How Young People are Faring 2013

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The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has a proud history of producing high quality, substantive and internationally recognised research into the lives of young Australians.

This year’s How Young People are Faring is the 15th edition of this annual series, providing important point-in-time and trend information on the education and training outcomes of young people in Australia as they make the transition from school to further study and work. This edition also examines the nature of young people’s jobs and the broader social context for young people, including trends in independence, marriage, fertility, home ownership and life satisfaction.

How Young People are Faring 2013 has been prepared by John Stanwick, Tham Lu, Tom Karmel and Bridget Wibrow of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).


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At a Glance

Participation Of Young People In Education And Training Is Increasing

Three quarters (75%) of teenagers and just under one third (32%) of young adults are in full-time education.

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80% of students who commenced secondary school in 2007 have stayed in school to Year 12, compared to 75% four years earlier. Young women are more likely than young men to remain at school until Year 12.

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In 2010, 85% of 25 to 34 year-old Australians attained at least upper secondary education, compared with the oecd average of 82%. 44% have attained tertiary education, compared with the oecd average of 38%.

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Participation rates in non-school education (VET and higher education) are:

Higher in young people who speak a language other than English at home: 52% compared to 33% for Australians in 2011.

Lower in Indigenous and remote young people, but for Indigenous young people have risen noticeably from 10% in 2006 to 12% in 2011.

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Young People Are Moving Into A More Casualised Labour Market

The unemployment rate for young Australians in August 2012 was 18% for 15-19 year-olds and 8% for 20-24 year-olds. This represents a considerable rise since the GFC.

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Fewer young people are in full-time employment and it takes longer to transition from education to full-time work.

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There has been an increase in young people in part-time and particularly casual work. Casual work has remained steady for adults (25 years and older).

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Young women are more likely to be not fully engaged in employment, education or training (28% of 23 year-olds) than young men (17% of 23 year-olds).

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Many Young Graduates Are Not Working In Their Field Of Study

Three years after completing their university course, 15% of Australian graduates are working in jobs for which they are overskilled.

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Only a third of public vet graduates in 2012 were employed in the same occupation as their training course. However, a further third who were not employed in the field of their training still found the training relevant.

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Some Key Life Transitions Are Occurring Later For Young Australians

In 2011 around 50% of 23 year-old Australians lived away from their parents, compared to 54% in 2007.

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In 2011 10% of 23 year-olds owned their own home, compared to 14% in 2007.

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