Chapter 7. How to attract potential apprentices?

This chapter considers the attractiveness of apprenticeships to young people. It highlights the importance of programmes being genuinely attractive in terms of the prospects they offer, and also notes that apprenticeships are commonly poorly understood by young people. The chapter highlights the role of career guidance in tackling poor information, in challenging stereotypical thinking about apprenticeships, and in enabling school-to-work transitions. It presents insights from international literature on the characteristics of effective career guidance and the important role that employer engagement plays within it.

    

The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

Issues and challenges

Among the many important decisions that young people must make, few are as important as those surrounding their educational choices and career aspirations. However, these important decisions are often strongly affected by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic factors. Young people commonly have an incomplete understanding of what apprenticeships have to offer and often fail to consider them at all. A strategic approach to career guidance can broaden career aspirations and ensure that decisions are made confidently on the basis of relevant and trustworthy information.

Choosing is hard

Education and training systems are often difficult to navigate, given the ever-growing number of options available to young people leading to very different career prospects. However, these decisions have long lasting consequences and effects. Evidence shows that the earnings that young people can expect following the completion of educational and training courses vary considerably by level, field/sector, and subject/occupation (Pfister, Sartore and Backes-Gellner, 2017[1]; Chevalier, 2011[2]).

Apprenticeships are not attractive in some countries

Many countries have issues in attracting potential apprentices. Students will not choose apprenticeships if they are seen as second choice options and/or dead ends where the opportunity to progress beyond an initial qualification is difficult. In some cases, apprenticeships are not of very high quality. Expected labour market outcomes, such as chances of getting a job and the wage level, are important. Apprenticeships are only as good as the success of their graduates: those that do not position students to succeed in the labour market and do not lead to further learning opportunities are, by definition, of poor quality. If apprenticeships are not attractive, it should be unsurprising that they struggle to attract young people. However, young people often have a very limited understanding of what an apprenticeship has to offer, and decisions made on the basis of ignorance are common. It is the task of career guidance to ensure that young people have an informed understanding of what it would be like to be an apprentice in different economic sectors.

Young people tend to have unrealistic and poorly informed expectations

There is a strong basis to believe that young people’s career expectations are often unrealistic and poorly informed. Data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 show that most 15-year-olds have a clear view about what they want to do, and many are interested in just a small number of jobs: one-third of young people expected to work in just 10 different occupations [see (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]) for more data analysis].

Figure 7.1. Top 10 career expectations of 15-year-olds, in PISA 2015
Percentage of students who expressed career expectations in the different occupational categories, for students who responded
picture

Note: Category medical practitioner/doctors formed by combining together medical doctors, specialist medical practitioners and generalist medical practitioner. Teaching professionals category created by combining all ISCO 23 (all categories together). Police officers, detectives and inspectors created by combining 5412, 3355 and 3411.

Source: OECD (2015[4]), PISA 2015 Database, www.oecd.org/pisa/data/2015database/.

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933828524

Research shows that it is common for young people’s career ambitions to be poorly aligned with actual labour market demand. Where teenagers’ ambitions are unrealistic, long-term labour market penalties are to be expected (Yates, 2011[5]).

Family background, together with other characteristics, shape career thinking

Gender, ethnicity and migration background, and socio-economic factors all strongly shape career thinking. Analysis of PISA shows that young people from families enjoying higher socio-economic status (SES) are significantly more likely to want to work as professionals, and young people from families experiencing lower SES are significantly more likely to want to be technicians – even after statistical controls are put in place for their academic ability or proficiency levels (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]).

Figure 7.2. Advantaged students are more likely to want to work as professionals than more disadvantaged students
Percentage of students who say they want to work as professionals (ISCO category 2) by socio-economic status (SES)
picture

Note: Data is not available for the Slovak Republic. Occupations classified as professionals include, for example, civil engineers, secondary school teachers, medical practitioners, operating theatre nurses and computer systems analysts.

Source: OECD (2015[4]), PISA 2015 Database, www.oecd.org/pisa/data/2015database/.

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933828543

Many young people do not automatically think about apprenticeships

Students often make career decisions with little knowledge of the labour market. Over recent years, as young people have stayed in education longer, career aspirations have also risen. Interest in highly skilled employment (as accessed through higher education) has risen considerably, while the percentage of young people wanting to work in a manual job (including skilled trades) or as a technician has fallen to less than one in twenty in some countries (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]).

