One of the core functions of Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) across Victoria is to aid young people in transitioning from secondary education to employment, training, or further education pathways. Transitional support is key to guiding young people to an independent, effective, and sustainable future for themselves. It also functions as a way to re-engage people who have become disengaged from education or employment.
Why do young people need transitional support?
The Mitchell Institute reports a staggering number of Australians have not attained their Year 12 certification or have become disengaged. Without transitional support or re-engagement programs these individuals are less likely to ever attain any other schooling qualification which may result in long term unemployment.
In addition to a large number of disengaged young people, the work force is subject to change over the next 10-15 years according to the Foundation of Young Australians (FYA). As a result, we need to support young people as they transition from secondary schooling and prepare them to engage effectively with their future educational or employment pathways.
Census and HILDA data
According to the Mitchell Institute’s longitudinal study of census data, one in eight (approximately 12.5%) Australians will not attain a Year 12 certificate or equivalent, and one in six people (approximately 16.6%) will be disengaged from full-time work, study, or training for most of their lives (p.18, Mitchell Institute).
Data from a longitudinal study of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) survey lends itself to the conclusion that “if you have not attained Year 12 or equivalent by age 25, you are unlikely to do so throughout your lifetime” (Lamb, 19).
Those who have attained a year 12 or equivalent are more likely to benefit from opportunities and social and economic factors, as indicated in the figure below from the Mitchell Institute.
Disengagement and Year 12 attainment are strongly linked to geographical location. Other risk factors are socio-economic status, family structure, and psychological variables. It is reasonable to assume that people who have not attained their Year 12 certificate may experience inverse or negative outcomes and impacts to those depicted in the graph above. They may not have skills sought by the labour market and thus are at a greater risk of long term unemployment. As an ongoing effect they may have a higher use of welfare support programs and payments, which costs the Australian tax payer considerably.
These figures are not to demonize early school leavers or disengaged young people, but rather to highlight how transitional support can be a crucial step to guiding young people into a successful future.
LLEN’s Transitional Support
LLENs across Victoria are dedicated to engaging young people through programs that guide or provide transitional support. LLENs do this through a variety of programs:
Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is a program for VET and VCAL students to connect with employers to acquire hands-on work experience in an industry relevant to their studies. Through this program, students may find full or part-time employment as a result of their work experience.
Another program that is available across several LLENs, including Bayside Glen Eira Kingston LLEN, Highlands LLEN, and Inner Northern LLEN, is Ticket to Work. Ticket to Work takes a partnership approach to improving the employment and education outcomes of young people with disability. Ticket to Work Network brings together a range of local partners who work together to provide students with career development, workplace preparation, work experience and School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs). Research shows that Australian young people with a disability are not successfully transitioning from school into further training or employment; a factor that is an indicator of long term, and often life-long, disadvantage.
Change in Work Force
Recent studies by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) report that the Australian workforce is set to change considerably for young people. FYA’s report identifies how to effectively prepare young people for this by addressing the skills young people will need in the future. FYA encourages young people to build a range of portable skills, that can be used across a range of jobs. They claim that when a young person trains for one job, they acquire skills for 13 other jobs, on average (The New Work Mindset, 11).
As automation comes to the forefront, young people will now need to focus more on communication and interpersonal skills, rather than technical skills (The New Work Smarts, 6). An ongoing problem is that young people, schools, or parents might not be aware of these changes in expectations, which is why transitional support offered by LLENs is so important.
LLENs enable young people to build these types of skills through social activities and events. These types of events help keep young people engaged with their schools, communities or work environments, which in turn may produce positive results like attaining Year 12; the long term benefits of which have been mentioned above.
Providing transitional support directly tackles issues of Year 12 attainment, re-engaging young people, and preparing them for challenges presented by the future of the work force.
As one in six Australians are disengaged from their learning or earning potential, it is becoming increasingly relevant to support young people to viable educational, training, or employment pathways so they can create a future that is best for them and in turn for Australia.
- Lamb, S. and Huo, S. Counting the costs of lost opportunity in Australian education. Mitchell Institute report No. 02/2017. Mitchell Institute, Melbourne.
- Foundation of Young Australians. The New Work Smarts. July 2017. Foundation of Young Australians, Sydney.
- Foundation of Young Australians. The New Work Mindset. November 2016. Foundation of Young Australians, Sydney.