NEA 9: ENGAGEMENT,15-19 years
This performance measure is associated with the smallest underlying population of all the indicators examined in this report as it looks at only those young people aged 15-19 years who have left school. The main indicator measures full engagement in employment or education, that is the total who are either in full-time employment, full-time education/training or a mix of part-time employment combined with part-time education/training. These sub-components are also of interest as are engagement by highest year of school completed and socioeconomic status.
In contrast to the slow moving and steadily increasing attainment measure NEA 7 (Year 12/Certificate II, 20-24 years), NEA 9 can be subject to relatively large fluctuations as a result of the economic cycle. In the time horizon of this study, change in the level of full-time employment associated with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) appeared to be more critical in determining whether or not change was detectable in this indicator than was data pooling. Indeed, potential limitations of data pooling over successive survey cycles to measure engagement are that it could obscure the time at which change actually occurred or even smooth out change.
Nevertheless, were data pooling to double the sample possible over a shorter time frame of say one year, this would lead to some improvement in the accuracy of point in time estimates. Change at the scale of that observed during the GFC could also be detected at the national level and in the larger states.
NATIONAL AND STATE/TERRITORY DATA
At the national level, based on standard single-year estimates, the proportion of young people, 15-19 years participating in post school employment, education or training (NEA 9) was 73.7% in 2007 and 69.8% in 2010 (Datacube Table 1a).
The denominator population for NEA 9 is relatively small as it only includes people aged 15-19 years who have left school. The consequence is that RSEs are higher than for the other measures. At the national level for the total fully engaged population, RSEs in 2010 ranged from 2.1% for single-year data to 1.4% for two-year pooled data and 1.0% for four-year pooled data (Table E below).
Based on standard single-year estimates, the proportion of young people aged 15-19 years who had left school and were fully engaged declined from 74.3% in 2008 to 68.4% in 2009, with a similar level of 69.8% observed in 2010 (Datacube Table 1a). The change over one year, 2008 to 2009 tested as statistically significant but change from 2009 to 2010 did not. Change over the two year period 2008 to 2010 was significant using both single-year and two-year pooled data (Datacube Table 1c).
Compared with NEA 7 (Year 12/Certificate II attainment, 20-24 years) and NASWD 2 (low qualifications, 20-64 years), which measure the accumulation of qualifications, NEA 9 (engagement, 15-19 years) and NEA 10 (engagement, 18-24 years) are more volatile measures as they measure an individual’s current circumstances and hence reflect current economic conditions. In particular, NEA 9 (and NEA 10) appear to have been affected by the 2009 GFC.
The impact of the GFC is particularly clear when the fully engaged category is disaggregated into its two main constituent parts, young people in full-time employment and young people in full-time education/training. Based on single-year data, full-time employment declined from 36.2% in 2008 to 29.7% in 2009 and 28.7% in 2010. In contrast the proportion in full-time education was more stable, at 36.9% in 2008, 37.6% in 2009 and 39.4% in 2010 (Datacube Table 1a). For full-time employment, the changes over the one year 2008 to 2009 and two years 2008 to 2010 test as statistically significant (using either single-year or pooled data) whereas corresponding changes in full-time education/training do not (Datacube Table 1c).
At the state/territory level, data pooling resulted in lower RSEs, with the big gains occurring for four-year pooling where RSEs were reduced by about half (Table E below). Nevertheless, RSEs for Tasmania (5.5%) and the NT (6.2%) remained relatively high. Between 2008 and 2009, change in single year data was detected in two states: Victoria and Queensland, but in none between 2009 and 2010. Over the two-year period 2008 to 2010, statistically significant falls were observed in three states: Victoria, Queensland and South Australia based on single-year data but only two, Victoria and Queensland based on pooled data (Datacube Tables 3c 4c 5c).
TABLE E. DIFFERENCE IN ESTIMATES FOR 2010, change through data pooling (NEA 9)
RSE of %
RSE of %
RSE of %
HIGHEST YEAR OF SCHOOL COMPLETED
At the national level in 2010, for people aged 15-19 years who had completed Year 12 the RSE was 2.1% for full engagement overall, 3.2% for full-time education/training and 4.7% for full-time employment. For those who had completed schooling prior to Year 12, RSEs for full engagement were over 5% and full-time employment between about 6% and 9%. Reflecting the relatively small size of the group, RSEs for full-time education/training among 15-19 year olds who had left school prior to completing Year 12 were substantially higher at about 15% to 19% (Datacube Table 1a).
The pattern of statistically significant falls in full engagement and full-time employment between 2008 and 2009 and between 2008 and 2010 among all 15-19 year olds who had left school was also observed for the sub-groups whose highest year of school completed was Year 12 or Year 10. Over the two-year period 2008 to 2010 these changes were generally detected in both single-year and pooled data. In contrast, people whose highest year of schooling was Year 11 were not associated with significant change, but the number of people in this group was small (Datacube Tables 1a,1c).
At the national level, young people in the lowest quintile (most disadvantaged) had low levels of full engagement (57.0%) compared with those in the highest quintile (least disadvantaged) (76.9%)[1
. As a consequence RSEs were highest for the lower quintiles and lowest for the higher quintiles (Datacube Table 1a). Testing over 2008 to 2009 and 2008 to 2010, using both single year and pooled data, did not lead to any clear conclusions about change in engagement among 15-19 year olds by socioeconomic status (Datacube Table 1c).
 SEIFA Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage. For further information on this and other SEIFA Indexes, see Information Paper: An Introduction to Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2006
(cat. no. 2039.0) (back to text