Negative perceptions about some career paths, especially in the trades and in more technical fields, can discourage some students from engaging further in these fields. This means that many (and a growing number in some countries) young people may not even consider apprenticeships as an option. [See (Mann, 2016[6]) for evidence from England (United Kingdom).]

There are some important misconceptions about apprenticeships

Analysis of PISA data aligns with recent large-scale polling by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop, 2017[7]), and suggests that vocational education and training (VET), and the occupations to which it is a gateway, are often poorly understood. In 2017, CEDEFOP undertook an opinion survey on the image of VET across European Union countries. More than 35 000 people were interviewed. Results show that although VET suffers from a poor reputation compared to general education from those who have gone through general education, nine out of ten VET graduates were happy with their work skills. The survey shows huge misconceptions about VET itself: 70% believe that VET is simply about manual work, despite the diversity of jobs to which VET now leads. Regarding career guidance, only half of respondents from general education programmes said that they had received information about VET themselves before picking a programme (Cedefop, 2017[7]).

Students and their parents may very well not be aware that apprenticeships are available in fields such as banking, the public sector and information and communication technology (ICT). In France, for example, one-third of all apprentices are at the post-secondary level. More than 50% of post-secondary apprentices are in services – notably in trade and administration1 (OECD, 2014[8]).

Students also may not be aware that there are opportunities to progress after pursuing an apprenticeship through diverse progression routes, some leading to management positions, others to owning and running a business, or to university programmes. Consequently, career guidance should be proactive, working with young people to explore different career paths. It cannot be taken for granted that young people properly understand apprenticeships. There is a strong case, consequently, for awareness raising campaigns like German VET week under the leadership of Federal President Steinmeier, or European Vocational Skills Week2 in trying to influence the perceptions of young people and their influencers, notably parents. High profile skills competitions, such as WorldSkills,3 and action to facilitate the international mobility of learners can play similar roles.

Gender may play a big role

Career aspirations are also heavily shaped by gender, with some important national variations. Within vocational education, apprenticeships and school-based programmes are often highly gendered. In general terms, girls have higher career expectations than boys, but these are often narrowly focused, for example in the medical professions and teaching. Girls also often turn away from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions. While research suggests that gender stereotyping can deter both girls and boys from pursuing specific careers, and that it can be countered by improved information, certain occupations appear so unfriendly to those not of the dominant gender that different approaches based on first-hand experiences are called for (OECD, 2015[9]).

Quality matters in making apprenticeships attractive

Achieving high-quality and high-status apprenticeships requires the creation of a virtuous circle in which investment in the quality of a programme leads to strengthened labour market outcomes, which in turn attracts more high-ability candidates into the programme. This flow of high-ability students further improves the status of the programme and its attractiveness to employers, who will come to see it not only as high-quality education and training, but also as a means of recruiting able young students. This will further improve the labour market outcomes from the programme.

Policy argument 1: Apprentices need good generic skills

To ensure more equivalence with academic programmes, apprentices need to develop similar generic basic skills to those usually delivered in more academic programmes. This will provide the skills needed in jobs, a vital foundation for further progression into post-secondary education, including academic programmes, and will remove the risk that apprenticeship programmes are seen as dead ends. Permeability between vocational programmes and their general education equivalents, with clear pathways and avenues for progression between programmes and levels, make apprenticeships attractive.

Policy argument 2: Attractive apprenticeships attract attractive apprentices

As discussed above, the design and duration of apprenticeships influence the extent to which they are seen as attractive. Apprenticeships that are too long, and which include too great a proportion of unskilled labour, will struggle to attract more able students.

Career guidance is an essential feature of apprenticeship policy

Career guidance is both an individual and a social good: it helps individuals to progress in their learning and work, but it also helps the effective functioning of the labour and learning markets and contributes to a range of social policy goals, including social mobility and equity. This justifies public investment in career guidance activities.

Policy argument 1: Career guidance helps individuals to progress

Empirical evidence points towards career guidance services – both in and outside of school – as having a formative influence on young people’s understanding of themselves and the world of work, and can often improve educational, social and economic outcomes (Hughes et al., 2016[10]).

Career guidance can help bring to the surface student preferences and inform students about education and work paths that they may not have already considered, or even know about. As a consequence, career guidance can support retention and a more efficient education system as students who choose programmes that prove not to suit them, either personally or academically, are less likely to succeed (OECD, 2012[11]).

