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ERIC Number: ED508931
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 41
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9214-1377-3
ISSN: ISSN-1837-0659
The Incidence and Wage Effects of Overskilling among Employed VET Graduates. NCVER Monograph Series 03/2009
Mavromaras, Kostas; McGuinness, Seamus; Fok, Yin King
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
This research investigates the incidence and wage effects of overskilling for vocational education and training (VET) graduates in Australia between 2001 and 2006. Overskilling is defined as the extent to which workers are able to use their skills and abilities in their current job. The authors compare overskilling with other measures of skill mismatch and skill underutilisation in the workplace and explain why overskilling is their chosen mismatch measure. The research focuses on the impact of four different levels of highest educational attainment: formal school qualification with Year 12; formal school qualification less than Year 12; formal post-school qualification (VET); and formal post-school qualification with diploma/degree. The research finds that many Australian workers report that they are overskilled in their workplace (30% moderately, and 15% severely overskilled). Almost counterintuitively, those with the lowest formal qualifications report the highest incidence of underutilisation. Overskilling is found to be self-perpetuating, but only for university graduates and school graduates. VET graduates show no overskilling state dependence, a result that suggests that a mismatched VET graduate can get out of their mismatched job and into a well-matched job more easily than their school or their university counterpart. The research offers two main conclusions: first, post-school qualifications generate benefits that may go beyond the increased lifetime financial returns often referred to in the literature; and, second, different types of post-school education confer different benefits, in terms of employment possibilities and patterns, with VET being a safer but less well-remunerated education pathway. Appendices include: (1) Descriptive statistics; and (2) Estimation results. (Contains 12 tables and 20 footnotes.)
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia