6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2019 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/2019   
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Current study

Key statistics

  • Three in five (59%) of the 3.2 million working age Australians who were studying in 2019 were also employed.
  • Overall, 12% of men and 16% of women in this age group were studying for a non-school qualification.
  • Close to two-thirds (63%) of young Australians (aged 15-24 years) were currently studying.

Enrolled in study (people aged 15-64 years)
  • Around 18% of men and 21% of women aged 15-64 years were enrolled in study in 2019.
  • One in five apprentices or trainees were women (21%), compared with 58% of people studying for a bachelor degree or above.
  • Around 1.4 million people were studying at higher education institutions and over half a million (517,800) were studying at technical and further education (TAFE) institutions.
  • Close to two-thirds of these students (68%) were studying full-time.
  • See Tables 1, 2, 5, 8, 19 and 21 in the downloads tab for more detail.


Graph 6: Proportion of persons currently enrolled in study, by sex and age, 2019
Persons aged 15-64, currently enrolled in study by sex and age 2019.

School study (people aged 15-19 years)
  • 868,000 people aged 15 to 19 years were enrolled in school study in 2019, ranging from 99% of 15 year olds to 11% of 18-19 year olds. Around two-thirds of these students went to a government school (59%).


Graph 7: Proportion of 15-19 year olds enrolled in school study, by type of school and sex, 2019
Persons 15 to 19 years, currently enrolled in formal study, by sex and type of school: government, catholic and independent, 2019.


  • 163,700 students were doing vocational education and training (VET) as part of their school studies (54% male and 46% female), with 52,000 of these doing school-based apprenticeships or traineeships.
  • See Table 7 in the downloads tab for more detail.

Non-school study (people aged 15-64 years)
  • Two in five people aged 15-64 years who were studying for a non-school qualification were doing bachelor degrees (39%), while 19% were doing post-graduate studies (including graduate diplomas and certificates), and 22% were studying for a certificate III or IV.
  • The most popular two fields of non-school study were management and commerce, and society and culture (both 21%), followed by health (15%) (see Table 6 in the downloads tab for more detail).
  • Of the 459,500 people who were studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields in 2019, three-quarters were men (74%). A further 474,800 people were studying the STEM-related fields of architecture and building, and health. While architecture and building students reflected the gender split of students in STEM fields (74% men, 26% women), this was reversed for health students where 71% were women.


Graph 8: Proportion of 15-64 year olds currently studying a non-school qualification in a STEM or STEM-related field (a), by sex, 2019
Persons aged 15-64, currenlty studyig a non-school qualification in STEM or STEM related field by sex, 2019
(a) Refer to the glossary for more detail on STEM and STEM-related fields.

Younger students (aged 15-24 years)
  • There were just over 2 million young Australians (aged 15-24 years) enrolled in study in 2019 (including school study) (see Table 21 in the downloads tab for more detail).
  • Just over 1.1 million were studying for a certificate III or above (see Table 22 for more detail).
  • More young women were studying at higher education institutions (46% compared with 37% of young men), while more young men were studying at TAFE institutions (15% compared with 9% of young women).

School leavers (aged 15-20 years)
  • There were 298,700 people aged 15 to 20 years who were enrolled in secondary school in 2018 but were not enrolled in May 2019.
  • Four in five of these school leavers (81%) had completed year 12 or equivalent, and 59% were currently enrolled in further study.
  • Of the school leavers who were not studying, 37% were unemployed, 35% were employed part-time and 24% were employed full-time.
  • See Table 17 in the downloads tab for more detail.

Apprentices and trainees (aged 15-64 years)
  • In May 2019, there were 216,200 people aged 15 to 64 years who were employed as apprentices or trainees, up from 196,100 in 2018. The majority were male (79%).
  • 104,800 people had commenced their apprenticeship or traineeship in the last 12 months.
  • Most apprentices and trainees were born in Australia (89%), and nearly two-thirds (59%) were located in capital cities.
  • See Table 19 in the downloads tab for more detail.