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ERIC Number: ED514145
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9218-0933-0
The Role of VET in Preventing the Scarring Effect of Youth Joblessness. A National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program Report
Buddelmeyer, Hielke; Herault, Nicolas
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Up until the global financial crisis in late 2008, youth unemployment in Australia had been at its lowest recorded level since the 1970s. However, at just over 8%, this was still twice the rate for all people. Following the downturn, unemployment rates for those aged 15-24 years have increased to around 10%, a figure still twice that for all people. Young people are more vulnerable to potential unemployment as they are new entrants to the labour market. Unemployment becomes particularly problematic if it increases the chance that the individual is more likely to be subsequently unemployed. Using data from the 1995 and 1998 cohorts of the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY), this report examines the extent to which a previous period of unemployment determines current unemployment. If unemployment can be attributed to an earlier spell of unemployment, the authors describe that earlier event as having a "scarring effect". The period of investigation is 2001-06. The two cohorts are used to investigate if and how scarring differs between cohorts facing different labour market conditions. Given that having no or low skills and qualifications can contribute to unemployment, the authors also examined the extent to which post-school educational qualifications can mitigate the adverse impacts of the scarring effect of a period of unemployment. Findings of this study reveal: (1) Scarring effects, in terms of prior unemployment playing a role in subsequent unemployment, do exist. However, they diminish as time since being unemployed passes, and no scarring occurs after a year in employment; (2) In general, having a post-school qualification, at any level, will lessen the scarring effect of unemployment. For the older cohort, but not the younger cohort, completion of a recognised post-school VET (vocational education and training) qualification does appear to offer protection against scarring; (3) Scarring effects are more pronounced in females than in males and for the younger (1998) cohort. A stronger tendency for women to have a series of jobs of shorter duration, and, for the younger cohort, a lesser number of years to gain work experience, are plausible explanations; and (4) The probability of being unemployed in any given month does reduce during the period 2001-06, more likely due to the members of the cohorts gaining greater work experience. An appendix is included. (Contains 15 tables and 12 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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia