This report compares the outcomes for young people who complete certificate I or certificate II qualifications with the outcomes for similar individuals who are not participating in post-school education and training, using data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth. After two years, males who have completed lower-level qualifications are more likely to be undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship and females who have completed a lower-level qualification are more likely to be employed. At age 26, the differences for males are still apparent but have disappeared for females.
About the research
Lower-level qualifications (certificate I and II programs) provide little or no immediate return to the individual in terms of increased wages. However, lower-level qualifications are intended to prepare students who would otherwise not be capable of enrolling in and completing a higher-level qualification or making a successful transition into the workplace, because of their ability, social circumstances, or previous educational experiences. The aim of this report is to test whether lowerlevel qualifications serve a broader purpose by functioning as a 'stepping stone' to further study or into the labour market.
The critical part of the methodology is the selection of the comparison group. Using data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY), the research matches certificate I and II graduates to other young people who share similar characteristics but who have neither completed nor are undertaking study or training at a higher level. The report compares their further study, training, employment and overall wellbeing outcomes two years after graduation and at age 26. The findings do not relate to certificate I or II qualifications completed as part of an apprenticeship or traineeship.
- Two years after completing a certificate I or II qualification, young males are more likely to have undertaken an apprenticeship or traineeship, when compared with other individuals with similar background characteristics.
- After two years, young female certificate I and II graduates are more likely to be employed and to have undertaken an apprenticeship or traineeship when compared with other similar females.
- At age 26, the benefits of completing a certificate I or II qualification are still apparent for males but at the same age, females in the control group have caught up to their counterparts who are certificate I and II graduates.
The benefits of completing a certificate I or II qualification are strongest amongst the most
disadvantaged learners within the pool of certificate I and II graduates.
Managing Director, NCVER