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PARTICIPATION IN EDUCATION
In the period 2000-05 the demand for enrolment in education increased. Over the period, the number of people accepted into educational institutions also increased. Applications from persons aged 20-24 years increased by 85,600 (or 17%) (graph 10.24). The number of persons studying aged 20-24 years increased by 90,500 (20%), and students aged 25-64 years increased by 70,400 (9%). Those who applied but were not offered a place declined in all three age groups, down 3,000 (or 27%), 3,800 (24%) and 9,800 (17%) for persons aged 15-19, 20-24, and 25-64 years respectively. There was little change in the proportion of applicants who reported being unable to gain a place.
Many young people continue in full-time education immediately after completing compulsory schooling, either in post-compulsory schooling or in other forms of education, such as VET. In May 2005, 69% of 15-19 year olds were in full-time education (including 50% still at school). Some young people return to full-time study following a period of absence after completing compulsory schooling. In the 20-24 years age cohort, excluding persons still at school, 26% were undertaking full-time tertiary study and 13% were undertaking part-time tertiary study (table 10.25).
Many people aged 25 years and over return to study, to upgrade their skills or to gain new skills, often while employed. Some 6% of all persons aged 25-64 years in May 2005, were studying part time, and 2% full time.
Between 2000 and 2005 the enrolment patterns of tertiary students aged 20-24 years changed, with full-time study increasing by 28%. The number of full-time students in this age group increased by 80,500 compared with an increase in part-time student numbers of 14,400 (9%). The number of both full-time and part-time students aged 25-64 years increased during the five-year period (31,900 and 50,700 respectively, an 11% overall increase). Decreases under 1% were recorded for full-time and part-time students aged 15-19 years (graph 10.26).
EDUCATION AND WORK
Graph 10.27 shows the labour force status of all students aged 15-64 years in May 2005. Labour force participation was lowest among those in Year 12 or below, where 57% were not in the labour force. Of students who were in the labour force, 38% were enrolled for a bachelor degree or above.
Among young people enrolled to study in May 2005, full-time employment was much higher among those aged 20-24 years than those aged 15-19 (27% compared with 8%). In both age groups, students who undertook part-time study were more frequently employed full-time than part-time.
The 'full-time participation rate' describes the proportion of the population who are fully engaged in education or work or a combination of both. This includes: full-time education; full-time work; or both part-time education and part-time work. The full-time participation rate can be useful to determine the proportion of young people not fully engaged in education and/or work, and who might be at risk of future marginal participation in the labour market.
In May 2005, 191,000 (or 14%) of young people aged 15-19 years and 305,400 (or 22%) of 20-24 year olds were not full-time participants. Some 49,000 (4%) of 15-19 year olds and 102,000 (7%) of 20-24 year olds were neither enrolled to study nor in the labour force (table 10.28).