Aboriginal Year 12 completers and Early school leavers factsheet

This report was originally published 31 August 2020.

This fact sheet provides a high level overview of findings from the 2019 NSW Secondary Students’ Post-School Destinations and Experiences Survey relating to two different cohorts of Aboriginal recent school leavers: Year 12 completers and early school leavers.

This fact sheet was produced in collaboration with the Aboriginal Education and Communities Directorate.

Survey sample

  • In 2019, 1,007 Aboriginal Year 12 completers and 695 Aboriginal early school leavers completed the survey.
  • For non-Aboriginal students, 17,770 Year 12 completers and 5,440 early school leavers also completed the survey in 2019.
  • Sociodemographic characteristics were similar between Aboriginal survey completers and non-completers, indicating that survey findings are representative of the population of Aboriginal recent school leavers.
  • Response rates for both cohorts have remained fairly stable over time, ranging from 43.2% to 50.7% for Aboriginal Year 12 completers and 21% to 26.7% for Aboriginal early school leavers.

Post-school destinations of Aboriginal school leavers in 2019

In 2019, 82.3% of Aboriginal Year 12 completers were in education, training or employment and 63.8% of Aboriginal early school leavers were in education, training or employment.

A stacked bar chart showing the post-school destinations of Aboriginal school leavers in 2019. Of the Year 12 completers, 51.4 percent were in education or training, 30.9 percent were in employment, 13.8 percent were looking for work and 3.9 percent were not in the labour force, education or training. Of the early school leavers, 40.9 percent were in education or training, 22.9 percent were in employment, 25.7 percent were looking for work and 10.5 percent were not in the labour force, education or training A stacked bar chart showing the post-school destinations of Aboriginal school leavers in 2019. Of the Year 12 completers, 51.4 percent were in education or training, 30.9 percent were in employment, 13.8 percent were looking for work and 3.9 percent were not in the labour force, education or training. Of the early school leavers, 40.9 percent were in education or training, 22.9 percent were in employment, 25.7 percent were looking for work and 10.5 percent were not in the labour force, education or training

Post-school destinations of non-Aboriginal school leavers in 2019

In 2019, 92% of non-Aboriginal Year 12 completers were in education, training or employment and 81.3% of non‑Aboriginal early school leavers were in education, training or employment.

A stacked bar chart showing the post-school destinations of non-Aboriginal school leavers in 2019. Of the Year 12 completers, 66.2 percent were in education or training, 25.9 percent were in employment, 5.5 percent were looking for work and 2.5 percent were not in the labour force, education or training. Of the early school leavers, 56 percent were in education or training, 25.3 percent were in employment, 14.3 percent were looking for work and 4.4 percent were not in the labour force, education or training. A stacked bar chart showing the post-school destinations of non-Aboriginal school leavers in 2019. Of the Year 12 completers, 66.2 percent were in education or training, 25.9 percent were in employment, 5.5 percent were looking for work and 2.5 percent were not in the labour force, education or training. Of the early school leavers, 56 percent were in education or training, 25.3 percent were in employment, 14.3 percent were looking for work and 4.4 percent were not in the labour force, education or training.

Post-school destinations of Aboriginal Year 12 completers in 2019

24.6%
Bachelor degree
6%
VET Cert IV+
5.4%
VET Cert III
2%
VET Cert I-II
▲ 1.6 percentage points since 2014 ▼ 0.9 percentage points since 2014 ▼ 0.7 percentage points since 2014 ▼ 2.5 percentage points since 2014
6.3%
Apprenticeship
7%
Traineeship
9.9%
Full time work
21%
Part time work

▲ 1.9 percentage points since 2014 ▼ 1.4 percentage points since 2014 ▼ 0.2 percentage points since 2014 ▲ 3.2 percentage points since 2014
The post-school destinations for Aboriginal Year 12 completers have remained relatively stable over time.

Top five areas of education Aboriginal Year 12 completers entered post-school in 2019:

  1. Teacher education
  2. Nursing
  3. Business and management
  4. Human welfare studies and services
  5. Communication and media studies.

Top five work roles Aboriginal Year 12 completers entered post-school in 2019:

  1. Hospitality worker
  2. Retail sales assistant
  3. Store assistant and warehouse assistant
  4. Carer and aide
  5. Sales support worker.

