CREEW Completed Projects
Future Pathways - Aspirations and Destinations Study
This project was about student transition from school to the world of work and further study. It was developed and undertaken by the University of South Australia for the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA).
The project was designed to facilitate the tracking and reporting of student post-school destinations, partly to address school requirements under the Schools Assistance Act 2004, and also to develop and trial a process for tracking and surveying students from Year 12 through to the following year, in order to recommend a possible system for adoption by schools.
The methodology developed involved an initial written survey instrument (Survey 1) to be completed in school by Year 12 students, during September/October of their final school year. This survey provided data on current subjects being studied, current work commitments, future aspirations post-school, and views on careers advice. Students were asked to provide a contact telephone number for follow-up calls in the year after leaving school.
Survey 2 was then administered in March the following year by telephone, to determine achievement of SACE, current work and study patterns, and views about the transition process.
Survey 3 was administered later in the year, around September/October, again by telephone. This determined if there had been any changes in work/study patterns since Survey 2.
The findings are based on 96 respondents from one independent school who were tracked through the following year.Among the findings were the following:
56% of the Year 12 cohort was engaged in some form of paid employment, with a number working in more than one job in their final year of school. As 90% reported being full-time Year 12 students, this finding is significant. Just over one-third of those who were working in March (37% or n=17) indicated they were working in the same job as they were in Year 12. The definition of part-time work is also contested, given that almost one-third (32%) of those working part-time worked 35 or more hours per week, and a further 18% of those working part-time worked 50 or more hours per week. By October, more of those studying had taken up part-time work, and while some changed their study to part-time and nine respondents had changed their course enrolment, none had dropped out of study.
All 90 respondents to Survey 2 reported achieving their SACE in 2006. This shows that those Year 12 students with work commitments on top of the demands of their final year studies are successfully managing their time.
When participants were questioned about what they were doing in March 2007, none had returned to school, almost half (46%) reported studying full-time; (4%) were studying part-time - mostly at university with some at TAFE.
However, 50% of the cohort was not engaged in any formal post-school studies. In addition to the 27% who were working fulltime, a significant response - from 20 participants or 22% of the total cohort - was Deferred study/ having a gap year. A further 6 respondents said they Did not feel ready for more study at the moment, while three specifically stated that they were currently working in order to qualify for youth allowance and finance further study. Therefore 29 of the 45 respondents not studying were delaying study for a variety of reasons, while only 7 claimed that they were not interested in further study.
This phenomenon of delaying study or taking a gap year is an apparent and significant trend and warrants further investigation, for example research into the kinds of activities undertaken during gap years - eg work, travel, volunteering etc and the possible impacts on work and study patterns and academic success. Furthermore, the current policy on qualifying for youth allowance by achieving an independent income before starting higher education would actually seem to encourage the practice of taking a gap year.
Supporting VET providers in building capability for the future
Be at the cutting edge of vocational education and training research ...
This was a high-level research program driven by a consortium of expert Australian researchers. It won competitive funding from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) for a program of 9 extensive and interlinked research activities over 2 years. These activities provided the evidence on which to base decisions for the future of the VET workforce.
Visit the Consortium website for more information.