This page provides a brief overview of findings from the early school leaver cohort of the NSW secondary students’ post-school destinations and expectations survey. Access the main 2018 report.
A total of 4,470 students who left school before completing Year 12 in 2017 took part in the survey in 2018.
• 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 10% 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.
Main destination - summary
Bachelor degree - 1.1%
Up 0.7 percentage points since 2010
VET Cert IV+ - 8.0%
Up 1.3 percentage points since 2010
VET Cert I-III - 8.7%
Down 10.7 percentage points since 2010
Apprenticeship - 32.4%
Up 6.7 percentage points since 2010
Traineeship - 6.9%
Up 3.9 percentage points since 2010
Full-time work2 - 11.1%
Down 2.5 percentage points since 2010
Part-time work - 13.7%
Down 2.3 percentage points since 2010
Looking for work - 12.9%
Up 1.1 percentage points since 2010
Not in the labour force, education or training - 5.2%
Up 1.7 percentage points since 2010
Reasons for leaving school
Disillusioned with school - 38.6%
- Up 1.2 percentage points since 2014
- Top 3 destinations: apprenticeship, part-time work and full-time work
Employment or career - 25.5%
- Up 0.7 percentage points since 2014
- Top 3 destinations: apprenticeship, full-time work and part-time work
Academic or behavioural difficulties - 10.8%
- Down 3.7 percentage points since 2014
- Top 3 destinations: Looking for work, part-time work and apprenticeship
External factors or pressures - 10.4%
- Up 0.9 percentage points since 2014
- Top 3 destinations: NILFET, looking for work and part-time work
Other educational opportunities - 6.8%
- Up 1.5 percentage points since 2014
- Top 3 destinations: VET Cert IV+, apprenticeship and VET Cert I-III
Bullying - 4.6%
- Up 0.3 percentage points since 2014
- Top 3 destinations: Looking for work, VET Cert I-III and part-time work
Other reasons - 3.2%
- Down 1.0 percentage points since 2014
- Top 3 destinations: Looking for work, part-time work and apprenticeships.
1Main 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, read the 2018 technical report.
2Full-time work is 35+ hours per week. Part-time work is less than 35 hours per week.