In a new Data Insight report, researchers from ADR Wales have explored how the data collected from pupils about their career plans can be combined with routinely collected administrative data to provide new insights about their different circumstances and capabilities. The analysis confirms the importance of the provision of careers-related services within schools, particularly in supporting children from low-income households to help them shape their thinking about possible careers.
Within Wales, Careers Wales is responsible for providing an independent and impartial careers information, advice and guidance service. Established in 2012, its focus has been to support the Welsh Government’s strategic objectives of ensuring the sustained progression of young people through education and into employment, or further education or training. It prioritises those who are most at risk of becoming disengaged.
During Key Stage 4, pupils in Wales are given the opportunity to complete the Careers Wales’ ‘Career Check’ survey. Mostly completed during Year 10, this tool helps Careers Advisors to identify those pupils who are most in need of support and their likely service requirements. By combining responses from the Career Check survey with administrative education records, the researchers have created a database of the Career Check responses for over 90,000 pupils. It covers four pupil cohorts from the academic years 2015/16 to 2018/19.
The new Data Insight uses this linked data set to examine the difficulties faced by pupils from low-income households in making the transition from compulsory education. The analysis reveals that FSM pupils were more likely to report that there are things that prevent achievement of goals and that their family did not support their ideas. Most significantly, the analysis reveals that FSM pupils felt that a lack of money might limit their future choices. Children from low-income households also appear to be particularly vulnerable to expressing preferences for work that align with traditional gender stereotypes.
Read the full Data Insight report Understanding the origins of labour market disadvantage in Wales.