Not As Hard As You Think: Engaging High School Students in Work-Based Learning

Pathways to Prosperity (a JFF and Harvard Graduate School of Education Initiative)

Population / Age / Demographic Served
About the Report

This brief profiles employers who have found ways to provide young people with meaningful work experience.

Publication Date
May 1 2015
Cover - Not As Hard As You Think

Employers interested in working with young people are often concerned about possible barriers that may limit youth’s access to workplaces, such as labor laws and liability issues. But those who familiarize themselves with a few main policies relevant to their sectors can easily remain in compliance while providing enriching and important career and skill development opportunities for youth that have lasting impacts on students, families, and entire communities—not to mention the employer’s work and workforce.

This brief profiles employers who have found ways to provide young people with meaningful work experience. These case studies highlight the ways that these employers have managed the logistics of work-based learning and explain the benefits of doing so. As these case studies demonstrate, investing in young people is something that all employers can do if they so choose. 

"Employers can open their doors to young people—it is a matter of choosing to do so."