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Results

This section reports on our results against the key performance criteria relating to our purpose of helping to create an inclusive and prosperous Australia by maximising opportunity through national leadership on education, training and employment policy, as published in the department’s Corporate Plan 2019–20.

Outcome 1: Key performance results

The department measures its progress towards achieving Outcome 1 against the criteria published in the department’s 2019-20 PBS and Corporate Plan. The performance tables indicate the programs as published in the Education, Skills and Employment Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2019–20 that relate to each criterion.

Criteria – Child care support is targeted to vulnerable and disadvantaged families and communities

Measure

Proportion of Child Care Safety Net that supports vulnerable and disadvantaged families and communities

Target

100%

Result

Program and payment design, including assessment and eligibility criteria, is designed to ensure that all funding and assistance is allocated to vulnerable and disadvantaged families and communities.

The department has been unable to make an assessment and identified that the methodologies that underpin measurement and reporting of this measure should change for future reporting periods.

Analysis

The ACCS, CCCF and the Inclusion Support Program (ISP), together known as the Child Care Safety Net, continued to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children and communities.

To meet eligible criteria for ACCS (child wellbeing), applicants must provide recent supporting evidence, which is less than six months old, from a third party such as a health or social work professional to meet the eligibility criteria. In quarter 2 of 2019–20, 18,630 children received ACCS (child wellbeing) payments, an increase of 67 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2018.

ACCS (temporary financial hardship) payments supported families affected by the bushfires and who lost income due to COVID-19. Applications for these payments must also be supported by evidence, such as a fire report or employment separation certificate. In quarter 3 of 2019–20, children in receipt of this support more than doubled compared to the same quarter the previous year.

Community Child Care Fund

Under the CCCF more than $126 million was paid to support child care

services and early childhood measures for vulnerable and disadvantaged or Indigenous communities. More than 1,000 services are funded under CCCF for up to five years (from July 2018). CCCF Special Circumstances funding increased in 2019–20 from $4 million to approximately $31 million.

Inclusion Support Program

The ISP provided more than $113 million to support CCS approved early childhood education and care services. Under the program seven Inclusion Agencies are contracted to support services and review applications for ISP. An Inclusion Development Fund (IDF) manager is also contracted to provide nationally consistent and equitable management of the IDF, assess all IDF applications against the eligibility criteria, and undertake regular compliance checks to ensure funding is being used in accordance with the approved application.

During COVID-19, a number of changes were made to the program to ensure continued access to ISP funding to include children with additional needs.

Methodology

The department has identified that the methodologies that underpin measurement and reporting should be changed.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data and other data sources relevant to determining disadvantage.

Contributing Program

1.1 Support for the Child Care System

Criteria - Ensuring accurate child care payments

Measure

Proportion of accurate child care payments to all services

Target

90% or higher

Result

ACHIEVED

The overall CCS payment accuracy in 2019–20 was 96.1%.

Analysis

Strong performance in ensuring accurate child care payments has resulted from a broad-ranging compliance program. The Child Care Financial Integrity Framework governs the department’s approach to maintaining the financial integrity of child care funding to all service types. It guides the monitoring, education, compliance and enforcement activities the department has in place to ensure child care funding is administered properly, and includes governing principles to ensure the department’s actions are appropriate and defensible. In 2019–20, it delivered payment accuracy rates in centre-based care of 97.5 per cent, and 92.3 per cent in outside school hours care.

Since 2017–18, the Family Day Care Payment Integrity Measure implemented targeted activities to address serious non-compliance and complex fraud in the sector. In addition to the specific Family Day Care Payment Integrity Measure, a broad range of prevention and deterrence activities are undertaken focused on protecting the integrity of child care payments.

These include:

  • strengthening the assessment process for new applicants
  • educating services about their legal obligations
  • publishing the Child Care Enforcement Action Register
  • continuing enhancement of the CCS System
  • refining operational policy and procedures to maximise legislative and IT controls.

