All school leavers fact sheet

This report was originally published 26 October 2021.

This fact sheet provides a high-level overview of findings from the 2020 NSW Post-School Destinations and Experiences Survey relating to all school leavers, including early school leavers and Year 12 completers.

In 2020, a total of 24,843 school leavers completed the survey.

Post-school destinations of all school leavers in 2020

In 2020, 86.0% of all school leavers were in education, training or employment. The remainder were either looking for work or not in the labour force, education or training.

Horizontal bar chart showing the post-school destinations of all school leavers in 2020. 59.5 percent were in education and training, 26.5 percent were in employment, 10 percent were looking for work and 4 percent were NILFET, which means not in the labour force, education or training.

The proportion of recent school leavers involved in higher education, training or employment has decreased since 2014.

A line chart showing the proportion of school leavers in higher education, training, or employment from 2014 to 2020. Between 2014 and 2020, the proportion of school leavers in education, training or employment has decreased from 88.6 to 86 percent.

Changes in all school leavers’ post-school destinations over time

34.2%
Bachelor
5.4%
VET Cert IV+
3.7%
VET Cert III
1.4%
VET Cert I-II
10.4% Apprenticeship
▼ down 7.3 percentage points since 2014 ▼ down 2.1 percentage points since 2014 ▲ up 0.6 percentage points since 2014 ▼ down 1.5 percentage points since 2014 ▲ up 1.0 percentage points since 2014
4.4% Traineeship 8.0%
Full-time work
18.5%
Part-time work
10%
Looking for work
4%
NILFET
▼ down 0.5 percentage points since 2014 ▲ up 1.1 percentage points since 2014 ▲ up 6.1 percentage points since 2014 ▲ up 2.0 percentage points since 2014 ▲ up 0.6 percentage points since 2014
Top 3 areas of education school leavers enter post-school:
  • Business and management (5.9%)
  • Building (5.9%)
  • Teacher education (5.6%).
Top 3 post-school work roles for school leavers:
  • Sales assistants and salespersons (18.3%)
  • Hospitality workers (14.7%)
  • Storepersons (8.2%).

What are the subgroup differences in destinations?

Females more likely to be in a:

  • bachelor degree
  • VET certificate IV+
  • VET certificate III
  • traineeship
  • part-time work.

Males more likely to be in an:

  • apprenticeship
  • full-time work
  • looking for work.

Recent school leavers who speak a language other than English at home more likely to be in a:

  • bachelor degree
  • VET certificate IV+
  • NILFET.

Recent school leavers who do not speak a language other than English at home more likely to be in a:

  • VET certificate III
  • VET certificate I-II
  • apprenticeship
  • traineeship
  • full-time work
  • part-time work.

Recent school leavers with higher parental SES* more likely to be in a:

  • bachelor degree.

Recent school leavers with lower parental SES more likely to be in a:

  • VET certificate III
  • apprenticeship
  • traineeship
  • full-time work
  • looking for work
  • NILFET.

Recent school leavers living in Greater Sydney more likely to be in a:

  • bachelor degree
  • VET certificate IV+.

Recent school leavers living in the Rest of NSW more likely to be in a:

  • VET certificate III
  • VET certificate I-II
  • apprenticeship
  • traineeship
  • full-time work
  • part-time work
  • looking for work.

Aboriginal recent school leavers more likely to be in a:

  • VET certificate III
  • traineeship
  • looking for work
  • NILFET.

Non-Aboriginal recent school leavers more likely to be in a:

  • bachelor degree
  • VET certificate IV+.

* SES means socio-economic status.

* NILFET means not in the labour force, education or training.

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