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4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012  Reissue
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Contents >> Education, Learning and Skills >> The transition from education to work


EDUCATION: THE TRANSITION FROM EDUCATION TO WORK

This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.


Note: In this section, 'youth' and 'young people' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0) and the Survey of Education and Work, 2008 and 2009 (cat. no. 6227.0).

KEY MESSAGES

In 2008:
  • 54% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were fully engaged in work and/or study (up from 47% in 2002)
  • young males were more likely than young females to be fully engaged in work and/or study (60% compared with 48%) as were young people living in non-remote areas rather than in remote areas (58% compared with 41%).

Making a successful transition from school to tertiary study or full-time employment can have long-term implications for a young person's wellbeing. Staying engaged in work and/or study can help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to stay connected to the job market and their communities, and be at less risk of becoming long-term unemployed or underemployed (Endnote 1).

WHO IS FULLY ENGAGED?

In 2008, more than half (54%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth were fully engaged in work and/or study (that is, they were in either full-time work, full-time study or a combination of part-time work and part-time study). This was an increase from 47% in 2002. Another 14% were engaged in only part-time work, while 31% were neither studying nor working.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people living in non-remote areas were more likely to be fully engaged than those living in remote areas (58% compared with 41%) and significantly more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young males were fully engaged than females (60% compared with 48%). Having caring responsibilities for children may be one of the reasons that young females are less likely than young males to be fully engaged in work and/or study. For more information, see the Young Parents topic.


3.1 ENGAGEMENT IN WORK AND/OR STUDY BY SEX, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15–24 years—2008

Graph: Engagement in work and/or study by sex, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–24 years, 2008

(a) Difference between males and females is statistically significant.
(b) Difference between males and females is not statistically significant.
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey

According to information from the 2008 and 2009 Survey of Education and Work, 83% of non-Indigenous young people were fully engaged in work and/or study (Endnote 2).

BEING FULLY ENGAGED AND OTHER ASPECTS OF WELLBEING

In 2008, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who were fully engaged in work and/or study were more likely than those who were not fully engaged to:
  • be in excellent or very good health (64% compared with 51%)
  • have experienced low or moderate levels of psychological distress (74% compared with 63%)
  • have friends outside their household who they could confide in (86% compared with 73%).

They were also less likely than those who were not fully engaged in work and/or study to:
  • be a current daily smoker (27% compared with 54%)
  • have consumed alcohol at long-term risky/high risk levels in the previous year (9% compared with 17%) or to have engaged in binge drinking in the previous fortnight (31% compared with 41%)
  • have used illicit substances in the previous year (21% compared with 30%).
  • have felt that they had been discriminated against for being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin (20% compared with 32%)
  • have been arrested in the last five years (11% compared with 24%)
  • have been a victim of physical violence (17% compared with 23%).

ENDNOTES
  1. Council of Australian Governments (COAG), National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions, 2009, COAG <www.coag.gov.au>.
  2. Estimates for non-Indigenous people from the Survey of Education and Work were averaged across the 2008 and 2009 surveys.

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