How adolescents think about their futures in terms of career choices and education programmes has a significant impact on their lives as working adults. There are adult economic penalties linked to underestimating the length of education required to achieve aspirations – an indication of career confusion or unrealism. Such confusion is widespread. Commonly, young people who exhibit the most significant challenges in making informed decisions are from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, which raises significant questions of equity (Yates, 2011[5]).

Policy argument 2: Career guidance also helps the labour market to operate efficiently

Individuals with the right skills are more likely to be employed and, when in employment, tend to have better jobs. A skilled workforce also makes it easier to introduce and disseminate new technologies and work organisation practices, thereby boosting productivity and growth. To ensure that the skills acquired through the education and training system correspond to labour market needs, and hence avoid major issues with skill mismatch, it is important to develop stronger links between the world of education and the world of work. Career guidance and partnership activities play a major role in this. Indirectly, informed student choice exerts pressure on institutions to improve the quality of programmes (OECD, 2004[12]; OECD, 2012[11]; Hooley, 2015[13]).

Strategic use of career guidance will broaden aspirations and challenge stereotypes

Effective career guidance services have a positive influence on the educational and employment outcomes of young people (Hughes et al., 2016[10]). The question of what makes career guidance effective has been considered by the OECD and other researchers extensively over the last ten years (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]). Some of the commonplace challenges facing countries include the risks that career guidance is marginalised within school life, and that services are under-resourced and/or delivered by poorly trained staff who may lack objectivity and/or knowledge of the labour market (OECD, 2010[14]). PISA data show that it is often students who appear to have greatest need who have the least access to career guidance. For example, girls and students from low SES backgrounds often engage less frequently (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]).

Effective provision of career guidance should take into account the growing body of research literature and:

  • Provide regular opportunities for young people from primary education onwards to reflect on the relationship between their educational experiences and their prospective futures.

  • Allow students to consider the breadth of the labour market, particularly occupations of strategic economic importance and those that are newly emerging and/or likely to be misunderstood (such as skilled trades).

  • Undertake school-wide approaches that not only engage career guidance specialists, but also teachers and school leaders, and parents.

  • Systematically engage people in work and workplaces.

  • Provide easy access to trustworthy labour market information and advice from well-trained, independent and impartial professionals in advance of key decision points.

  • Challenge gender and ethnic stereotyping.

  • Target young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds for the greatest levels of intervention.

Policy argument 1: School-based career guidance must be comprehensive

Start early...

Even before starting school, children already have some awareness of jobs, which are linked to their personal experiences and family background. There is evidence that career-oriented activities should begin in primary school, or even earlier. These activities often aim simply to draw connections for children between education undertaken and possible future selves, in part to underpin engagement within schooling. This can also serve to challenge stereotypical perceptions of certain educational and career paths. For example, Primary Futures is a project developed by a non-profit charity in partnership with a range of stakeholders – government, employers, trade unions - in the United Kingdom that aims to bring people in work into primary schools to talk to students about their job and career route. In particular, it aims to expose children to the wide variety of roles that women can have in workplaces (Chambers et al., 2018[15]).

… and intervene at key transition points

Helping students understand their interests and aptitudes is important for further career planning and when making choices. The age and grade at which these choices are made vary greatly across OECD countries, depending on how and when tracking first occurs. These decisions can typically close education paths (OECD, 2012). This should mean, for example, that when students are choosing a school track, or a particular school or vocational programme, there should be a compulsory one-to-one interview with a career guidance professional.

Think school-wide approaches

Career guidance programmes are best implemented in ways that connect career learning to the curriculum, as opposed to isolated interventions, and with the support of the institution’s leadership and wider partnerships (OECD, 2004[12]; Watts, 2009[16]). A comprehensive, all-encompassing multi-programme approach to career guidance has been developed by the Government of Prince Edward Island in Canada. The key elements include: career development integrated into health education in grades 1-9; compulsory career course in grade 10; experiential learning opportunities through a wide range of courses and programmes offered by the communities in school, and including hands-on experience out of school; partnerships with post-secondary institutions, employment specialists and industry sectors; specialised training to career guidance staff and teachers; and a parent coaching programme (ICCDPP, 2015[17]).

Integrate teachers too

There is a strong consensus in the literature that good quality career guidance requires the involvement of both qualified specialists and the wider teaching and school staff. Young people frequently seek out career support from a trusted adult within their immediate social network, and teachers are a likely source of this support, particularly where career aspirations are connected to interest in academic subjects. Teachers can and do link their subjects as taught in the curriculum to the world of work by, for example, highlighting how a particular scientific process is used in research or industry (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]).

