Fewer young people going on to uni or getting a job

THE number of young Australians getting jobs or going to university actually fell in the three years to 2011 despite a national commitment to increase the rate.

And the gap in young Aussies' engagement in work or study has baffled the deputy chairman of the COAG reform council Greg Craven, leaving him to ask "Just what are they doing?".

More than three years ago, the state and territory governments and the Commonwealth committed to increasing the number of Australians in work or studying.

But a COAG Reform Council report, to be released on Wednesday, shows there's been no significant change for Australians aged 18 to 24 since 2008.

Prof Craven said the report revealed a real concern that those young Australians not taking up work or study opportunities "risk future social and economic exclusion".

"Studying, training or working once they finish school is vital for young people if they are going to participate in, and make a valuable contribution to, Australian society," Prof Craven said.

"Apart from that, the skill level of our workforce will continue to suffer if governments across Australia do not work out how to better engage young people in vocational education and training."

The report showed the number of 18-24 year olds fully engaged in employment, education or training fell significantly from more than 76% in 2008 to 72.5% in 201, partly due to a drop in full time employment.

The council was concerned that nationally, the rates of young people aged 20-24 finishing year 12 did not change, sitting about 84% between 2008 and 2011.

And despite a huge increase in university enrolments, there was no significant rise in the number of young people who have, or were, studying for a non-school qualification.



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