressing through their secondary education - with particular reference to discontinuities. Benefits are proposed for opportunities for collective reflection on placements.

Norway

The Careers & Enterprise Company (2022). Employer engagement in careers education: Insights 2020/21. London: The Careers & Enterprise Company. (Link)

P E

There is an increasing interest in the role subject teachers have to play in 

supporting their students with careers education. This insight briefing shares 

findings from two small partnership projects in Oxfordshire to bring teachers  together with local businesses. Teachers increased their knowledge of career pathways, and their ability to connect lesson-based learning to work-based learning, following the project.

England

Holt-White, E., Montacute, R., and Tibbs, L. (2022), Paving the way: career guidance in secondary schools. Report for the Sutton Trust. (Link)

U C

The report provides the results of surveys with secondary school teachers, career leaders and students across English schools - examining the amount and nature of careers support and financial data on the funding to the Careers & Enterprise Company. Results showed that career activities increased with student age: However, at the time of the study, 36% of students had not participated in careers activities at all. Results also allowed comparison of staff v student perceptions. Recommendations were provided to both schools and government.

UK

Barclays (2023), Employability skills research and trends (Link) and Unlocking Skills and Employment Opportunities report

C E

This project by Barclays Bank aims at providing community-based life skills training for young people and adults in the UK. The rationale for the initiative is described in terms of life skills that are needed for success. Measured outcomes of the research demonstrate the greatest impacts on young people participating, which were topped by “Awareness of own strengths and skills (91%)”

UK

Blake, H., Kashefpakdel, E. and Hoolsey, T. (2023). Evaluation of the Teachers Encounters Programme. Report by the University of Derby for the Careers Enterprise Company (Link)

P C E

This report describes a one year pilot study called Teacher Encounters that was run by the Careers and Enterprise Company. Teachers were introduced to employers to increase their knowledge of career options and pathways, before returning to educate their students. The report outcomes the importance of career educators having engagement with employers.

England

Dawson, A. and Harrison, K. (2023). The Employability Badge. Skills for Life, Work and a Stronger Society. Demos and Scouts (Link)

C

The report is written in the face of a significant youth unemployment challenge that is detrimental to the economy,  society and the lives of young people - the unemployment rate being three times higher than the general adult population. Consequently, it is important to equip young people with employability skills.  The report talks about a skills gap and lack of transferable skills. Presently, there is a mismatch between the skills taught in education and those needed for work. The report discusses the importance and role of extra-curricular activities as a means to acquire necessary employability skills.

UK

Huxley, K., & Davies, O. (2023). How is careers guidance for school pupils prioritised?. ADR Data Insight. (Link)

U P C E

This Data Insight explores how information is used to inform decisions regarding the provision of careers guidance interviews among key stage 4 (KS4) pupils in Wales, with a focus on students’ characteristics. National data and a student survey (n=42k) were used to assess career provision. Results showed students were progressing with their career decision maturity, but significant percentages lacked confidence. Students at different stages were then evaluated in terms of the career services (activities) they had received (undertaken). Results show those with lower attainment were most likely to be recipients of guidance.

Wales

Maguire, O. (2023), Careers guidance: Reed survey of children and parents reveals a need for more support. Reed. (Link)

U C

Commissioned with OnePoll, the employment company Reed surveyed 1,000 children between the ages of 11 and 18, and 2,000 parents with children of the same age, to find out how they feel about career guidance, where they get their best advice from, and how prepared they feel for their future careers. They asked parents who they feel is most responsible for their child’s career advice. Only five per cent said external advice services, but the majority (53%) said they feel the onus is on them to provide careers guidance. Despite this, 71% of parents only give their child career advice every few months or less. Results pointed to a potential gap in provision: This result matches up with where children feel they get the best career advice. Forty-one per cent say this is from their family, whereas 40% say they get the best advice from school. These results could point to a gap in careers education, where schools should be encouraging parents to talk to their children about careers and better support them by sharing materials and activities for families to complete together at home.

