Reassessing the value of work experience placements in the context of widening participation in higher education

Bennett, Roger, Eagle, Lynne, Mousley, Wendy, and Ali-Choudhury, Rehnuma (2008) Reassessing the value of work experience placements in the context of widening participation in higher education. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 60 (2). pp. 105-122.

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A questionnaire was distributed to the heads of graduate recruitment in 900 British firms querying the recipients' views on (1) the main benefits alleged to accrue to students on vocational degrees who complete work experience periods; (2) the value for graduate employability of paid work undertaken during term time and vacations; and (3) the contributions to employability of academic group work within vocational degrees. A conjoint analysis examined the participants’ evaluations of the relative importance of a job applicant having graduated from a programme that included a work placement, compared with the candidate possessing a 'good' class of degree, a qualification from a pre‐1992 university rather than a post‐1992 institution, and a degree with substantial group‐work content. It emerged that (despite the many changes in the British higher education environment occurring over the last couple of decades [top‐up fees, widening participation, students engaging extensively in term‐time employment, etc.]) most of the respondents held generally positive opinions regarding the usefulness of work placements. Sample members also tended to favour job applicants whose degrees had contained elements of group work. The class of degree a person had obtained and the type of university attended were seen as substantially less important for employability than whether the individual had completed a work placement.

Item ID: 20389
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1747-5090
Keywords: work placements, internships, employability, sandwich courses, academic group work
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2013 01:47
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1505 Marketing > 150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 100%
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