Ensure that students can talk to well-trained career counsellors who are independent and impartial

Every student, whatever his/her personal background, needs to:

  • Understand enough about career options to enable them to make informed decisions, whenever these decisions are open to them.

  • Understand that choosing certain subjects and/or study programmes opens door to careers that would otherwise be closed.

  • Understand enough about the world of work to know what skills, qualifications and attributes they need to succeed in it.

Well-trained career guidance counsellors can help provide young people with these three elements by relating objective careers information to the personal circumstances of students. Career guidance responsibilities are demanding and important: the assimilation of the guidance profession into psychological counselling, as is sometimes the case in OECD countries, distorts and marginalises this role. While it makes sense to deliver guidance in schools in order to ensure access to all students, it is important that guidance professionals preserve their independence from the school. This could involve, for example, a professional career guidance service managed from outside schools, but with a roving function in schools (OECD, 2010[14]).

Independent career advisers – in and out of school – can help students in different ways: through questionnaires and tests they can help them understand their interests and preferences better; they can inform students about jobs that could match their preferences and interests, and the paths to reach these jobs; and they can help broaden students’ horizons and present them with new and different options than just the few well-known professions, such as those accessed through apprenticeships. PISA 2012 analysis from Canada shows that only 8% of students plan on pursuing a job in the traditional trades. However, those who have researched information about these trades, had undertaken an internship, or had been encouraged by their parents were much more likely to plan to pursue a job in a traditional trade.

Policy argument 2: School-based services should be complemented with opportunities given by ICT and labour market information

The spread of ICT has opened up new forms of career guidance, such as self-service and the use of technology and social media in providing and presenting career guidance information. It is a vehicle for ensuring that young people have access to information on:

  • All available options and pathways specific to an individual’s needs, including VET options.

  • The qualifications to which the options lead, and the further qualifications to which they give access.

  • The occupations to which these qualifications provide access.

  • The labour market outcomes achieved by those successfully completing the programmes, including the nature of their jobs, their salary/wage levels and projected demand for the occupation.

In the case of jobs in an occupational sector directly related to VET programmes, it is important to know the extent to which skills and competences acquired in the programme are used in work.

For example, Utdanning.no4 is a public career guidance web portal in Norway. It includes an overview of the educational pathways in Norway, where the education is being provided, and descriptions of more than 600 careers and professions. The webpage also includes interviews with skilled workers, overviews of places to work, and information on average salary. A similar tool, developed in Canada, Job Bank,5 is also available as a mobile phone application.

Policy argument 3: Young people with the greatest need demand the greatest attention

Providing objective and reliable career information and varied exposure to different workplaces – through practices such as career talks, job shadowing and mentoring programmes which allow personal contact with employers and professionals – to all students can help reduce the influence of informal and less objective sources of information (such as parents and friends).

Disadvantaged students commonly need help overcoming obstacles to pursuing their education and to make fulfilling career choices. Programmes specifically for disadvantaged students, such as those at risk of dropping out, work best when they are targeted, located in the community and highly individualised. To mitigate gender stereotypes that can prevent girls progressing in the same fields as boys, schools can help students cultivate a wider perspective on different career options, including in traditional VET fields, through better career information and regular career talks and workplace visits. In Canada, the Futures in Skilled Trades and Technology Programme supports the greater participation of women in skilled trades in the Newfoundland and Labrador Province by piloting modules targeted at girls in primary school. The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programme reserves some of its funding to promote skilled trades among women through career talks and hands-on activities (OECD, 2015[9]).

In the case of students with an immigrant background, barriers can be both objective (i.e. language proficiency), cultural (i.e. poor reputation of an occupation or educational pathway in an originating country), or social (i.e. lack of first-hand contacts in important economic areas, such as apprenticeship employers). Such students, and their parents, might easily lack sufficient information about the education system and career paths in a new institutional context. Some countries, consequently, have specific initiatives to inform students with a migrant background and their parents about vocational options.

Effective career guidance strategies demand close co-operation between schools and the world of work

To make properly informed decisions, students need to have a good picture of work and where they need to put their efforts while still in education in order to be able to realise their dreams. To achieve this, schools should encourage first-hand understanding of the world of work from the earliest years.

Career guidance activities should fully integrate diverse members of the economic community into their career guidance services, ensuring multiple and authentic interactions with young people from an early age. Action should be taken to identify and address obstacles preventing engagement. Where countries are new to employer engagement, it is best to begin where logistics are easiest. In terms of delivery, countries and schools should consider that:

  • Employer/employee talks and career fairs are a relatively easy and effective tool.

