‘Realising the Potential of Work Experience’ launched at the House of Commons on Wednesday, concludes that where a student lives and what school they go to determines the quality of work experience on offer and that there are ‘stark inequalities’ associated with socioeconomic background, health and disability, gender and ethnicity.
The report recommends that the Department for Education commissions a full independent review into the effectiveness of the widely criticised Careers and Enterprise Company and its attempts to supply careers advice and improved work experience for students.
There are also calls for the Government to draft a quality benchmark for those businesses offering work experience placements.
Claudia Quinn, chair of the Youth Select Committee, said: ‘Following our extensive inquiry, we have concluded the Government need to address the patchy, unequal nature of young people’s access to work experience.
‘The Government must act now to ensure the most disadvantaged young people can access high quality work experience.’
The Rt Hon John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, added: ‘I am delighted to see the launch of this report, and I am confident my Parliamentary colleagues will consider its conclusions. I am also certain it will provide an invaluable contribution to the wider discussions in this area.’
The report was compiled following a series of interviews and consultations earlier this year with experts from the business, politics and charity sectors. The findings will now be sent to Government for an official response.
A new report from the Youth Select Committee suggests that students are being given a raw deal when it comes work experience placements