Quarter of school drop-outs remain jobless

FINISHING high school really does pay off.

A new study of school leavers revealed only one-third of north-east NSW students who dropped out last year had full-time jobs while their classmates graduated.

One-quarter of them had no work whatsoever.

Social Research Centre analysts surveyed thousands of students who had completed high school, left early for outside training or simply dropped out.

They uncovered a stark divide between Sydney and the rest of the state, with Year 12s in the capital almost twice as likely to go to university as those in the regions.

About 40% of graduates from north-east NSW continued on to tertiary education, compared to 73% in North Sydney.

Early school leavers from wealthy inner Sydney were the least likely geographical group to be in full-time work (19%), followed by West Sydney (31%) and north-east NSW (32.8%).

Only one-fifth of indigenous students who left before graduating had full-time jobs.

The report found girls were more likely than boys to enter vocational training, part-time work or undertake a traineeship.

But 39% of males who left school early reported entering apprenticeships - five times more likely than females.

A worrying trend about the prospects for non-high school graduates also emerged.

"Overall, it appears the post-school destinations of early school leavers in 2014 are slightly poorer than their counterparts in 2010 and 2013," the report stated.

"More specifically, there seems to have been an increase in the proportion of early school leavers whose main post-school destination is looking for work or not in the labour force, education or training."

The most statistically likely candidates for entering a bachelor degree this year were girls from wealthy families, with high NAPLAN numeracy and reading results, who spoke a second language and studied at a Catholic school in Sydney.

"Further, Year 12 completers were significantly less likely to have entered a bachelor degree if they had undertaken a VET or Life Skills course while at school or attended a school some areas of regional or rural NSW," the study found. 



For Year 12 graduates from north-east NSW

Bachelor degree - 40.1%

VET Cert IV+ - 9.4%

VET Cert I-III - 2.7%

Apprenticeship - 6.3%

Traineeship - 6.1%

Full-time work - 6.3%

Part-time work - 19.3%

Looking for work - 6.4%

Not looking - 3.5%


For early school leavers

Bachelor degree - 1.3%

VET Cert IV+ - 5.3%

VET Cert I-III - 17.2%

Apprenticeship - 21.4%

Traineeship - 8.1%

Full-time work - 7.8%

Part-time work - 12.8%

Looking for work - 19.8%

Not looking - 6.4%

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