• Hours spent building skills and employability

      Foster, Rowan; Svanaes, Siv; Howell, Sarah; Neary, Siobhan; Everitt, Julia; Dodd, Vanessa; University of Derby (Department for Education, 2020-07)
      This report summarises findings from a mixed-methods research project conducted by IFF Research, in partnership with the International Centre for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby, to measure the time that young people spend on activities in and outside of education which builds their skills and employability. This research involved two phases. Firstly, a qualitative phase in summer 2017 comprising 15 interviews with education providers and nine focus groups with young people. This phase explored providers’ experiences of planning and recording planned hours, and the activities that young people undertake to build their skills and employability. The second phase of the research involved a quantitative survey of students in March 2018, consisting of a total of 2,024 interviews. The survey sample included students in pre and post-16 education and those in academic and technical courses. Findings suggest pre-16 students, i.e. years 10 and 11, on average participate in 852 qualification hours per year across all their subjects (22.4 per week). This compares to an average of 563 annual hours amongst post-16 students, i.e. years 12 and 13, (15.1 hours per week). There were no significant differences between those in post-16 academic educations and those in post-16 technical education in the average number of qualification hours reported per week (15.0 and 15.1 respectively). Students also engage in a range of non-qualification activities expected to contribute to their wider employability, with careers guidance and exam revision and practice common across all ages. This pattern was also consistent between full and part-time students. Post-16 students doing mainly academic qualifications spend the most amount of time on homework and self-study (nearly 13 hours per week), with post-16 students in technical education spending on average 8 hours on these tasks.