UK

Percy, C., & Tanner, E. (2023). Careers Hubs: pilot of a place-based school improvement network in England. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 51(6), 988-1004. (Link)

P C

A pilot project was used to test the effect of adhering to Gatsby benchmarks and this research was used to examine enabling conditions. Collaboration between Careers Leaders, leadership support, employer engagement, and alignment with regional strategy were drivers of faster progress in improving provision.

England

The Careers & Enterprise Company (2023). Insight briefing: - student career readiness in 2022/23. London: The Careers & Enterprise Company. (Link)

U P C E

During the 2022/23 academic year, over 100,000  students from 574 institutions completed the Future Skills Questionnaire  (FSQ), making it one of the most extensive surveys of its kind in the country. This report provides the annual results from 2021/22. The report provides an overview of career readiness and tracks progress each year.

England

UK Parliament (2023), Careers guidance in schools, colleges and universities. Ch 5. How well are schools and colleges discharging their duties? (Link)

C E

This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at the requirements on schools, colleges and universities in England to provide careers guidance, the quality of the advice provided, and also the organisations working to provide careers advice. Chapter 5 of this report reviews the quality of provision, and largely references Ofsted’s 2023 review: The importance of a quality careers programme was understood by 

leaders and staff, and the role of careers leader well embedded. However, several areas were noted for improvement including data collection. The growing importance of careers was also noted which drew from CEC’s impact studies.

England

Watermeyer, R., Morton, P., & Collins, J. (2016). Rationalising for and against a policy of school-led careers guidance in STEM in the UK: A teacher perspective. International Journal of Science Education, 38(9), 1441-1458. (Link)

E

This paper reports on teacher attitudes to changes in the provision of careers guidance in the U.K., particularly as it relates to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It draws on survey data of n = 94 secondary-school teachers operating in STEM domains and their attitudes towards a U.K. and devolved policy of internalising careers guidance within schools. The survey presents a mixed message of teachers recognising the significance of their unique position in providing learners with careers guidance yet concern that their ‘relational proximity’ to students and ‘informational distance’ from higher education and STEM industry may produce bias and misinformation that is harmful to their educational and occupational futures.

UK

Prospects Luminate (2024), Early careers survey (Link)

U P C

The survey measured responses from over 6,000 young people - from secondary school age to early adulthood - on their career plans and the sources of support that they received. Results were unfortunately not all split out by different career stages. However, for secondary school students, the most useful sorts of guidance were considered to be: 1) Talks by staff about university courses, 2) Career guidance appointments, and 3) Career lessons and workshops. The survey also showed that work experiences could not be found by 40% of students, and it highlighted the broad goals. Financial concerns provided a prominent theme across the survey.

UK

Hughes, D. (2024), An International Evidence Review:  Targeted and Effective Careers Support Interventions. Report by dmh Associates for The Department of the Economy, Northern Ireland (Link)

P C E

This study was commissioned so that the Northern Irish career system could learn from the experiences and initiatives of international practices and apply this learning to the Careers Service in Northern Ireland. The review covers 16 countries, mainly throughout Europe and also in New Brunswick in Canada. The research was undertaken between late October 2023 – late February 2024. The findings build upon earlier published findings on lifelong guidance policies and practices in Europe and at an international level (Barnes, et al, 2020; OECD, ILO, ETF, UNESCO, Cedefop, 2019 & 2021; Hooley, 2022 & Hughes & Percy, 2022). The scope of the research has purposely narrowed down to concentrate mainly on career guidance in secondary schools, technology-focused provision, work with vulnerable individuals and professionalisation arrangements

International

Mann, A. & Diaz, J. & Zapata Posada, S. (2024). "Teenage career development in England: A Review of PISA 2022 Data," OECD Education Working Papers 315, OECD Publishing. (Link)

C

This OECD report provides a statistical analysis of the trends in career development of young people in England and a comparison with international benchmarks. The results show that “in many ways student career development in England compares well with many other OECD countries, particularly  {the} most relevant comparisons. However {} students in England and across the OECD fail to engage sufficiently in career development by the age of 15.”

England


3. Case studies

Case studies, and collections of case studies, that derived different outcomes are listed below. (We also denote cases where the study represents the explicit application of a theory to the design or interpretation of a practice).


