A report published by the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) has found that the transition school to work and adulthood is growing increasingly complex and prolonged as post-Year 12 education becomes the norm.


However, the report concludes that however increasingly complex, indicators of a successful transition to adulthood, including becoming an adult worker, spouse or partner and household manager, remain the same.


“We know that there is a range of underlying issues associated with the wellbeing of young people that may affect a successful path to adulthood. These include disability and health problems, alcohol and substance abuse, accidents and crime,” the report reads.


The report outlines three main transitional indicators that education plays a significant role in:


  • At the age of 15: just before entering the senior secondary years young people need to be engaged in education and have the literacy and numeracy skills to successfully complete senior secondary or initial vocational qualifications; they need to have sound knowledge of the career options and education and training pathways open to them.
  • At the age of 19: young people should have attained (or be in the process of attaining) an initial qualification that enables them to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.
  • By the age of 24: young people should be establishing strong career paths and have attained higher-level vocational education and training (VET) or higher education qualifications; those who did not complete an initial qualification at the age of 19 should have re-engaged with education and training.


The full report can be downloaded from the LSAY website here