What education and training are young people doing?

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NCVER has released data drawn from a variety of sources on what 15 to 19-year olds are doing.

The snapshot shows there were 1.5 million Australians aged 15 to 19 years in 2017 and an estimated 83% were participating in education and training.

Young peoples’ participation

Here are some of the highlights from this publication.

The majority (57%) of these young people are, of course, still at school but only about 14% of 15 to 19-year-olds participate in a VET-in-Schools program. The remaining 43% were in school but not VETIS participants. Around 16% mainly older students were at university, while 4.4% were in an apprenticeship or traineeship or in another forms of VET program (5.2%).

Those aged 15 or 16 were almost exclusively at school, but by the age of 18 “31.6% were enrolled in higher education courses, 7.2% were undertaking apprenticeships and traineeships, and 8.8% were enrolled in other VET programs.”

Total VET

The total number of 15 to 19-year old VET students was estimated at just over 705 000. Of these, around 53% were male and 45% female. In all, 85% were part-timers and about 40% of program enrolments were in Certificate II qualifications and 32% in Certificate III.

Looking at the trends between 2016 and 2017 in terms of qualification levels, the number of enrolments in Bachelor degrees (+56%, but with relatively low numbers involved), Certificate IIs and IIIs were all up, but all other levels of qualification offered by the VET sector were down. For some qualifications, particularly Diplomas and Certificate IVs, this was quite dramatic.

VET in Schools

In 2017, there were 237 700 students aged 15 to 19 years enrolled in VET-in-Schools programs.  Of these, 54% were male and 46% female. Around 56% were enrolled in Certificate II qualifications while 33% undertook a Certificate III. “8.4% were undertaking a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.”

The most popular fields of study were society and culture (around 19%), followed by management and commerce (18%) and food, hospitality and personal services (16%).

Compared with 2016 VET-in-Schools numbers were up in Queensland (+10.4%), Tasmania (+7.1%) and Western Australia (+2.9%), but down in all other states and territories. Numbers in Victoria were slightly down (-1.2%).

Apprentices and trainees

In 2017 the publication reported that “there were 76 500 apprenticeship and traineeship commencements among those aged 15 to 19 years.” Of these 65% were male and 35% female and 37% of these students began their training contract part-time.

Nearly 87% commenced training in Certificate III qualifications and 52.5% of commencements were in trade occupations while 47.5% were in non-trade areas.

Commencements in trade occupations increased nationally (up 3.6%), while commencements in non-trade occupations decreased (down 2.3%). Comparing 2016 and 2017 data, apprenticeship and traineeship commencements overall remained steady. However, there were jurisdictional differences. Compared with the previous year commencements in 2017 increased in Queensland (up 9.4%) and New South Wales (up 3.4%). In contrast, Victoria saw a 10.2% fall in its apprentice and traineeship commencements.

And finally, Higher Education

There were 353 100 higher education students aged 15 to 19.  This number was up 3% on the previous year (2016). In contrast to the VET students, the great majority (91% ) were full-time students, with 87% enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree. Like VET the most common areas of study were management and commerce (nearly 23%) and society and culture (19%). Higher education numbers were up in almost all states and territories from those in 2016.

Have a look at NCVER’s infographic on this topic too!

What education and training are young people doing? | VDC