Title

Themes

Brief description

Location

Careers and Enterprise Company (n.d.), Case studies. (Link)

Applying Gatsby benchmarks 

Implementing good practice

This resource provides a series of case studies completed by the Career and Enterprise Company in primary schools. The case studies clearly explain the approach, people involved, cost, principles employed of good careers education and of building skills.

England

Careers Hub Cornwall and Isle of Scilly (n.d.)  (Link)

Applying Gatsby benchmarks


Life skills

The Careers Hub demonstrates a range of creative case study projects in primary and secondary schools, linking many to the attainment of the Gatsby benchmarks.

England

Connectedu (n.d.), What works? (Link)

Implementing good practice

In this context, Connected4u provide career services to education institutions. They have published several articles in a “what works?” section of their website where they have described case studies that span from engaging employers to satisfying Ofsted.

England

Euroguidance (n.d.),Good practices (Link)

Implementing good practice

This sources showcases a collection of ‘Good Guidance Practices’ across the EU, providing ideas and evidence to the international guidance community. The articles and reports cover all career stages and also different groups.

Europe

OECD (n.d.) Effective career guidance. (Link)

Implementing good practice

This resource provides links to a series of international case studies that represent examples of good practice in early years and primary education. The studies are written up in short format (typically 1-2pp) and include an example of the implementation of practices and theories and objectives behind them.

International

Quality in Careers (n.d.), Case Studies of Best Practice Around The Country. (Link)

Implementing good practice

Quality in Careers is a consortium that owns the National Quality in Careers standard. Their website includes over 50 case studies from around England into best practices in careers provision, with a focus on secondary schools. These case studies are chosen to show "how some of the good schools and colleges in the country are responding to their Statutory Duty to secure access to independent careers guidance, to meet the DfE’s Statutory Guidance requirements and to ensure their provision is of the highest quality.

UK

PWC (n.d.) Careers in the curriculum (Link)

Integration of careers learning into the curriculum 

This resource from PWC shows eight case studies of people discussing how their school subjects were relevant to their later jobs with PWC.

England

Skills Development Scotland, Case studies (Link)

Teacher training to improve quality

SDS provide a number of case studies into secondary education, with a particular emphasis on professional learning for teachers as a means to drive quality careers education for the students.

Scotland

Creed, P. A., Patton, W., & Bartrum, D. (2002). Multidimensional properties of the LOT-R: Effects of optimism and pessimism on career and well-being related variables in adolescents. Journal of career assessment, 10(1), 42-61. (Link)

Life Orientation Test (Link) to diagnose appropriate career interventions

Developed by psychologist Michael Scheier and colleagues (1994), the Revised Life Orientation Test (LOT-R) is a simple 10-item scale that measures how optimistic or pessimistic people feel about the future. The test has been applied across a number of different psychology and sociological applications, and so can also be benchmarked against norms. In this study, a LOT survey was given to 504 high school students to evaluate their career and life development. The results showed how the test could be used to tailor interventions.

Australia

Turner S. L., Lapan R. T. (2005). Evaluation of an intervention to increase non-traditional career interests and career-related self-efficacy among middle-school adolescents. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66, 516–531. (Link)(Paid)

Challenging stereotypes



This investigation involved testing interventions that included a computer assisted programme and group exercises towards the end of increasing adolescents’ interests in non-traditional careers, and their career-related self-efficacy. Results demonstrated significant increases in career planning and exploration efficacy, and educational and vocational development efficacy among experimental group participants. Boys showed significant increases in artistic, social, and conventional interests, and girls showed significant increases in realistic, enterprising, and conventional interests. 

US

Koivisto, P. (2010). Preparing for working life: effects of group counseling on adolescents' career development and mental health (No. 92). Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. (Link)

Creating programmes to support work-life transition that account for wellbeing considerations

This short book reviews the concepts of career development and mental health and relates the two. In Chapter 2, the book reviews two studies that were designed to support successful transitions. (The “Work to Life” study and “Towards Working Life” study). As well as measuring education and employment outcomes, and the attainment of personal goals, the study also reviewed mental health. The first study showed a significant reduction in mental distress. The second suggested a reduction in the experience of financial strain. However, there were some nuanced results from both studies, such as the way that careers intervention did and didn’t help with the construction of work-life goals.

