With a number of continuing restrictions imposed on the travels, non-essential services free child care for working parents and implementation of the social distancing rules, the childcare, education and training sectors are likely to be affected.
According to the report, the total Australian, State and Territory government recurrent expenditure on CCET services was $82.3 billion. This counts for 29.8% of the total government expenditure on services covered in the report. “School education was the largest contributor ($65.6 billion, table 4A.10), followed by ECEC ($10.5 billion, table 3A.4) and VET ($6.2 billion, table 5A.1),” the report reads. However, the expenditure data for higher education has not been collected in this report.
While formal education starts at preschool and continues till post-school education, child care provides services to children aged 0–12 years, and in out-of-school care during the primary school years. The report states that formal learning doesn’t always move forward in a linear manner as there are many learning pathways an individual might take over their lifetime.
The study found that the successful transition from compulsory schooling to education, training and employment is particularly important, with a positive relationship between completion of year 12 and subsequent engagement. Nationally, according to the study, 69.3% of the 17-24-year-old school leaving students participated in education, training and/or employment. This is below the four previous years (74.0-75.5%); likely due in part to the impacts from COVID-19.
Qualifications are the indicators for the skills possessed by an individual as it understates the skill base because it does not capture skills acquired through partially completed courses, courses not leading to a formal qualification, and informal learning.
According to the findings, in 2020, nationally 63.7% of the 20-64-year-olds had the qualification certificates. Qualification rates at Certificate level III or above are highest for 35–39-year-olds and have been increasing over time. The proportion is lower across the remaining working-age population age groups.