Capturing school-to-work transitions with longitudinal data sources

Pollard E, Williams M, Huxley C, Green M, Martin A, Gray H | Report 512 | Institute for Employment Studies | Nov 2017

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There are a variety of data sources that capture the school-to-work transition from a range of perspectives, and a number of studies that utilise these sources. This IES report identifies and scopes the existing large-scale datasets to highlight which have the potential to support the work of various stakeholders, such as the Careers & Enterprise Company.

The report offers details of the available datasets in three broad categories: true longitudinal data or panel data; repeated cross-sectional data or cohort studies; and administrative data. In doing so, it identifies how these datasets relate and might be combined in future studies. The report also establishes three clear research themes that are present in these datasets on school-to-work transitions, these are:

  • understanding the factors influencing outcomes for young people, and how these factors intersect, in order to identify risk factors and groups to target for support;
  • tracking young people over time to understand how pathways from school to work develop, in order to categorise types of pathways including problematic trajectories; and
  • (less commonly) exploring the impact of specific types of support, such as careers education at different stages in the school-to-work transition, on outcomes.