Finland

Wade, P., McCrone, T. and Golden, S. (2011). Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of Diplomas: Information, Advice and Guidance (DFE Research Report 122). London: DFE (Link)

CEIAG to support new qualification options

At the time of this paper, changes in the educational landscape had given young people different qualification options. There was a renewed focus on information, advice and guidance. This report covers the specific information, advice and guidance surrounding the introduction of a Diploma qualification. "Over the first three years of the evaluation, the evidence from surveys and case studies has highlighted the  central role of IAG for the take-up of Diplomas, levels of learner  understanding of, and satisfaction with the qualification and, potentially, the  future success of the Diploma."

UK

Maree, J.G. (2017): Promoting career development in the early years of a person’s life through self- and career construction counselling (using an integrated, qualitative+quantitative approach): a case study, Early Child Development and Care (Link)

Application of Career Construction Theory  (Link)

Career construction theory explains the internal processes by which career clients make sense of information, impose a sense of direction on their career management behaviours, and draw meaning from their careers. In this case study, a 14-year old is the recipient of a career interview and self- and career construction techniques were used to gather data. The results demonstrate the completing career activities in school to help with career development.

South Africa

Piróg, D., & Rachwał, T. (2019). Comics as a tool for a narrative approach in early career counselling: theory versus empirical evidence. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 47(4), 498-511. (Link)

Using comics to stimulate personal insights amongst adolescents

Application of narrative career counselling  

The authors note the problematic situation where childhood and adolescence are periods when the readiness for insightful reflection needed for good career choices are at their lowest. In this paper, the authors cite literature that shows “comics are an effective way of inciting reflection and stimulating early development memories.” This research applies the idea to career counselling by using an intervention to stimulate insights n=114 boys and n=128 girls aged 13-15. Comics are found to be an effective approach for recalling memories..

Poland

Maree, J. G. (2020). Career construction counselling aimed at enhancing the narratability and career resilience of a young girl with a poor sense of self-worth. Early Child Development and Care, 190(16), 2646-2662. (Link)(Paid)

Application of narrative career counselling 

Self-worth and self-esteem

This article reports on the influence of integrative career construction counselling on the career thinking and resilience of a young (14 year old) female student. After the intervention, the participant presented with an enhanced ability to narrate her career-life story and displayed an elevated level of career resilience. The intervention motivated her to set and realise specific goals, bolstered her sense of self, restored her sense of self-worth, helped her ‘make meaning’ in her (repurposed) career-life and pursue purpose.

South Africa

Di Palma, T., & Reid, H. (2021). Career development of English and Italian high school students in uncertain times: a narrative approach. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 49(5), 732–743. (Link)(Paid)

Application of narrative career counselling  

Considering ‘readiness’ for career guidance


The aim in the present study was to explore the content and process of career development and meaning making processes using a narrative approach. Participants were n=20 Italian students attending their last two years of high school and n=23 English students attending sixth form education. Students in both groups produced written narratives using the same prompt. Results were: a) most of the students are still at a development stage of “exploration”, b) there appear to be cultural differences between students, c) those who explored personal values, interests and passions, and had early work experiences, showed clearer career development.

UK,

Italy

North-East Ambition (2021), Good Career Guidance Benchmarks pilot – The Link School case study (Link)

Gatsby benchmarks

Curriculum integration

Whole school approach

This case study takes the form of an interview with the Senior Leader for CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) for a school in North East England. The example showed the impact of the Gatsby benchmarks in influencing the school to build partnerships with businesses and integrate employed engagement into theri CEIAG activities.

England

Rice, S., Hooley, T., & Crebbin, S. (2021). Approaches to quality assurance in school-based career development: policymaker perspectives from Australia. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 50(1), 110–127. (Link)

Implementing approaches to manage quality

This paper reports on research on how Australian secondary schools manage quality in career guidance. The paper answers questions on how policy makers define quality, the measures and mechanisms they use, and how these approaches should be classified. Policy-makers are found to have a wide range of approaches to embedding  quality in schools. These are arranged in terms of their frequency of use.

