Does school-based Vocational Education and Training payoff in the long-run?

Melbourne Institute Research Insight No. 03/19

Date: October 2019


Julie Moschion
Cain Polidano
Marco Castillo


Since the global financial crisis, youth (15-24 years) unemployment rates have remained stubbornly above 10% in Australia (currently 12%)—or more than double the rate for the entire population. The transition to work can be especially troublesome for young people who are not suited to higher education. Around a quarter of Australian students participate in school-based Vocational Education and Training (VET), providing them with alternative opportunities to gather job specific information and skills to help them find suitable post-secondary career pathways. This Research Insight builds on the report ‘Vocational pathways and post-school transitions from VET delivered to school students’(, produced for the Department of Education and Training that evaluates the educational and labour market outcomes of participation in school-based VET up to seven years after students leave secondary school, using data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY). Distinct from other studies that focus on the initial labour market outcomes of school-based VET programs in Australia, this Research Insight reveals the longer-term impacts of VET and recommends next steps to further improve the outcomes of upper-secondary VET programs.

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