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Work Readiness Review

A review of the evidence of what works to promote young people’s work readiness

Work Readiness Review

A review of the evidence of what works to promote young people’s work readiness


Project lead: Nick Axford, PhD 

Changes in the job market in the UK over the past decades have made successful transitions from school to work increasingly difficult for young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The study seeks to provide answers to the following three questions in relation to 14-24 year-olds.

First, what kind of evidence of impact exists for work readiness interventions that target personal skills and qualities? Second, what are the features or elements of interventions that are effective and ineffective (e.g. content, logic model, target group, aspects of delivery)? Third, what nature and size of impact(s) could reasonably be expected from interventions that seek to improve young people’s work readiness?

Our role

Our role has three elements.

First, we are identifying interventions that seek to promote young people’s work readiness by developing their personal skills and qualities and that have been evaluated in randomised controlled trial (RCT) or quasi-experimental design (QED) evaluations in OECD countries. 

Second, we are reviewing those interventions and studies against standards of evidence, covering aspects of intervention specificity, evaluation quality and impact.

Third, we are writing a report that summarises the findings in terms of 'what works' for whom, when and why and that also makes recommendations about the development and evaluation of work readiness interventions for young people.

Funder and collaborators

Duration: April - September 2015


Outputs and resources

We will write a report for internal use by Impetus-PEF, and will write a summary paper for submission to a peer-reviewed journal in late 2015.

Feasibility of a PSP

Testing a new financial instrument (Public Social Partnership) that brings new investment to innovation in children’s services
Go to this project