Australia

Wang D, Liu X. The effects of cognitive information processing and social cognitive career group counseling on high school students' career adaptability. Front Psychol. 2022 Sep 2;13:990332.(Link).

Social cognitive career theory

Cognitive information processing

Group counselling

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of cognitive information processing (CIP) and social cognitive career theory (SCCT) group counselling on high school students’ career adaptability. The study involved 81 students from grade 10 and grade 11 in a Chinese public high school. Among the 81 participants, 27 were in the CIP group, 28 were in the SCCT group, while the rest were in the control group. CIP and SCCT were both found to produce positive results on students’ career adaptability, though worked in different time-frames

China

Hughes, D., & Percy, C. (2022). Independent External Review of Careers Delivery in Northern Ireland – International exemplars. DMH Associates (Link)

Adopting international best practices.

This report provides a review of many international case studies showing best practices in career service delivery. Case studies are broad and cover most ages and types of career service client, from school to vulnerable adults, and from European examples to ones in Asia.

International



4. Future research questions

The CDI discuss research questions and gaps with expert academics. Amongst the common topics that have been proposed for future research studies, to close gaps in our knowledge, include:

  • The impact and value of attaining Gatsby benchmarks on student outcomes

  • The relationship between investment levels and service outcomes

  • Building a case to evolve careers guidance to be more integrated into the curriculum.

  • Influences on students at all stages of their secondary education (esp KS3)

  • Relationships between GCSE and A Level choices and career paths.

  • Motivating students into part time and summer work as developmental steps.

  • Barriers facing teachers and heads in delivering careers services.

  • The adoption and use of AI by both students and schools.

Related research agendas in associated areas of education or human development, which share concerns with career guidance, include:



5. Relevant institutions

To understand more about this area, it is worth reviewing the work of the following organisations who are active in commissioning or producing research.

These are organisations who regularly conduct or commission research related to career and/or CEIAG for this group.

Where content is restricted to memberships or requires payment, this is noted next to the name of the organisation in the first column.

Name

Description

Career Connect (Link)Career Connect are a social mobility charity that seek to raise aspirations, are largely work in the education sector and/or with other vulnerable groups providing services such as helping offenders transition back to society, a redundancy outplacement service, and a face to face services for businesses and schools. They also carry out research activities and impact studies, with a focus towards topics such as NEETs and home schooling.
Careers Enterprise Company (Link)
The Careers and Enterprise company are “the national body for careers education in England, supporting schools and colleges to deliver modern, 21st century careers education”. 

Careers Wales (Link)

Careers Wales is a public (government funded service) that provides careers information, advice and guidance service for Wales. Careers Wales works with the Welsh Government. Career Wales has a repository for various studies and articles.

Cedefop (Link)

Cedefop is a decentralised agency of the European Union that supports the development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies and contributes to their implementation. As such it publishes a large number of papers and reports – both pan European and into member countries – across most aspects of CEIAG, but particularly covering policy and system level issues. Reports tend to cover labour market needs, skills shortages and career development across the lifespan, with a number of country reports.

Department of Education (Link)

The Department of Education, along with the Department of Work and Pensions, are the two Government areas where agendas cross into topics relating to Careers. The Department of Education website provides a section on “Research and Statistics”, and “Policy papers and consultations” guidance and regulation to inform on the national education landscape and challenges. 

Education Policy Institute (Link)
The aim of the Education Policy Institute is to raise standards in education through rigorous data analysis, research and the exchange of information and knowledge to help inform the public and hold government and decision-makers to account. They publish policy research for different age- and protected groups.
Education and Employers (Link)

A UK based charity launched in 2009 which aims to “provide young people with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to help them achieve their potential”. The charity works with state schools, employers, the national bodies that represent them and a wide range of other partners. Research informs education, policy and practice in the UK. 

Euroguidance Network (Link)

The Euroguidance Network is a network of national resource and information centres for guidance. It is a co-operation of centres throughout European countries which link together the Careers Guidance systems in Europe. Their three main pillars of work including support the development of Europe’s lifelong guidance, to support development of practitioners and provide information on European guidance. They publish a range of outputs including a magazine (“Insight”), highlights of the network’s work, results of seminars, and a variety of guides and books.

