Lower-level qualifications as a stepping stone for young people

National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Publication Type:
2012, pp. 1 - 40
Issue Date:
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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.
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