Post-school destinations of Aboriginal early school leavers in 2019

0.4%
Bachelor degree
2.5%
VET Cert IV+
9.6%
VET Cert III
4.9%
VET Cert I-II
▲ 0.1 percentage points since 2014 ▼ 1.1 percentage points since 2014 ▲ 3.2 percentage points since 2014 ▼ 6.2 percentage points since 2014
16%
Apprenticeship
7.5%
Traineeship
8.3%
Full time work
14.6%
Part time work

▲ 2.5 percentage points since 2014 ▲ 2.7 percentage points since 2014 ▲ 5.1 percentage points since 2014 ▲ 3.3 percentage points since 2014
The proportion of Aboriginal early school leavers in employment has increased over time, while the proportion of Aboriginal early school leavers looking for work has decreased over time.

Top five areas of education Aboriginal early school leavers entered post-school in 2019:

  1. Building
  2. Human welfare studies and services
  3. Personal services (such as hairdressing, beauty therapy)
  4. Food and hospitality
  5. Automotive engineering and technology.

Top five work roles Aboriginal early school leavers entered post-school in 2019:

  1. Retail sales assistant
  2. Food preparation assistant
  3. Store assistant and warehouse assistant
  4. Hospitality worker
  5. Sales support worker.

In education or training

A line chart showing the percentage of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal school leavers in education or training from 2014 to 2019. The chart is summarised in the following section. A line chart showing the percentage of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal school leavers in education or training from 2014 to 2019. The chart is summarised in the following section.
The proportion of Aboriginal Year 12 completers, Aboriginal early school leavers and non-Aboriginal early school leavers in education or training has remained stable over time.
The proportion of non-Aboriginal Year 12 completers in education or training has decreased over time.

Education changes: Aboriginal Year 12 completers

  • 7.9 percentage point decrease entering business and management studies since 2014 (from 11.7% to 3.8%).
  • 4.9 percentage point decrease entering human welfare studies and services since 2014 (from 8.6% to 3.7%).

Education changes: Aboriginal early school leavers

  • 6.8 percentage point increase entering building studies since 2014 (from 10.3% to 17.1%).
  • 6.3 percentage point decrease entering business and management studies since 2014 (from 9.7% to 3.4%).

In employment

A line chart showing the percentage of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal school leavers in employment from 2014 to 2019. The chart is summarised in the following section. A line chart showing the percentage of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal school leavers in employment from 2014 to 2019. The chart is summarised in the following section.
The proportion of Aboriginal early school leavers, non-Aboriginal Year 12 completers and non-Aboriginal early school leavers in employment has increased over time.
The proportion of Aboriginal Year 12 completers in employment has remained stable over time.

Employment changes: Aboriginal Year 12 completers

  • 8.1 percentage point decrease entering a retail sales assistant role since 2014 (from 23.8% to 15.7%).
  • 6.8 percentage point increase entering a hospitality role since 2014 (from 11.8% to 18.7% of employed completers).

Employment changes: Aboriginal early school leavers

  • 6.6 percentage point decrease entering a farm, forestry and garden worker role since 2014 (from 10.8% to 4.2%).
  • 6 percentage point increase entering a store assistant and warehouse assistant role since 2014 (from 4.6% to 10.6%).

What are the socio-demographic characteristic differences in destinations of Aboriginal Year 12 completers and Aboriginal early school leavers?

Year 12 completers Early school leavers

Females more likely to be in a:

  • Bachelor degree
  • VET Cert III
  • Traineeship.

Males more likely to be in an:

  • Apprenticeship.

Females more likely to be in a:

  • VET Cert IV+
  • VET Cert III.

Males more likely to be in an:

  • Apprenticeship.

Higher parental SES more likely to be in a:

  • Bachelor degree.

Lower parental SES more likely to be:

  • Looking for work.

Lower parental SES more likely to be:

  • Not in the labour force, education or training.

Government school students more likely to be:

  • VET Cert III
  • Looking for work
  • Not in the labour force, education or training.

Non-government school students more likely to be in a:

  • Bachelor degree.

Government school students more likely to be:

  • Looking for work.

Non-government school students more likely to be in an:

  • Apprenticeship.

Students living in Greater Sydney more likely than those living in the rest of NSW to be in an:

  • Apprenticeship.

Students living in Greater Sydney more likely than those living in the rest of NSW to be in an:

  • Apprenticeship.

Students living in the rest of NSW more likely to be:

  • Looking for work.
Return to top of page Back to top