Gatsby Foundation (Link)Gatsby is a charitable foundation that support the development of employability skills and has since been both a funder and active in projects themselves. “Good Career Guidance” is one of the four themes of their work in education (while they also work in other Neuroscience and Plant Science). Their Eight Benchmarks are a framework for school leaders, headteachers, and careers advisors to assess the development of their pupils in employability skills.

International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) (Link)

iCeGS have conducted a high volume of critical national and international studies, specifically into the areas of careers: education, development, and policy etc, for both academic journals, policymaking bodies and careers service providers. Consequently, their research library contains relevant papers and reports to this area, as well as many related topics.

Morrisby (Link)Morrisby provide an online career development software platform which is used by many secondary schools. Amongst publishing various articles and news content, they occasionally publish results from research studies and also provide best practice case studies.

National Careers Development Association (US) (Link)

The NCDA is the United States membership body for careers professionals. As well as publishing periodic larger scale research, practitioners actively contribute short practice articles by way of small-scale evaluation, reflection or learnings. All career stages are covered. 

National Foundation for Educational Research (Link)
The foundation produce a wide body of research studies and evaluations aimed at improving education outcomes by informing different key decisions facing schools and policy makers. A number of their studies have covered careers explicitly, while there has been more still covering the relationship between education and employability. 
Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (Link)
A European network of career academics and practitioners who collectively work to promote excellence and innovation in academic, research-based training of career practitioners in Europe. NICE periodically produce articles and reviews.
Nuffield Foundation (Link)The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance educational opportunity and social well-being. Research informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. Nuffield also fund opportunities for young people to develop skills in science and research.

OECD (Link)

The OECD publishes a wide range of articles, reports and data-sets that offer context to adult careers, particularly in the “Education”, “Skills”, and “Social and Welfare Issues” parts of their website. They also collect datasets on education and progression for school across nations (see next section).

PiXL Club (Link)
PiXL was born out of the DfE's 'The London Challenge', a school improvement programme set up by the government in 2003. It provides a network for collaboration and shared support between schools.  Amongst their various proposition, they support secondary schools. PiXL are not a research organisation, but produce content that create insight for the sector.
Quality in Careers (Link)The Quality in Careers Standard is the national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in secondary schools, colleges and work-based learning.

Skills Development Scotland: Corporate (Link)

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is Scotland’s national skills body. We contribute to Scotland’s sustainable economic growth by supporting people and businesses to develop their skills, including the provision of Scotland’s career services..

Speakers for Schools (LInk)
Since 2010, Speakers for Schools have been the largest social mobility charity in the UK. They develop interventions to reduce/remove barriers to social mobility. Their mission is to “We aim to close the opportunity gap and level the playing field for all 11-19-year-olds from state schools and colleges by providing fair access to fully funded work experience and inspirational talks that will help them to reach their full career potential.”
Teach First (Link)Teach First are the UK’s largest teacher training programme. They publish various research and policy reports that describe the sector’s challenges.
The Children’s Commissioner for England (Link) Scotland (Link  Wales (Link) and Northern Ireland (Link)
The Children’s Commission provides a stream of ongoing research into children’s lives in the UK, with a particular focus on disadvantage, offering context and insight into such groups. Four different organisations support the four nations, providing publication libraries and articles.
UNESCO (Link)
UNESCO is the “UNESCO is the United Nations Laboratory of Ideas”. Research and data sources provide an international and global perspective, cross cutting themes and studies relating to wider global contexts to education, such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘democracy’. 
Unifrog (Link)Unifrog are a software company that provide a wide range of functions to support students' in their CEIAG activities. Their periodic impact reports and case studies provide various forms of evidence on how technology within careers education can support students to achieve their desired outcomes.



6. Journals/publications

To explore this topic further, we have noted careers research in the following publications: Most journals are multi-sector in that they are not specifically focussed on the client group in this article, but do publish relevant articles about careers, guidance and policy. There are also often papers about labour market factors in journals that cover specific industrial verticals in the economy, like Healthcare, Education or Engineering.

