July 17, 2015

The Economic Benefits of Career Guidance – Careers England

This research paper sets out the evidence on the economic benefits of career guidance. It argues that although career guidance is primarily concerned with the individual it also offers major social and economic benefits. It is these benefits that justify public investment in the area.

The paper uses the OECD’s definition of “career guidance”. This definition is broad and encompasses a wide range of activities that take place within the education system and beyond it.

The evidence base provides insights into the effective delivery of career guidance and highlights the three main policy areas that it can support: (1) the effective functioning of the labour market and through this the economy, (2) the effective functioning of the education system; and (3) social equity. This paper focuses on the first of these in the context of current UK (with a focus on England) policy aims around fiscal restraint and deficit reduction.

Career guidance contributes to a range of individual outcomes which influence a number of primary and secondary outcomes which in turn lead to macro-economic benefits.

The evidence shows that career guidance can have substantial benefits for the economy by supporting individuals to enhance their capacities in ways that contribute to enhanced jobs, skills and growth. This suggests that the government should re-examine current career guidance policy and consider how it can best maximise the aforementioned economic benefits. This may include widening access in general, considering how best to target provision and rethinking what departments might be involved in funding and influencing the development of a lifelong career guidance system in the UK.

Careers England Research Paper -The Economic Benefits of Career Guidance – July 2015