TASO has launched a new report, What works to reduce equality gaps in employment and employability?

Produced in collaboration with The Centre for Education and Youth (CfEY) and the Education Policy Institute (EPI), the report explores the existing evidence of what works to reduce employment and employability inequalities, and where gaps lie in the existing research. The report contains evidence from three sources:

  • Data analysis to understand the context. What are the labour market outcomes for graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds and how do they compare to those for non-disadvantaged graduates?
  • Literature review to gather evidence of what works. Which programmes does the technical and academic literature suggest are effective in improving labour market outcomes for disadvantaged graduates?
  • Sector consultation to explore insights from practice. What do practitioners and experts working in the field of graduate careers and employment report about their experiences of delivering and evaluating programmes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds?

Data analysis in the report reveals that gaps in graduate earnings emerge immediately after graduation and increase further over time. However, casual evidence is relatively weak in this area, meaning it’s difficult to know which employment and career programmes or interventions work best to improve employability outcomes for students from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds. It is clear we need more and better evaluation of employment and careers programmes if we are to reduce gaps in employment outcomes and create a better return for the labour market.

“Based on this work, we strongly believe that more high-quality evaluation is needed in order for providers to adopt an evidence-based and strategic approach to career and employment provision. An increased focus should be put on improving outcomes for disadvantaged groups who have systematically lower employment outcomes than their peers.”

Zahra Boudalaoui-Buresi, Research Officer and project lead at TASO

As part of its research theme on employment and employability, TASO will be conducting further research into these issues, with a view to helping to inform policy and practice with a solid evidence base. In the meantime our report offers some tentative recommendations for higher education providers.

Zahra Boudalaoui-Buresi, Research Officer and project lead at TASO, has written a blog about the findings of the report. You can read it here.

The summary report can be found here and the full report can be found here.