National Report on Schooling in Australia 2011

Senior schooling and youth transitions

6.2 Participation

The key performance measures (KPMs) for participation specified in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2010 reflect not only the participation of young Australians in schooling, but their participation in post-school education, training and employment. As such, they indicate the success of schooling in preparing students for further education and work. This addresses both the Melbourne Declaration commitment to facilitate effective transitions and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Education Agreement (NEA) outcome that young people make a successful transition from school to work and further study.

KPMs 7(c), (d), (e) and (f) measure the full-time participation in education, training and employment of different groups of young people. Full-time participation is defined as participation in full-time education or training or full-time work, or a combination of both part-time education or training and part-time work. The measures are based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Education and Work, which is conducted in May each year.

KPM 7(c) measures the full-time participation of young people from the ages of 15 to 19, and includes students who are still at school. It also includes 15 to 19-year-olds who have left school and have moved into tertiary study or the workforce. KPM 7(d) measures the full-time participation of 20 to 24-year-olds, who may be undertaking vocational education and training (VET) or university study, working, or a combination of these activities. KPMs 7(c) and 7(d) are shown for the period 2007–11 in Table 6.3.

Key Performance Measure 7(c)

Proportion of 15 to 19-year-olds in full-time education or training, in full-time work, or both in part-time work and part-time education or training

Key Performance Measure 7(d)

Proportion of 20 to 24-year-olds in full-time education or training, in full-time work, or both in part-time work and part-time education or training

Table 6.3 Proportions of 15 to 19-year-olds and 20 to 24-year-olds in full-time education or training, in full-time work, or both in part-time work and part-time education or training, Australia, 200711 (%)

Year

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

%

%

%

%

%

Full-time participation rates for 15 to 19-year-olds

87.2

87.5

84.5

85.2

85.9

CI±

1.0

1.1

1.3

1.5

1.3

Full-time participation rates for 20 to 24-year-olds

80.0

80.5

77.8

78.1

77.5

CI±

1.2

1.3

2.0

1.6

1.5


Notes:

CI = Confidence Interval

The percentages reported in this table include 95 per cent confidence intervals. Confidence intervals are a way of expressing the degree of sampling and measurement error associated with survey estimates. For example, an estimate of 80 with a 95 per cent confidence interval of ±2 means that if the total population were surveyed rather than a sample, there is a 95 per cent chance that the result would lie between 78 and 82.

Full-time participation is defined as participation in full-time education or training or full-time work, or a combination of both part-time education or training and part-time work.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 6227.0, Education and Work, May 2011

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 22 and Table 23

As shown in Table 6.3, full-time participation rates for young people in their mid to late teens were consistently higher than for those in their early to mid-20s. This is to be expected, as the 15 to 19 year age group includes a high proportion of full-time school students. In particular, it includes 15 and 16-year-olds who, from 2010, are subject to the National Youth Participation Requirement1 for all young people to participate in schooling until they complete Year 10, and to participate full-time in education, training or employment, or a combination of these activities, until the age of 17.

The falls in these youth participation rates between 2008 and 2009 are consistent with the reduction in employment opportunities for young people in the wake of the 2008–09 global financial crisis. They reflect falls in participation in employment in these age groups rather than falls in participation in education and training.2
From 2009 to 2011 there was an apparent partial recovery in engagement for 15 to 19-year-olds but, based on the Survey of Education and Work, no noticeable change in participation rates for 20 to 24-year-olds.
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has estimated that 81.9 per cent of 15 to 19-year-olds were engaged in education and training as at August 2011. This was made up of school students (54.7 per cent), higher education students (14.7 per cent) and publicly funded VET students, including apprentices and trainees (12.4 per cent).3 This compares to the estimate of participation of Australians aged 15 to 19 years in education and training by education and training activity, for August 2009 of 75.9 per cent and for August 2010 of 78.8 per cent.4 While these data do not represent full-time participation in education, training or employment, they do indicate that participation in education and training by 15 to 19-year-olds increased in 2010 and 2011.

KPM 7(f) also measures full-time participation in education, training and/or work but for a slightly different age group: 18 to 24-year-olds. Typically, members of this group would have left school, with a substantial number of them undertaking post-school training and education in the VET and/or higher education sectors. This KPM focuses on a specified level of education and training being undertaken as AQF Certificate III or above. This corresponds to the National Education Agreement indicator, the proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds engaged in full-time employment, education or training at or above Certificate III.


Key Performance Measure 7(f)

Proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds engaged in full-time employment, education or training at or above AQF Certificate III

Table 6.4 Proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds engaged in full-time employment, education or training at or above AQF Certificate III,
Australia, 2007
11 (%)

Year

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

%

%

%

%

%

Full-time participation rates at or above AQF Certificate III for 18 to 24-year-olds

75.5

76.3

72.7

72.6

72.5

CI±

1.1

1.2

1.8

1.5

1.4


Notes:

CI = Confidence Interval

The percentages reported in this table include 95 per cent confidence intervals. Confidence intervals are a way of expressing the degree of sampling and measurement error associated with survey estimates. For example, an estimate of 80 with a 95 per cent confidence interval of ±2 means that if the total population were surveyed rather than a sample, there is a 95 per cent chance that the result would lie between 78 and 82.

Full-time participation at or above AQF III is defined as participation in full-time employment, full-time education/training at or above AQF III level, or a combination of full or part-time employment and full or part-time education/training at or above AQF Certificate III level.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 6227.0, Education and Work, May 2011

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 25

According to survey data, the proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds engaged in full-time employment, education or training at or above AQF Certificate III (Table 6.4) followed a similar pattern to the full-time participation measures for 15 to 19 and 20 to 24-year-olds: rising between 2006 and 2008 and falling significantly to below 2006 levels in 2009. There was no observable recovery in this measure in 2010 and 2011.
The participation rates for KPM 7(f) are consistently lower than those for measures 7(c) and 7(d), because KPM 7(f) excludes young people undertaking initial or entry level training in many occupations. Students who are fully engaged in education or training but at VET Certificate II or below, and those young people who are fully engaged in a combination of work and education or training but with the training component at Certificate II or below, are included in measures 7(c) and 7(d) but excluded from KPM 7(f). Students who were 18 years or above and still at school at the time of the survey are also excluded from the numerator of KPM 7(f), but are counted in the denominator (all 18 to 24-year-olds).

Figure 6.1 illustrates the movement in KPMs 7(c), 7(d) and 7(f) over the period 2007–11.

Key Performance Measures 7(c), 7(d) and 7(f)

Figure 6.1 Proportions of 15 to 19-year-olds and 20 to 24-year-olds in full-time education or training, in full-time work, or both in part-time work and part-time education or training; proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds in full-time education or training, in full-time work, or both in part-time work and part-time education or training at or above AQF Certificate III, Australia, 200711 (%)

Figure 6.1 Proportions of 15 to 19-year-olds and 2

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 6227.0, Education and Work, May 2011

KPM 7(e), shown in Table 6.5, also measures the full-time participation of 15 to 19-year-olds but includes only those who had left school at the time of the survey. This KPM corresponds to the COAG indicator for post-school engagement in education or training.

Key Performance Measure 7(e)

Proportion of 15 to 19-year-olds who have left school and are fully engaged in education, training or employment, by highest level of schooling

Table 6.5 Proportion of 15 to 19-year-olds who have left school and are fully engaged in education, training or employment, by highest
level of schooling, Australia, 2008–11 (%)

2008

2009

2010

2011

Engagement by level of school completed

%

%

%

%

Completed Year 12

Fully participating in education, training and/or employment

82.5

78.6

77.3

78.8

Completed Year 11

Fully participating in education, training and/or employment

63.8

58.2

62.5

60.0

Completed Year 10 or below

Fully participating in education, training and/or employment

58.7

50.1

53.0

54.7

All 15 to 19-year-old school leavers

Fully participating in education, training and/or employment

74.3

68.4

69.8

70.7

CI±

2.0

2.5

2.9

2.5


Notes:

CI = Confidence Interval

The percentages reported in this table for all 15 to 19-year-olds include 95 per cent confidence intervals. Confidence intervals are a way of expressing the degree of sampling and measurement error associated with survey estimates. For example, an estimate of 80 with a 95 per cent confidence interval of ±2 means that if the total population were surveyed rather than a sample, there is a 95 per cent chance that the result would lie between 78 and 82.

Full-time participation is defined as participation in full-time education or training or full-time work, or a combination of both part-time education or training and part-time work.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 6227.0, Education and Work, May 2011

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 24

The data in Table 6.5 confirm previous findings of a positive relationship between the level of schooling reached by students and their subsequent engagement in post-school training, education and employment. These data provided an evidence base for Australian governments to adopt targets for the completion of Year 12 or equivalent or a VET qualification and to establish the Compact with Young Australians including the Youth Participation Requirement.
KPM 7(e) parallels the other youth participation measures in showing a sharp decline in participation between 2008 and 2009 by 15 to 19-year-olds who had left school, reflecting the fall in full-time employment for this age group in 2009 as a result of economic conditions. As with the other participation KPMs, this proportion remained below 2008 levels in 2010 and 2011.


1 The National Youth Participation Requirement is a component of the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions which includes the Compact with Young Australians. Further information on this National Partnership is provided in Part 2.5: Supporting senior years of schooling and youth transitions.
2 COAG Reform Council, National Education Agreement: Performance Report for 2009, Report to the Council of Australian Governments, 30 September 2010 p. xv
3 NCVER, Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics: young people in education and training 2011, (See Part 9 Additional Statistics Table 19)
4 NCVER, Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics: young people in education and training 2009; NCVER, Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics: young people in education and training 2010 (see also Additional Statistics Table 19, National Report on Schooling in Australia, 2009 and 2010)