Across a range of measures, the department imposed sanctions and penalties on 87 services in 2019–20, including cancelling 32 services, and suspending six services. Latest actuarial estimates show the department prevented around $3.1 billion from being inappropriately paid to non-compliant and fraudulent child care providers between January 2014 and March 2020, noting that the fourth quarter of 2019–20 was impacted by COVID-19 responses.

CCS was replaced by the Relief Package for the period 6 April to 12 July 2020. Despite this, the result is in line with expected performance.

Measure

Proportion of accurate child care payments to all services

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of accurate sampled CCS payments over the total participants in the random sample parent check interviews.

The child care attendance times reported by parents (primary data source) were compared with the session times reported by child care services via the CCS System (secondary data source).

Source

DESE, Program administrative data: interviews, an online survey and the CCS System.

Contributing Program

1.2 Child Care Subsidy

Criteria - Universal access to quality early childhood education

Measure

Proportion of Indigenous children enrolled in early childhood education in the year before full-time school who are enrolled for 600 hours a year

Target

95%

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019, 96% of Indigenous children who were enrolled in early childhood education in the year before full-time school were enrolled for 600 hours a year.

Analysis

The UANP Review highlighted that National Partnership arrangements have driven significant reform in the preschool sector since they were introduced in 2008 and noted this achievement was the result of a strong collaborative effort by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. Performance against this indicator exceeded the target in 2019–20, attributed by the review to this collaborative effort. Driving further improvements in participation and outcomes for Indigenous children remains a focus for the Australian Government going forward.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of Indigenous children receiving 600 hours a year in preschool over the total population of all Indigenous children enrolled in preschool.

Source

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Preschool Education, Australia, cat. no. 4240.0.

Contributing Program

1.5 Early Learning and Schools Support

Measure

Proportion of vulnerable and disadvantaged children enrolled in the year before full-time school who are enrolled for 600 hours a year

Target

95%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

In 2019, 94.4% of vulnerable and disadvantaged children who were enrolled in the year before full-time school were enrolled for 600 hours a year.

The result was less than one percentage point below the target of 95%.

Analysis

The strong performance against the target achieved in 2019–20 is largely attributable to collective efforts over many years and Australia Government funding provided under the UANP. Driving further improvements in participation and outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged children remains a focus for the Australian Government.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of vulnerable and disadvantaged children receiving 600 hours a year in preschool over the total population of all vulnerable and disadvantaged children enrolled in preschool.

Source

ABS, Preschool Education, Australia, cat. no. 4240.0.

Contributing Program

1.5 Early Learning and Schools Support

Criteria - Lifting outcomes in Australian schools - student attainment

Measure

Increase the Year 12 (or equivalent) or Certificate III attainment rate by 2020

Target

Annual increase to 90% by 2020

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

For the 2019 calendar year, the attainment rate for 20–24 year-olds that had attained at least Year 12 (or equivalent) or Certificate III was 88.2 %. This is a decrease from the 2018 calendar year attainment rate of 88.8%.

Analysis

Educational attainment has been steadily increasing in Australia for several decades. In 1990, the apparent retention rate was 64%. In recognition of the long term economic and social benefits of obtaining a Year 12 (or equivalent) qualification, all Australian governments have worked to increase student attainment. While obligations vary across states and territories, since the Compact with Young Australians commenced in 2010, young Australians have been required to participate in full time education, training or employment until at least the age of 17. While the 2019 result shows a slight decline from 88.8% in 2018, the 2020 target is considered ‘on track’ based on the overall trend, noting that sample surveys often have small variations from year to year. See Figure 2.1.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of 20–24 year olds who have attained Year 12 (or equivalent) or Certificate Level III or above, over the total population aged 20–24 years.

Source

ABS, Education and Work Australia 6227.0.

