Transition and Post-School Education and Training

Career Moves : Expectations and Destinations of New South Wales Senior Secondary Students

Publication Date



ISBN: 9781921084867

This report was prepared by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for the NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training (BVET).


The purpose of the project is to examine senior New South Wales students’ expected educational and occupational pathways. It specifically analysed the post-school destinations of both Year 12 completers and early school leavers (or school non-completers) in the first year after leaving school and the educational and occupational expectations of students still at school. The expectations of university and vocational post-school study or training among students at school are compared to the expectations of their parents and teachers. Students’ expectations are also compared to the actual participation at university and VET of the generally older cohort of school leavers. Students’ Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores are analysed among students who gained an ATAR score. The report also documents students’ expected occupations at age 30. Other aspects of the school-to-work transition analysed in this report include: influences on course selection, early school leaving, plans for further study, course level and field of study among those in post-school study or training, employment, unemployment and the main activities of young people not in full-time work education or work. The report documents many aspects of the school-to-work transition by gender, region, school sector and socioeconomic background. The report is based on data obtained from a representative survey conducted in late 2010 of approximately 6,100 NSW students who were in Years 10, 11 and 12 in 2009. The data also include information from parents (from one in three families) and teachers and principals at the sampled schools.