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Learning and Earning for All: Why the Fuss? John Spierings DUSSELDORP SKILLS FORUM August 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Learning and Earning for All: Why the Fuss? John Spierings DUSSELDORP SKILLS FORUM August 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning and Earning for All: Why the Fuss? John Spierings DUSSELDORP SKILLS FORUM August 2007

2 Dusseldorp Skills Forum  Established 1988 by Lend Lease shareholders  Independent public interest enterprise  Operating foundation with policy, research & practice arms  Focus: youth, skills, participation, citizenship  Seeks: individual, community & policy change  Catalyst for significant legislative, policy & practice change in education and training

3 The challenge of youth transition  Social & cultural induction to adulthood & workforce  Successful transitions are taking longer  First 12 months post-school are central to successful transitions  Economic impacts on participation & productivity: returns from good transitions are very large  Potential offset to looming demographic squeeze  Demand for ‘knowledge workers’ outpacing others


5 Why the fuss NOW  Unprecedented economic conditions & growth  Strong domestic demand for skills  International competitiveness dependent on skills  Others powering ahead on skills & education  We have education & training building blocks  Imperative to really deliver  Demographic squeeze looming

6 We are not running out of young people Teenage population as a proportion of the workforce population,1986-2026

7 What young people are thinking  Newspoll survey of Australians aged 18-24 years  Substantial qualitative work by Saulwick & Muller  Optimistic, confident & fearless about the future  Positive about final year at school, work & study*  Engagement significantly affected by early school leaving, school type, parental background  Significant disaffection among casual workers  Some concerns about education costs * Significantly higher levels of dissatisfaction by respondents from a government school about their final year at school

8 Some policy contradictions  Australia’s excellence & equity gap  From mass schooling to universal provision  Attractions of the labour market  Poor resource allocation across sectors  Core standards alongside customised learning  Points of change in very large systems  Civic virtues of learning & instrumental outcomes

9 School leavers not fully engaged Slightly more than 26% of 2005 school-leavers were not in study or work full-time in May 2006.

10 Completing Year 12 matters 20% of Y12 leavers; 45% of Y11 leavers; 50% of Y10 leavers not fully engaged six months after leaving school: a major opportunity gap.

11 Growth in full-time jobs since 1995 1.270 million full-time jobs created for 25-64 year olds since 1995; static full-time job growth for teenagers & decline of 42,000 for young adults.

12 Core attainment issues  School or Cert III completion rate of 81 percent  Relatively static completions for more than a decade  Indigenous completion at half this rate  20th in OECD for school completion  46% of school leavers not in post-school study  47% overall traineeship completion rate  60% traditional apprenticeship completion rate

13 Estimated Year 12 completion

14 Core engagement issues  Noticeable improvement in recent years  13.8% of teenagers not fully engaged  22% of young adults not fully engaged  27% of SA young adults not fully engaged  526,000 or 18% of 15-24 yo not fully engaged  306,000 or 11% of 15-24 yo unemployed, underemployed or marginally attached to work  1:3 Year 11 leavers & 2:5 Year 10 leavers not fully engaged as young adults

15 The policy challenge Subject to their ability, every young Australian will:  Attain Year 12 or an AQF III qualification  Be engaged in full-time work or learning or a combination of these  Be provided with the resources, relationships & integrated pathways to achieve these outcomes  Independent evaluation, research & good practice approach reporting to parliament

16 What works …  Relationships: mentoring & case management for transition  Organic stakeholder partnerships & shared responsibility  Leadership by school principals  Tracking post-school pathways: role of data  Clear exit procedures  Quality career advice & guidance  Local knowledge about pathways  Successful transition from primary school  Student-centred ‘middle years’  Making the economic case

17 Crunch Time proposals  Establish Certificate III as a major benchmark  Encourage demand-side intermediaries  Develop cross-sectoral settings alongside schools  Provide a guaranteed second chance for young adults  Review the purpose of traineeships  Consider segmenting traineeships as skill pathfinders & transitional labour market platforms  Incremental change rather than sweeping reform  Emphasis on evaluation, good practice & accountability

18 Final comments  Young Australians are confident & fearless  Early school leaving, school type & parental background can significantly affect engagement  Gaps around policy rhetoric & current resources  Significant opportunity to address Australia’s 3Ps  A robust national debate is crucial  It’s up to us: the investment & policy decisions we make will determine if youth confidence is justified

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