The Re-engagement in Education of Early School Leavers

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 13/11

Date: June 2011


David Black
Cain Polidano
Yi-Ping Tseng


By OECD standards, the share of the Australian labour force with at least a secondary school qualification is low. One way to rectify this shortfall is to improve rates of re-engagement in education among early school leavers. This paper examines the patterns of re-engagement among early school leavers in the HILDA sample. A key finding is that the early years after leaving school are crucially important, with rates of re-engagement dropping dramatically in the first three years out from school. For those who enter the labour market after school, results suggest that finding work, especially satisfying work, is an important driver for returning to study.

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