  • ICT can provide many new ways of facilitating the interactions between schools and employers (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]).

Policy argument 1: There are many benefits linked to engaging those in work with career guidance for young people

In many countries, schools have long engaged people in work in aspects of education, for example, in careers fairs and talks, as job shadows and the hosts of work placements and visits, and as enterprise champions and mentors. Volunteer employers and workers are an information resource for young people whose own networks are inherently limited. The engagement of people who have first-hand knowledge of workplaces offers young people something additional to the professional advice offered by career guidance services. It allows trusted insights into expressions of working life, which can provide young people with new and useful information about the world of work – and how it relates to their own individual sense of who they are and who they might become.

While research literature remains limited, a growing body of research has investigated and demonstrated significant links between such engagement and the employment (as well as educational) outcomes of young people [see for example (Kashefpakdel and Percy, 2016[18])].

This engagement can be particularly effective in challenging negative assumptions about specific careers, as former apprentices can speak with authority to students about what a particular path is really like. In Scotland (United Kingdom), for example, former apprentices, and employers who participate in the apprenticeship programme, routinely go into schools to promote the flagship apprenticeship programme (Skills Development Scotland (SDS), 2015[19]).

It is important that young people have the opportunity to engage with people working across a wide range of occupations, as each will bring their own perspective on what it means to work in a particular profession.

And what is there in it for employers? They too are often interested in providing students in school with knowledge about jobs and the workplace for a range of reasons, including: shaping the future skills supply (particularly in areas where there are critical shortages); the opportunity to promote careers within their organisation or sector; the opportunity to “try before they buy”; and to meet young people who they may be interested in employing; and to help enhance young people’s employability skills so that they become more effective employees (Mann, Rehill and Kashefpakdel, 2018[20]).

There are significant variations between countries

Available PISA data show a significant variation between countries in the extent to which young people engage with employers as part of the career guidance they receive. On average, students are less likely to engage in activities involving employers than in wholly school-based activities: fewer than 30% of PISA respondents, on average, had visited a job fair by the age of 15 (Musset and Mytna Kurekova, 2018[3]).

Participation levels tend to be greater when countries have strong programmes of vocational education, with VET students being much more likely, for example, to have completed an internship.

How schools can efficiently and effectively draw on people in work

Employers and schools often face technical, legal or information barriers that might deter them from mutual co-operation. Employers have enterprises to run and might not have sufficient motivation to engage in the provision of career guidance, and it is not always clear for employers how they can benefit from participating in career guidance activities. Schools may lack resources to cover the costs linked to reaching out to people in work.

Different types of activities come with different transactional costs. Mentoring programmes are, for example, demanding for both employers and schools to administer. Careers talks and careers fairs are much less demanding and have been evidenced to provide young people with positive outcomes (Mann, Rehill and Kashefpakdel, 2018[20]). They make an excellent starting point for countries and schools without a tradition of such engagement. For governments, the most important task is to make it easy for people in work to become involved by addressing barriers preventing engagement. Online platforms can facilitate high volume and low cost employer engagement in education. For schools, it is important that they are supported in the process of exposing students to the world of work.

Like career guidance, exposure to the world of work can serve to challenge or replicate patterns of social reproduction. Research suggests that schools should focus on the quantity (numbers of interactions) and quality (student perceptions of usefulness) of provision and target action particularly at students from families which lack strong social networks related to careers of interest.

Other stakeholders, such as trade unions, are also important means of enabling schools to access people in work who have valuable insights to share with young people. Danish VET students, for example, act as role models and visit lower secondary schools to promote VET through “The Route to VET”, a campaign initiated and led by the Danish Vocational and Technical School Students Union (Erhvervsskolernes ElevOrganisation (EEO), 2015[21]). At school visits, young role models present their own experiences on why they chose VET, their training and the possibilities they have both within the labour market and for further education. The campaign reflects a partnership between VET schools, employers and lower secondary schools to increase first-hand encounters between younger students and older peers able to provide personal insight into VET pathways.

