Daily Bulletin


Daily Bulletin

News

  • Written by Somayeh Parvazian, Survey Methodologist, National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) unpack the lives of young Australians as they leave school, enter further study or the workforce and make the transition into adulthood.

The latest findings are now available for the group of young people who completed their first questionnaire back in 2009 at age 15. This group’s 11th and final survey shows young people are completing university at higher rates than ever before, while participation in apprenticeships and traineeships is taking a dive.

Read more: Most young people who do VET after school are in full-time work by the age of 25

The information collected from these groups of students, or “cohorts”, is used to better understand what helps or hinders this transition. This includes things like the effect of schools on year 12 completion, whether government benefits like Youth Allowance help students complete their studies, and the factors that help a young person find full-time work sooner.

Each cohort starts with about 14,000 students in the first survey, or “wave”. From the age of 15 to 25, they complete a 20-minute survey once a year to share what’s been happening in their lives. LSAY asks about their experiences at school, their post-school study and work, as well as their health and home life.

Six cohorts have taken part so far. The recent release of findings from the fifth cohort’s final survey is a milestone, with LSAY data now available across three decades. This means we can study generational changes in transition patterns.

To capture the many changing events or factors that affect young peoples’ transition, the survey has added questions about caring responsibilities, volunteering activities, participation in the gig economy, their personality traits and whether they have access to social support.

Deliveroo rider on bike Over the years, LSAY has added questions to take account of developments like the gig economy. Vickie Flores/EPA/AAP

Read more: Students' own low expectations can reinforce their disadvantage

Data dating back to the ’70s

LSAY is one of Australia’s biggest and longest-running panel surveys. More than 60,000 young people have been surveyed since 1995. It’s recognised as one of eight core longitudinal data assets in Australia.

The surveys grew out of the Youth in Transition (YIT) studies in the 1970s. The decade’s oil price shocks caused unemployment to soar, with young people hit the hardest. This created a need to better understand their school-to-work transition in the face of global technological and economic change.

Then came the Australian Longitudinal Surveys (ALS) and Australian Youth Surveys (AYS) in the 1980s. One of the more prominent pieces of research using these data found the aptitude of new teachers fell substantially as teacher pay declined compared to other salaries.

These three longitudinal studies were combined to create the LSAY program.

Read more: If you have a low ATAR, you could earn more doing a VET course than a uni degree – if you're a man

Researchers mine LSAY for insights

More than 300 published research papers have used LSAY data. The report 25 years of LSAY: Research from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth showcases some of the highlights.

McDonald's worker hands over order at a drive-through counter. LSAY shows working a few hours a week while at school helps get a full-time job later. Shutterstock

LSAY research has shown working just a few hours a week while at school improves prospects of getting a full-time job. But working long hours has a slightly negative effect on school completion. The research also found females are better at balancing school and work than their male peers.

Research has also shown that students participating in school-based vocational education and training (VET) had higher rates of school completion, full-time employment and incomes in their first year after school than non-VET students with similar characteristics. Ex-VET students were also more likely to be in a job they liked as a career. These benefits were associated with school-based VET programs with a workplace learning component.

The Productivity Commission used LSAY data to investigate the demand-driven university system. Many disadvantaged students successfully attended university as a result of the expansion of the system. However, those with lower literacy and numeracy were more likely to drop out. The study recognised schools and universities need to do more to prepare and support students, and that university might not always be the best option.

Read more: More students are going to university than before, but those at risk of dropping out need more help

LSAY has been an important source of evidence for policy. National reviews and inquiries informed by LSAY data include the COAG Reform Council’s reporting on youth transitions (2009), the Bradley Review of Higher Education (2008) and the House of Representatives inquiry into combining school and work (2008-2009).

The recent Education Council Review of Senior Secondary Pathways, released in July, draws heavily on LSAY to establish how students can choose the best pathway for their transition from school.

LSAY has a high degree of comparability with international youth surveys. These include the Transition from Education to Employment (TREE) study in Switzerland, the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) in Canada, the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) in the United States, and Next Steps in the UK.

Most of these have a starting sample of about 9,000 individuals. Next Steps has 16,000. LSAY’s starting sample of 14,000 young Australians makes it one of the largest surveys of its kind in the world.

Tracking lives through the GFC and COVID-19

These datasets enable us to transform a snapshot of a person’s life into a moving picture. Compared with cross-sectional studies, these longitudinal datasets provide a much clearer picture by accounting for personalities, life events and pathways.

Four fingers representing people with different personalities The longitudinal dataset helps account for different personalities. Shutterstock

Combining a longitudinal study with cohort studies sheds more light on this picture by controlling for inter-generational differences, or crises such as wars, financial downturns or natural disasters.

For example, using data from four LSAY cohorts, one study found the well-being of those whose transitions occurred during the global financial crisis (GFC) was much worse on several measures, including standard of living, home life, career prospects, social life and independence.

The extraordinary challenges Australian youth face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will be documented when the sixth LSAY cohort, now aged 20, complete their sixth survey in 2020 and further surveys in the years thereafter.

By providing a valuable resource to explore the longer-term effects of this crisis, LSAY continues to stand the test of time.

Authors: Somayeh Parvazian, Survey Methodologist, National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

Read more https://theconversation.com/a-3-decade-moving-picture-of-young-australians-study-work-and-life-thanks-to-lsay-141134

Writers Wanted

Phytonutrients can boost your health. Here are 4 and where to find them (including in your next cup of coffee)

arrow_forward

Healthcare, minerals, energy, food: how adopting new tech could drive Australia's economic recovery

arrow_forward

Review: new biography shows Vida Goldstein's political campaigns were courageous, her losses prophetic

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

How To Remove Rubbish More Effectively

It can be a big task to remove household rubbish. The hardest part is finding the best way to get rid of your junk. It can be very overwhelming to know exactly where to start with so many option...

News Company - avatar News Company

4 Tips To Pass Skills Certifications Tests

Developing the right set of skills is valuable not only to your career, but for life in general. You can get certified in these skills through obtaining a license. Without a certified license, y...

News Company - avatar News Company

How to Secure Home-Based Entrepreneurs from Cyber Threats

Small businesses are becoming a trend nowadays. The people with entrepreneurial skills and minds are adopting home-based businesses because of their advantage and ease of working from home. But...

News Company - avatar News Company



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion