National Report on Schooling in Australia 2012

Senior schooling and youth transitions

6.2 Participation in education and work

The key performance measures (KPMs) for participation specified in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2012 reflect not only the participation of young Australians in schooling, but their participation in post-school education, training and employment. As such, these measures 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 1(f) and (g) measure the full-time participation in education, training and employment of two 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 1(f) measures the full-time participation of young people from the age 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 1(g) 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 1(f) and 1(g) are shown for the period 2008–12 in Table 6.3.
 

Proportions of 1519-year-olds and 2024-year-olds

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.

From 2012, data cubes on participation and engagement published by ABS to report the results of the Survey of Education and Work have been limited to study for a qualification only, instead of all study. This change affects the data cubes:

  • Study for a qualification, persons aged 15–64 years; and
  • Fully engaged through study for a qualification and/or employment, persons aged 15–24 years.

For this reason, full-time participation rates for 15–19 year-olds and 20–24 year-olds shown in Table 6.6 and Figure 6.2 for the calendar years 2008–2011 are marginally lower than those reported in previous editions of this report.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 6227.0, Education and Work, May 2012

See also Part 9: Additional Statistics Table 24 and Table 25

 

As shown in Table 6.6, 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 15–19 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 reflect falls in participation in employment in these age groups rather than falls in participation in education and training.²

Since 2009 there has been an apparent recovery in participation for 15–19-year-olds but, based on the Survey of Education and Work, no noticeable change in participation rates for 20–24-year-olds.

Figure 6.2 illustrates KPMs 1(f) and 1(g) over the period 2008–12.

Figure 6.2 Proportions of 1519-year-olds and 202

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 6227.0, Education and Work, May 2012

 

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has estimated that 81.9 per cent of 15–19-year-olds were engaged in education and training as at August 2012. This was made up of school students (55.1 per cent), higher education students (15.1 per cent) and publicly funded VET students, including apprentices and trainees (11.6 per cent).³ This compares to the estimate of participation of Australians aged 15–19 years in education and training for August 2009 of 75.9 per cent, for 2010 of 78.8 per cent and for 2011 of 81.9 per cent.4 These estimates do not include employment, but indicate that participation in education and training by 15–19-year-olds rose in both 2010 and 2011 and remained steady in 2012.

 


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 2012 (see Part 9: Additional Statistics, Table 21)

4 NCVER, Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics: young people in education and training, 2009–12 (see also Part 9: Additional Statistics, Table 21, National Report on Schooling in Australia, 2009–12)