How foundation skills programs contribute to learners’ employment and further study outcomes, and the relationship between learner’s characteristics and outcomes

Commenced
July 2023
Estimated publish date
June 2025
Principal researcher(s)
Angus Hughes, NCVER
Michelle Circelli, NCVER
Zhihui Zhang, NCVER
Research sponsor(s)
New South Wales Department of Education; The Victorian Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions; The Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development
Contact
Michelle Circelli, Team Leader, Research & Data Analytics MichelleCircelli@ncver.edu.au +61 8 8230 8646
Project code
57089

Project purpose

The aim of this project is to undertake a comprehensive examination of Total VET Activity data and Student Outcomes data for those whose first enrolment is in a foundation skills program to:

  • illuminate systemic patterns in learner and course characteristics, specifically those that signal a likelihood of disengaging with VET before completing a program.
  • investigate the relationship between undertaking a foundation skills program and employment and further study outcomes.

Research questions

The questions guiding this project are:

  • Of learners whose first enrolment is in a nationally recognised foundation skills program, in comparison to other VET programs, how do foundation skills programs contribute to learners’ employment and further study outcomes?
    • What is the relationship between undertaking a foundation skills program and employment and further study outcomes?
      Here outcomes could include by not be limited to:
      • Completed the program
      • Enrolled in further study
      • Achieved main study reason
      • Employed or improved employment status
      • Got job-related benefits
  • What are the relationships between learner characteristics and outcomes?
    • What are the relationships between intention/reason for study and completion/other outcomes?
    • Which personal/training characteristics are associated with the completion of foundation skills program learners?
    • Which characteristics are associated with the further study/employment outcomes of foundation skills program learners?

Methodology

To address the research questions and project aim, the methodology will involve quantitative data analysis (including, but not limited to, descriptive analysis, propensity score matching, logistic regression) to understand how foundation skills programs contribute to learners’ employment and further study outcomes, and the relationship between learner’s characteristics and outcomes.