Early school leavers factsheet

This report was originally published 28 October 2019.

Summary

This fact sheet provides a brief overview of findings from the early school leaver cohort of the NSW Secondary Students’ Post-School Destinations and Expectations survey. A total of 4,470 students who left school before completing Year 12 in 2017 took part in the survey in 2018.

Main destination

  • Over half (57.1%) of early school leavers are in some form of education or training in 20181.
  • One-quarter (24.8%) are employed.
  • More than one-in-ten (12.9%) are looking for work.
  • One-in-twenty (5.2%) are not in the labour force, education or training (NILFET).
  • The most common form of education and training is an apprenticeship, with around a third (32.4%) of early school leavers training at this level; up 6.7 percentage points since 2010.
  • Less than ten per cent of early school leavers are pursuing each other type of education and training.
  • Participation in VET Certificate I-III has decreased 10.7 percentage points since 2010.
1.1%
Bachelor degree
8.0%
VET Cert IV+
8.7%
VET Cert I-III
32.4% Apprenticeship 6.9% Traineeship
▲ 0.7 percentage points since 2010 ▲ 1.3 percentage points since 2010 ▼ 10.7 percentage points since 2010 ▲ 6.7 percentage points since 2010 ▲ 3.9 percentage points since 2010

11.1%
Full-time work2
13.7%
Part-time work
12.9%
Looking for work
5.2%
NILFET
▼ 2.5 percentage points since 2010 ▼ 2.3 percentage points since 2010 ▲ 1.1 percentage points since 2010 ▲ 1.7 percentage points since 2010

Reasons for leaving school

38.6%
Disillusioned with school
25.5%
Employment or career
10.8%
Academic or behavioural difficulties
10.4%
External factors or pressures
▲ 1.2 percentage points since 2014 ▲ 0.7 percentage points since 2010 ▼ 3.7 percentage points since 2010 ▲ 0.9 percentage points since 2010

Top three destinations:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Part-time work
  • Full-time work

Top three destinations:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Part-time work
  • Full-time work

Top three destinations:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Part-time work
  • Looking for work

Top three
destinations:

  • NILFET
  • Part-time work
  • Looking for work
6.8%
Other educational opportunities
4.6%
Bullying
3.2%
Other reasons
▲ 1.5 percentage points since 2010 ▲ 0.3 percentage points since 2010 ▼ 1.0 percentage points since 2010
Top three destinations:
  • Apprenticeship
  • VET Cert IV+
  • VET Cert I-III

Top three destinations:

  • Looking for work
  • Part-time work
  • VET Cert I-III

Top three destinations:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Part-time work
  • Looking for work

1 Main post-school destination variable prioritises education related outcomes over participation in employment. For more information on how main destinations are derived or for the study background and methodology, please see the 2018 Technical Report

2 Full-time work is 35+ hours per week, Part-time work is <35 hours per week.

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