1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004
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In May 2002, 2.6 million people aged 15-64 years had applied to enrol in a course of study (table 10.29). Of all applicants, 92% gained a place and were studying.
Between 1997 and 2002, the demand for education increased, as did the number of people being accepted into educational institutions. Although there was a rise in the number of enrolment applications across all age groups, the number of people unable to gain placement in courses was stable (graph 10.30).
While participation in education may occur at any age, many young people continue in full-time education immediately after completing compulsory schooling, either in post-compulsory schooling or within other forms of education such as VET. Some young people return to full-time study after a period of absence after completing compulsory schooling. At May 2002, 70% of 15-19 year olds were in full-time education (including 50% still at school). At age 20-24 years, 26% were undertaking full-time study (including less than 1% still at school) and 11% were participating in part-time tertiary study (table 10.31).
Many people aged 25 years and over return to study, to upgrade their skills or to gain new skills, and often in conjunction with employment. The education participation rate at May 2002 for people in this age group was higher for those in part-time study (5.3%) than for those in full-time study (1.9%).
Educational attendance and the labour force
Graph 10.32 indicates the labour force status of all students aged 15-64 years at May 2002. Some 61% of those studying Year 12 or below were not in the labour force, while 32% were employed. In contrast, 27% of other students were not in the labour force and 67% were employed. At May 2002, most people aged 15-19 years enrolled in a course of study leading to a qualification, were either not in the labour force at all (51%) or were employed part-time (35%). Some 40% of students aged 20-24 years were employed part-time, and another 29% were not in the labour force (table 10.33). Full-time employment was much higher among students aged 20-24 than among those aged 15-19 (25% compared to 7%). 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 were either in full-time education or training, or in full-time work, or in both part-time work and part-time education or training. This helps to identify those at risk of marginal participation or non-participation in the labour market. The full-time participation rate for people aged 15-19 years was 87% at May 2002, and 77% for 20-24 year olds (table 10.33).