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Patterns of success and failure in the transition from school to work in Australia in the 1980s-1990s were examined by analyzing data from the Australian Youth Survey. Of those studied, 20% found full-time jobs upon leaving school and remained in full-time employment for the next 7 years, 13% obtained apprenticeships or traineeships leading to continuous full-time work, a similar percentage undertook further study and later gained full-time employment, and about 24% experienced only a short period of unemployment or part-time work before entering lasting full-time employment. However, 7% of school leavers experienced long-term unemployment, 5% experienced mainly part-time work while searching for a full-time job, and 13% managed to eventually achieve full-time employment but only after up to 4 years of unemployment, part-time work, or activities outside the labor force. The following factors were associated with disproportionately high rates of more difficult school-to-work transitions: low achievement while in school; failure to complete year 12; socioeconomic background; and disabilities. The study underscored the importance of preventive measures within the education system and intensive follow-up measures for school leavers experiencing problems in the labor market. Those measures will be helped by keeping the numbers of school leavers low by improving young people's literacy and numeracy skills and offering a range of pathways suited to differing interests and needs at the end of compulsory education so that more stay in education and training. An overview of the study data and methods and 14 additional tables/figures are appended. (Contains 33 tables and 14 references.)(MN)

Descriptors: Apprenticeships, Definitions, Education Work Relationship, Educational Attainment, Educational Policy, Educational Trends, Employment Patterns, Enrollment Influences, Enrollment Trends, Foreign Countries, Individual Characteristics, Influences, Labor Force Nonparticipants, Literature Reviews, Longitudinal Studies, National Surveys, Outcomes of Education, Part Time Employment, Performance Factors, Policy Formation, Postsecondary Education, Public Policy, Salary Wage Differentials, Secondary Education, Sex Differences, Success, Trend Analysis, Unemployment, Vocational Education, Youth, Youth Employment

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Autor: Lamb, Stephen; McKenzie, Phillip


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