Each year NCVER releases the results of its annual Student Outcomes Survey. It reports on those students who undertook government-subsidised training as well as those who undertook training on a fee-for-service basis.

This publication reports on those completing in 2017.

About the survey

The survey covers nearly 207,000 students. Of these, nearly 144,000 were graduates, and about 63,000 subject completers. The survey covers those studying VET at universities, TAFEs, and both private and community education providers. It does not cover international students, VET-in-Schools students, those under 18 years of age and those who undertook recreational, leisure or personal enrichment (short) courses. If readers are interested in some of these groups, VDC News looked at outcomes for international students last year. Outcomes for schools was examined by Misko and her colleagues.

In addition to the main publication, there are a number of other useful products, including infographics for both graduates and subject completers as well as a data slicer and a time series of key findings starting at 2009.

The main reasons for training

Most graduates (85%) and subject completers (89%) in 2018 train for employment-related reasons, while 11.4% of graduates do so for personal ones or further study reasons (3.4%).

Around 34% of subject completers did not continue the training because they got what was wanted from the training, while just over 18% and 17% respectively ceased because of personal reasons or due to a change in job situation.

The outcomes

In 2018 59% of graduates improved their employment status after training. In all 32.3% of graduates were not employed before training, but after training 48.4% of these were employed. For subject completers, nearly 46% of subject completers improved their employment status following training. Nearly 19% of subject completers were not employed before training and, of these, around 48% were employed after training.

When looking at provider type it seems that private providers generally deliver better employment outcomes overall, but especially for those not employed before training.

For apprentices and trainees, nearly 80% were employed post-training. Results were especially strong for those undertaking trades, where the figure is around 91%.

The satisfaction levels

This year’s data saw around 87% of graduates satisfied with the overall quality of training. The figures were slightly higher for subject completers, with around 90% satisfied.

In terms of recommending their training or training provider, figures were generally around the 90% or slightly higher. That’s pretty good! In terms of graduates, community education providers were ranked highest in terms of both satisfaction with the training and the provider, but not by much. The same was generally true for subject completers, but – comparatively – private providers were up there too.

Of course, with all of this, the real devil is in the detail. Readers might find using the data slicer really useful to dig a little deeper. This gives data on states, provider types, qualification levels and fields of education. All of these factors are really important in understanding what the overall student outcomes data mean.