This article examines how accurate pessimistic accounts of the school-to-work transition are, given the substantial decline in unemployment since the 1991/93 recession. This examination is limited to young people who did not go to university, a group which is more likely to be experiencing problematic school-to-work transitions. The analyses use data from the first eight waves of data from the 1995 Year 9 cohort in the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) project. In the years after leaving school, an increasing majority are in full-time work and there is considerable movement into full-time work from part-time work and unemployment. Furthermore, each year full-time workers show increases in job status and earnings. Only a small minority of non-university bound youth have problematic school-to-work transitions. These analyses also suggest that the policy emphasis on increasing participation in vocational education is misplaced. Except for apprenticeships and then only among males, vocational education does not appear to promote full-time employment.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gary_marks/42/