Name

Description

Asia-Pacific Career Development Journal (Link)

This journal is part of the work for the Asia Pacific Career Development Association. The journal itself is is an international biannual scholarly journal dedicated to all career development and intervention related topics, such as career counselling, individual and organisational career development, work and leisure, career education, career coaching, and career management.

Australian Journal of Career Development (Link)

The journal focuses on current theory, practice and policy relating to the career development and work education field. The target audience includes professionals in educational and academic settings, community and government agencies, business and industrial settings

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling (Link)

The aim of the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling is to publish work that sets trends and provokes fresh thought and innovation in the practice and understanding of counselling, psychotherapy and career guidance. The journal seeks to communicate, enrich and advance theory, research, policy and practice in these fields. 

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling (Link)

The aim of the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling is to publish work that sets trends and provokes fresh thought and innovation in the practice and understanding of counselling, psychotherapy and career guidance. The journal seeks to communicate, enrich and advance theory, research, policy and practice in these fields.

British Journal of Industrial Relations (Link)

A multidisciplinary, international journal of work, labour, and employment relations. It focuses on the institutions, policies, and practices associated with these relations and their implications for matters of economy and society.

Canadian Journal of Career Development (Link)

The journal covers career-related academic research and best practices from Canada and around the world. Studies often review relationships between individual characteristics and their outcomes, and also review or develop different counselling, guidance or coaching techniques.

Career Development International (Link)

Formerly the International Journal of Career Management, the journal covers career development topics, such as the inter-relationship between individual attributes, behaviours and outcomes. A considerable fraction of the papers covers the people within work/organisational settings.

Career Developments Magazine (NCDA) (Link)

The Career Developments magazine is a publication from the US National Careers Development Association. The articles include a strong coverage of practical interventions, with each issue usually focussing on a particular career theme. Articles are US-centric but many articles have transferable learnings.

Career Exploration and Development in Childhood (Link)
This one paper-collection explores career exploration and development in childhood from a range of international contexts. As well as covering theory and development, there is content on the ‘facilitation of exploration and development’.

Careerwise (Ceric) (Link)

Career Wise is a Canadian careers news website, which is a programme of Ceric, a charitable organisation that furthers career education in Canada. News and articles are centred on Canada, but frequently contain relevant topics. Articles often cover practical tips, ideas or practices. 

Child Development (Link)
Child Development, the flagship journal of the Society for Research in Child Development, has published articles, essays, reviews, and tutorials on various topics in the field of Child Development for almost 100 years. While few are directly related to careers education, research often provides deeper understand and context.
European Journal of Education Studies (Link)
The journal covers “a wide range of thematic areas from traditional to contemporary, from formal education to alternative, examining and comparing various education policies, trends, reforms and programmes from different countries and cultures.”
European Journal of Social Sciences (Link)
Covers social sciences, natural science and humanities: An international peer-reviewed academic research journal, which has a particular interest in policy-relevant questions and interdisciplinary approaches. Addresses “fundamental challenges for policy, politics, citizenship, culture and democracy that European integration and enlargement pose”
Frontiers in Psychology (Link)
A highly cited psychology journal, it explores all aspects of psychological sciences - from clinical research to cognitive science, to human factors and social psychology. 

International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance (Link)

The publication is dedicated to promoting the importance of educational and vocational guidance globally. It publishes articles related to work, leisure, career development, counselling, guidance, and education, so including but broader that career guidance.

Journal of Career Development (Link)

The journal provides the latest in career development theory, research and practice, focusing on the impact that theory and research have on practice. Covers the application of career theories, career development, career and leisure, career and family, workplace issues, careers in schools, and innovative techniques.

Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (Link)

Publishes papers from both academics and practitioners on all aspects of career development, covering career guidance, career education, theory, research, policy, practice; covers the diverse needs of different groups and adopts a multi-disciplinary  perspective.

Journal of Adolescence (Link)

An international, broad based, cross-disciplinary journal that addresses issues of professional and academic importance concerning development between puberty and the attainment of adult status within society. The focus is specifically on adolescent development: change over time or negotiating age specific issues and life transitions.

Journal of Career Assessment (Link)
Includes methodologically sound, empirically based studies focusing on assessment, career development, and vocational psychology: Covers techniques, tests, inventories, rating scales, interview schedules, surveys, and direct observational methods used in scientifically based practice and research to provide an improved understanding of career decision-making.
Journal of Career Development (Link)
The Journal of Career Development (JCD) provides professionals in counselling, psychology, education, student personnel, human resources, and business management with the most up-to-date concepts, ideas, and methodology in career development theory, research, and practice.
Journal of Education and Work (Link)
Examines how knowledge and skills about work and employment are developed in the education system. The journal also looks at industrial training and its relationship with the economy including changes in infrastructure.
Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (Link)
The journal covers all areas of careers education, counselling and advice and careers work in schools, colleges, universities, training providers, in the workplace, in organisational and in community settings.  

Journal of Vocational Behavior (Link)

The Journal of Vocational Behavior publishes original empirical and theoretical articles that contribute novel insights to the fields of career choice, career development, and work adjustment across the lifespan and which are also valuable for applications in counselling and career development programs in businesses and public sector organisations.

The Career Development Quarterly (Link)

The journal mainly covers “career development through the design and use of career interventions, …Articles cover career counselling and development, work, leisure, career education, and coaching and management. The official journal of the National Career Development Association (NCDA), a division of the American Counseling Association.”


7. Data sources

Some contextual data sources are provided below. These are particularly useful for studying the prevalence of different situations, trends over time or comparing situations with different geographies or groups.

Name

Description

Careers and Enterprise Company, Student Career Readiness (Link)

The Careers and Enterprise Company carry out a large-scale annual survey that captures multiple measures of students’ career readiness through secondary education. (105k surveys were collected in 2024). Scores measure student career awareness of Apprenticeship routes.

Children’s Commissioner (2024), The Big Ambition Survey (Link)

In March 2024, the England Children’s Commission published a major study called the The Big Ambition which captured the experiences and hopes of more than 250,000 youngers from 6-18, from a cross-section of background. A specific survey was designed for 6–11-year-old, providing good context for the feelings and hopes of this age group. 

National Pupil Database (Link)

This is a nationwide resource compiled by the Department of Education from all mainstream schools and colleges that cater for students up to age 19. The NPD includes information, at an individual level, on learner’s gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status; whether they are SEND or have disabilities, and also includes data such as attendance and attainment rates, allowing a wide range of correlations to be analysed.

OECD Data Explorer (Link)

The OECD measure a wide range of economic and social indicators including education and employment values. Metrics on primary schools include Inclusion time in education by country and subject. 

OECD, Career Readiness Project (Link)

“The OECD Career Readiness project is designed to provide new advice to governments, schools, employers and other stakeholders on how to best prepare young people to compete in an ever-changing labour market.” The research references many international datasets, and identifies career-related factors determine later life outcomes.

OECD, PISA statistics (Link)

PISA is the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment. PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. The PISA database contains the full set of responses from individual students, school principals and parents with data from 2000-22..

Office of National Statistics, ‘All data related to education and childcare’ (Link)

The repository provides 38 data sets on various aspects of youth and childcare. 

Prospects Luminate Early Career Survey (Link)

Since 2021, Prospects Luminate have run an annual survey that measures career status, engagement, plans and career-guidance engagement from secondary school to early career (aged 25). 

The Children’s Society , The Good Childhood Index (Link)

This annual survey measures various indicators of children's wellbeing across the UK. Factors provide context by way of quantifying issues such as mental ill health and happiness at school Students are also asked about their optimism.

UK Government - 16-18 Destination data (Link)

The latest data in this release covers students who left 16 to 18 study in 2020/21 and follows their destinations in 2021/22. Destination measures provide information on the success of schools and colleges in helping young people continue in education, apprenticeships or employment.

UK Government, Children’s wellbeing measures (Link)

The Government produce a dashboard into children’s wellbeing. Additionally it has commissioned a study across England into young people’s health wellbeing since 2017.