Conclusion

This chapter explores how to attract young people’s interest in apprenticeship. It is a particularly pertinent question in the many countries where apprenticeships have not appeared to be attractive options. If apprenticeships are to be successful, they must be able to attract able and ambitious young people. They will only do this if they offer a genuine gateway into skilled employment. Where the quality of apprenticeships is poor, young people will vote with their feet. Students and their families often have a weak understanding of what apprenticeships actually have to offer. This is particularly the case where they have become available across a wide range of occupations at different skills levels. It is the task of career guidance to ensure that young people make informed decisions at the right time. Evidence from the PISA database has shown how career aspirations are shaped by gender, socio-economic status and migrant background. These aspirations rarely reflect labour market demand. There is an onus on schools to take a proactive and strategic approach to career guidance that begins young, broadens ambitions, and ensures that regular encounters with independent and well-trained career guidance professionals are the norm. Essential to effective guidance is giving young people the chance to find out for themselves, through activities such as career talks and job shadowing, what it is like to follow different occupational and learning pathways, including apprenticeships.

References

[7] Cedefop (2017), Cedefop European Public Opinion Survey on Vocational Education and Training, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

[15] Chambers, N. et al. (2018), Drawing the Future: Exploring the Career Aspirations of Primary School Children from Around the World, Education and Employers, London, https://www.educationandemployers.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Drawing-the-Future-FINAL-REPORT.pdf.

[2] Chevalier, A. (2011), “Subject choice and earnings of UK graduates”, Economics of Education Review, Vol. 30, pp. 1187-1201.

[21] Erhvervsskolernes ElevOrganisation (EEO) (2015), Kampagnen, (Campaigns), http://eeo.dk/vejentil/om-kampagnen.

[13] Hooley, T. (2015), The Economic Benefits of Career Guidance, Careers England.

[10] Hughes, D. et al. (2016), Careers Education: International Literature Review, Education Endowment Foundation, London, https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidence-summaries/evidence-reviews/careers-education/.

[17] ICCDPP (2015), ICCDPP 2015 Symposium. Promising/Best Practices: Canada, ICCDPP, http://www.is2015.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Canada-Promising-Practices-Panel-2-2.pdf.

[18] Kashefpakdel, E. and C. Percy (2016), “Career Education that Works: An economic analysis using the British Cohort Study”, Journal of Education and Work, Vol. 30/3, pp. 217-234, https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2016.1177636.

[6] Mann, A. (2016), “Promoting apprenticeships to young people and schools”, in Way, D. (ed.), A Race to the Top: Achieving Three Million More Apprenticeships by 2020, Winchester University Press, Winchester.

[20] Mann, A., J. Rehill and E. Kashefpakdel (2018), Employer Engagement in Education: Insights from International Evidence for Effective Practice and Future Research, Education and Employers Research, London, https://www.educationandemployers.org/research/employerengagementineducation/.

[3] Musset, P. and L. Mytna Kurekova (2018), “Working it out: Career guidance and employer engagement”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 175, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/51c9d18d-en.

[4] OECD (2015), PISA 2015 Database, http://www.oecd.org/pisa/data/2015database/.

[9] OECD (2015), The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264229945-en.

[8] OECD (2014), Skills beyond School: Synthesis Report, OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264214682-en.

[11] OECD (2012), Equity and Quality in Education: Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264130852-en.

[14] OECD (2010), Learning for Jobs, OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264087460-en.

[12] OECD (2004), Career Guidance and Public Policy: Bridging the Gap, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264105669-en.

[1] Pfister, C., S. Sartore and U. Backes-Gellner (2017), “The relative importance of type of education and subject area: Empirical evidence for educational decisions”, Evidence-based HRM: A Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, Vol. 5/1, pp. 30-58, https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/EBHRM-05-2015-0019.

[19] Skills Development Scotland (SDS) (2015), Equalities Action Plan for Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, Glasgow, https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/media/40691/2869_sds_equalities_action_plan_digital_v7.pdf.

[16] Watts, A. (2009), The Relation of Career Guidance to VET, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/education/skills-beyond-school/44246616.pdf.

[5] Yates, S. (2011), “Early occupational aspirations and fractured transitions: A study of entry into 'NEET' status in the UK”, Journal of Social Policy, Vol. 40/3, pp. 513-534.

Notes

← 1. For comparison, three out of four apprentices at the upper-secondary level were in technical and industrial fields that same period (mainly in civil engineering and in construction).

← 2. More information about the European Vocational Skills Week can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/social/vocational-skills-week/evsw2018_en.

← 3. More information about WorldSkills can be found at: www.worldskills.org/.

← 4. More information can be found at: www.utdanning.no.

← 5. More information can be found at: www.jobbank.gc.ca.

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