The transition from school to work

This section examines: Education participation and attainment Participation in full-time, part-time and casual work Youth unemployment Youth disengagement

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The Overview

Education participation and attainment are increasing but many are not leaving with skills needed for work

education PartIcipation overall HAS increasED

The proportion of young people in full-time education has been increasing in Australia – offset by decreases in full-time work.  Participation has increased by 6 percentage points overall for 15 to 24 year olds from 2003 to 2014.  Increases in participation have occurred across school, Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools, and higher education.

In 2014:

  • 78% of 15 to 19 year olds, and 31% of 20 to 24 year olds, were in full-time education
  • most students (84%) who commenced secondary school in 2009 stayed to Year 12, a significant increase from 75% in 2008
  • just over half of Indigenous students (55%) who commenced secondary school in 2009 stayed to Year 12, a significant increase from 36% in 2008
  • Young women continue to participate in full-time education at higher rates than young men.

Participation in education

Participation rates in VET have recently stabilised, while apprenticeship commencements have decreased.  Rates of participation for 15 to 24 year olds have:

  • been stable for non-school VET from 18% in 2011 to 17% in 2014
  • declined for apprenticeship commencements from 6% in 2011 to 4% in 2014
  • young men are more likely to participate in VET and apprenticeships.

 

Participation in VET

Apprenticeship commencements

 

Participation rates in higher education, have recently increased.  Rates of participation for 15 to 24 year olds have:

  • increased for higher education from 19% in 2007 to 21% in 2014
  • young women are more likely to undertake higher education

A notable exception to increasing participation rates is a decrease in participation by Indigenous young people aged 15 to 19 from 60% in 2008 to 55% in 2013.  Participation for 20 to 24 year olds increased from 16% in 2008 to 23% in 2013.  Participation in full time education for both age groups remains lower than for non-Indigenous young people (55% compared to 78% for 15 to 19 year olds, and 23% compared to 31% for 20 to 24 year olds).

Indigenous young people’s participation rates in:

  • VET have remained stable at 22% from 2011 to 2014, and are higher than for non-Indigenous young people (22% compared to 17%)
  • apprenticeship commencements have declined from 6% in 2011 to 4% in 2014, and are higher than for non-Indigenous young people (5% compared to 4%)
  • higher education has increased from 19% in 2007 to 21% in 2014.

Education attainment has increased

Educational attainment for young people aged 20 to 24 years old has increased across:

  • Year 12 or equivalent (from 72% in 2003 to 77% in 2014)
  • Certificate III and above (from 35% in 2003 to 40% in 2014)
  • Bachelor or higher degrees (from 26% in 2003 to 36% in 2014).

Rates of attainment have been shown to be higher for:

  • young women (Year 12 Certificate or equivalent, Certificate III or above, or a bachelor degree (2014))
  • those from non-English speaking backgrounds, who in 2012 were more likely to have completed Year 12 at age 21 (98% compared to 85% from English-speaking backgrounds) (2013) (DOE 2014b) or university at age 24 (53% compared to 37% from English-speaking backgrounds) (DOE 2014a).

Rates of attainment have been shown to be lower for:

  • Indigenous and young people in very remote areas although the proportion of young Indigenous people completing Year 12 or equivalent has increased faster than for non-Indigenous 20 to 24 year olds from 2006-2011 (4.9% compared to 2.1%) (ABS 2014a)
  • those from the lowest socioeconomic quartile, who in 2012 were less likely to have completed Year 12 at age 21 (78% compared to 93% of the highest quartile) (DOE 2014b) or university at age 24 in 2012 (22% compared to 57% of the highest quartile) (DOE 2014a).

Not all young people are getting the skills they need for the future of work

Despite increasing education participation and attainment, education is not preparing young people with the skills that will be needed in the future of work.  In 2012, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) data, showed many Australian students were not proficient in core skills including:

  • financial literacy: 30% of all, and 50% of Indigenous, 15 year olds did not meet Australian baseline proficiency. Australia is ranked 2nd in international rankings.
  • problem solving: 35% of all, and 62% of Indigenous, 15 year olds did not meet Australian baseline proficiency. Australia is ranked 11th in international rankings.

HYPAF 2015 Page 1 - Problem solving and financial literacy skills

  • maths: 42% of all, and 77% of Indigenous, 15 year olds did not meet Australian baseline proficiency. Between 2003 and 2012 maths proficiency worsened by 9 percentage points. Australia has dropped from 5th to 16th in international rankings.
  • science: 35% of all, and 67% of Indigenous, 15 year olds did not meet Australian baseline proficiency. Between 2006 and 2012 science proficiency worsened by 2 percentage points. Australia has dropped from 4th to 8th in international rankings.
  • digital literacy: 35% of all, and 64% of Indigenous, year 10 students did not meet Australian baseline proficiency. Between 2005 and 2011 digital literacy proficiency improved by 4 percentage points.
  • reading: 36% of all, and 69% of Indigenous, 15 year olds did not meet Australian baseline proficiency. Between 2000 and 2012 reading proficiency worsened by 5 percentage points. Australia has dropped from 2nd to 10th in international rankings.
  • civics and citizenship: 56% of all, and 83% of Indigenous, year 10 students did not meet a proficient standard. Between 2004 and 2013 civics and citizen proficiency improved by 5 percentage points.

HYPAF 2015 Page 1- Future jobs will involve STEM

READ FYA’S POLICY PAPER SEEKING A NATIONAL ENTERPRISE SKILLS AND CAREERS EDUCATION STRATEGY FOR AUSTRALIA

WATCH YOUNG PEOPLE taking action to better understand career options

Propeller Careers Open Day

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WATCH THE SCHOOL OF LIFE’S WHAT’S EDUCATION FOR?

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