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Work Experience

Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 24 February 2003, ref 96764, if he will list the independent evaluations of work experience placements which have taken place; and if he will make a statement. [100256]

There have been two independent national evaluation studies on the pre-16 work experience programme, both carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies: "Pre-16 Work Experience in England and Wales" (IES Research Report, 1996), and "Pre-16 Work Experience Practice in England: An Evaluation" (IES Research Report, May 2001). These evaluations both show that placements are generally satisfactory and well-received by schools, pupils and employers. The second evaluation indicated that overall quality had improved since the first, reflecting the impact of a number of initiatives taken to enhance it, but a very small minority of placements were not of good quality and there was scope for further improvement in aspects of practice in some schools. As I indicated in previous answers to the hon. Member, we are committed to enabling all pupils at Key Stage Four to have at least two weeks of high quality work experience, and have measures in hand to promote this.