Publication Date



Paper presented to the Annual Conference of the Australian VET Research Association (AVETRA), Canberra.


Longitudinal studies can provide insights on young people’s transition from education to work that other forms of data cannot. The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) program, which is managed jointly by ACER and the Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA), has now accumulated more than 20 years of data that follow successive cohorts of young Australians as they move through education and training and into the labour market. The data are added to every year. This paper explores the potential of LSAY data for research on VET, and also some of the challenges that VET poses for longitudinal analyses. Illustrations are provided from recent research on the backgrounds of young people participating in VET, and the links between VET and labour market outcomes. The LSAY data are publicly available for use by researchers, and the paper concludes by indicating how the database can be accessed.