2017 NSW Post-School Destinations and Experiences Survey

This report was originally published 21 December 2018.

Summary

Main post-school destination

In 2017, 69.6 per cent of Year 12 completers and 55.4 per cent of early school leavers were in some form of education and training six months after leaving school.

The main post-school destination among Year 12 completers continued to be a Bachelor degree (50.1%). All other categories of education and training destinations were reported by less than one-in-ten Year 12 completers, with 6.0 per cent entering a Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma, 3.4 per cent a Certificate I, II or III course, 5.8 per cent an apprenticeship and 4.3 per cent a traineeship. Most Year 12 completers who had not entered some form of education and training were working either full-time (8.5% of all Year 12 completers) or part-time (13.8%), while 4.6 per cent were looking for work and 3.4 per cent were not in the labour force, education or training.

The proportion of Year 12 completers entering some form of education and training has declined since 2015 and is at its lowest point in the time series. Significant decreases were seen in the proportion of Year 12 completers entering Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma courses (down 2.9 percentage points since 2015). Smaller (although not statistically significant) decreases were also seen in the proportion entering Certificates I, II or III courses (down 1.4 percentage points) and in the percentage of Year 12 completers entering a Bachelor degree (down 3.1 percentage points). These recent decreases in entering a Bachelor degree are opposed to the small increases (although not statistically significant from year to year) in Year 12 completers entering a Bachelor degree in each of the surveys between 2010 and 2015.

Similar to previous years, the post-school destinations of early school leavers were substantially different from Year 12 completers in 2017. For early school leavers, the main post-school destination continued to be an apprenticeship (30.0%), while 7.3 per cent had entered a Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma, 8.2 per cent had entered a Certificate I, II or III course and 8.1 per cent had entered a traineeship. Six months after leaving school, close to half of early school leavers (44.6%) were not participating in some form of education and training. Typically, these early school leavers were looking for work (14.2%) or were undertaking full-time (9.9%) or part-time (14.2%) employment. The rest (6.3%) were not in the labour force, education or training.

The proportion of early school leavers entering Certificate I, II or III courses continued to decline in 2017 (down 11.2 points since 2010), similarly the proportion of early school leavers entering Certificate IV+ courses also decreased in 2017 after peaking in 2015. While the proportion of early school leavers entering a Bachelor degree remained low in 2017 (1.8%), increases have been seen each year since 2014.

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