Contributing Programs

1.3 Government Schools National Support

1.4 Non-Government Schools National Support

1.5 Early Learning and Schools Support

Figure 2.1: Lift the Year 12 or equivalent or Certificate III attainment rate The graph displays the lift in Year 12 or equivalent or Certificate III attainment rate as a proportion of 20-24 year olds over a biannual basis from 2006 to 2020.

Criteria - Closing the Gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in schools

Measure

Reduce the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 (or equivalent) by 2020

Target

Increase in attainment rate

Result

ON TRACK

Based on the 2019 NATSIHS survey, the Indigenous attainment rate increased marginally from 65% in 2016 to 66%.

The gap has been progressively narrowing—from around 40 percentage points in 2008 to 25 percentage points in 2018–19.

Analysis

Over the past decade, the Year 12 attainment rate for Indigenous Australians increased by around 21 percentage points, from around 45 per cent in 2008 to 66 per cent in 2018–19. The proportion of non-Indigenous students attaining Year 12 or equivalent also increased, but by a smaller amount (around 5 percentage points).

The 2020 Closing the Gap Report notes year 12 attainment is associated with a range of complex and multi-faceted factors. Enablers and barriers include prior educational experience, academic ability, access to secondary schools (particularly for those in remote communities), and financial and other support from parents. Students thrive at schools that engage with communities, provide a culturally inclusive curriculum with appropriate support, and have skilled teachers with high expectations.

Limitations

The main data source for this measure is the ABS Census conducted every five years (last figures are from 2016). However, results from other surveys, such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) conducted in 2019–20, or the previous National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSIS) conducted in 2014–15, provide data for some of the years between each census.

Methodology

The 2019–20 result is based on the 2019 NATSIHS survey.

The result is calculated using the number of Indigenous 20–24 year olds who have attained Year 12 (or equivalent) or Certificate Level II or above, over the total population of Indigenous aged 20–24 years as compared to the total population aged 20–24 years.

Source

ABS, NATSIHS, 2018–19 4715.0.

Contributing Programs

1.3 Government Schools National Support

1.4 Non-Government Schools National Support

1.5 Early Learning and Schools Support

Outcome 2: Key performance results

The department measures its progress towards achieving Outcome 2 against the criteria published in the department’s 2019-20 PBS and Corporate Plan. The performance tables indicate the programs as published in the Education, Skills and Employment Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2019–20 that relate to each criterion.

Criteria

Creating a highly skills workforce and educated community

Measure

Proportion of the 20–34 year old population with a tertiary qualification

Target

Equal to or higher than 2018-19

Result

ACHIEVED

66.7% of the population had a tertiary qualification compared to 65.6% in 2018

Analysis

There is a long-term trend towards higher educational attainment within Australian society, in response to the increased skill levels required in the economy. This trend is most apparent within younger age groups who are more likely to be actively participating in non-school education. In recognition of economic and social benefits of increasing levels of education, particularly improved labour market outcomes, there are a range of government programs which encourage participation in both vocational and higher education. The skilled migration program also favours settlement by migrants with tertiary qualifications.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of 20–34 year olds with a tertiary qualification over the total number of 20–34 year olds compared to previous year.

Source

ABS, Education and Work, Australia, May 2018, cat. no. 6227.0, Table 24.

Contributing Program

2.1 Commonwealth Grant Scheme

Criteria

Creating a highly skills workforce and educated community

Measure

The rate of attrition for domestic bachelor students

Target

Lower than 15%

Result

ACHIEVED

The rate of attrition among commencing domestic students was 14.55%.

Analysis

The attrition rate is dependent on general economic and labour market conditions. From the low point in 2009 during the Global Financial Crisis the attrition rate has risen by around three percentage points as the economy and labour market have improved. The inclusion of the attrition rate in the performance-based funding for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme calculations will incentivise universities to focus on teaching and support services to lower the attrition rate.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of commencing domestic students who do not complete or who do not return to study in year (x+1) over the total number of commencing domestic students enrolled in year (x).

The result is based on students that commenced in 2018 and did not return in 2019.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data, Higher Education Statistics Collection.

Contributing Program

2.1 Commonwealth Grant Scheme

Critera

Creating a highly skilled workforce and educated community

Measure

Proportion of undergraduates who are employed within four months of completing degree

Target

Equal to or higher than 85%

Result

ACHIEVED

86.8% of undergraduates were employed within four months of completing degree.

Analysis

Graduate employment outcomes are highly dependent on general economic and labour market conditions. Overall employment rates, as measured in this indicator, have been relatively stable over the past three years.

Improvements in labour market conditions have been more evident in improving rates of full-time employment, that is, in a reduction in under-employment.

The inclusion of graduate employment outcomes in the performance-based funding for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme calculations will further incentivise universities to focus on graduate employment outcomes, although the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market is likely to see an overall fall in employment rates for the 2020–21 reporting year.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of undergraduates employed within four months of completing a degree over the total number of graduates available for work in that four months.

Source

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), Graduate Outcomes Survey.

Contributing Program

2.1 Commonwealth Grant Scheme

Criteria

Eligible current and former university employees receive support for certain superannuation expenses

Measure

Proportion of eligible universities that are able to meet specified superannuation expenses

Target

100%

Result

ACHIEVED

All 27 eligible universities met specified superannuation expenses.

Analysis

The department has provided funding based on information provided by the universities and their superannuation funds. This has allowed eligible universities to meet the payments required to fund specified superannuation expenses.

Methodology

The result is based on payments made by the department for the estimates of superannuation expenses for each university.

The final payment is acquitted and adjusted (if required) in the following calendar year. All claims are certified by an authorised university officer and are verified by the department against supporting documentation before processing in Unipay.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data.

Contributing Program

2.2 Higher Education Superannuation Program

Criteria

Improving participation in higher education for students from previously disadvantaged groups

Measure

Proportion of domestic undergraduates who are from a low socioeconomic background (based on postcode)

Target

Equal to or higher than 18%

Result

ACHIEVED

The result has remained steady at 18.6% in the 2019 calendar year with a marginal (0.1%) decrease in the proportion of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds based on postcode in the 2018 calendar year (18.7%).

Analysis

Low socioeconomic background students were more responsive to the improvement in labour market conditions during 2019, resulting in a slight decrease in participation rates in higher education. The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program contributes to the participation and retention of low socioeconomic background students in higher education by funding on-campus support programs and outreach activities in schools and communities to widen aspiration and capability to attend university.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of undergraduates from a low socioeconomic background over the total of domestic undergraduate students registered. Socioeconomic background is measured at the postcode level, as defined by the ABS.

The number of undergraduates is based on student enrolment data— as reported by Table A and Table B universities (as listed under the Higher Education Support Act 2003)— through the department’s Higher Education Information Management System.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data, Higher Education Statistics Collection.

Contributing Program

2.3 Higher Education Support

Measure

Proportion of domestic undergraduates who are from a low socioeconomic background (based on Statistical Area level 1)

Target

Equal to or higher than 16%

Result

ACHIEVED

The proportion of undergraduate students from low socioeconomic backgrounds (based on Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1)) has remained steady in 2019 at 16.8%, with a marginal (0.2%) decrease in the proportion of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds based on SA1 from 2018 (17%).

Analysis

Low socioeconomic background students were more responsive to the improvement in labour market conditions during 2019, resulting in a slight decrease in participation rates. The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program contributes to the participation and retention of

low socioeconomic background students in higher education by funding on-campus support programs and outreach activities in schools and communities to widen aspiration and capability to attend university.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of undergraduates from a low socioeconomic background over the total of domestic undergraduate students registered at the disaggregated survey level of SA1, as defined by the ABS.

The number of undergraduates is based on student enrolment data— as reported by Table A and Table B universities (as listed under the Higher Education Support Act 2003)— through the department’s Higher Education Information Management System.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data, Higher Education Statistics Collection.

Contributing Program

2.3 Higher Education Support

Measure

Proportion of higher education students who are Indigenous

Target

2%

Result

ACHIEVED

The result of 2% is a marginal increase from 1.9% in the 2018 calendar year.

Analysis

The marginal increase continues the trend of steady improvement in Indigenous higher education access and participation, albeit at a slower rate. Targeted initiatives that contribute to the participation and retention of Indigenous students include the Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP) and Away from Base program, managed by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA).

  • The ISSP funds universities to provide targeted support services, including scholarships, tutorial assistance, mentoring, providing safe cultural spaces and other personalised support services
  • The Away from Base program assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study through mixed mode or distance education with travel and associated costs for attending their course via block study.

The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program also contributes to this measure, by funding campus support programs for Indigenous students who are also from a low socioeconomic background, and outreach activities to widen aspiration and capability to attend university.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of students who identify as Indigenous in enrolment data over the total of domestic undergraduate students registered.

The number of undergraduates is based on student enrolment data— as reported by Table A and Table B universities (as listed under the Higher

Education Support Act 2003)—through the department’s Higher Education Information Management System.

Source

DESE, Program administration data, Higher Education Statistics Collection.

Contributing Program

2.3 Higher Education Support

Criteria

Maintaining the quality of higher education

Measure

At least 80% of undergraduate students rate the teaching quality at their institution positively

Target

80%.

Result

ACHIEVED

81% of undergraduate students rated the teaching quality at their institution positively.

Analysis

Over the past five years, this measure has varied within the range of 80–82 per cent. This indicates a consistently high performance among higher education providers, serving as a benchmark for assuring systemic and provider performance. Publication of results by institution on the ComparED website provides public accountability and informs student choice, providing an incentive for providers to focus on maintaining high-quality learning and teaching practices. Inclusion of this metric in the performance-based funding for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme calculations will further incentivise universities in this area.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of students rating the teaching received as positive over the total number of students with valid survey responses.

Source

QILT, Student Experience Survey.

Contributing Program

2.3 Higher Education Support

Measure

Proportion of employers who are satisfied with the skills of graduates (overall across all skills)

Target

85%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

84% of employers were satisfied with the skills of graduates (overall across all skills).

Analysis

Since the inception of this survey in 2016, the overall employer satisfaction indicator has been essentially stable, varying only within the bounds of survey error. The survey indicates that in general employers have high levels of satisfaction with graduates produced by the Australian higher education system. The inclusion of graduate employment outcomes in the performance-based funding for Commonwealth Grant Scheme calculations will further incentivise universities to improve their engagement with employers, which should help them to continue to meet the evolving skills needs of employers.

Methodology

Annual results are benchmarked against previous results as a quality assurance measure and to identify trends.

Source

QILT, Employer Satisfaction Survey.

Contributing Program

2.3 Higher Education Support

Criteria

Tertiary education is affordable for students and the community

Measure

The proportion of HELP debt not expected to be repaid

Target

Equal to or lower than 2018–19

Result

ACHIEVED

14.69% of all Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) loans issued in the 2019–20 year are not expected to be repaid (unchanged from 2018–19).

Analysis

The proportion of HELP ‘debt not expected to be repaid’ (DNER) for new loans incurred in 2019–20 is 14.69 per cent. The amount of DNER has not changed from 30 June 2019 as there has been no significant changes to policy or the Australian Government Actuary’s (AGA) income modelling methodology or associated assumptions used to calculate DNER and total HELP debt.

The AGA’s estimate is based on data to 30 June 2019 and the AGA’s model does not take into account the July 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update or model the long term effects of COVID-19 on the repayment of new debt.

Methodology

The result is calculated by estimating the HELP ‘debt not expected to be repaid’ over the total HELP debt.

The actuarial determined ‘debt not expected to be repaid’ and total HELP debt is based on modelling of longitudinal data including loan recipient age, repayment and default history. This estimate only includes debts incurred through higher education.

Source

AGA, Reporting of the HELP Receivable report.

Contributing Program

2.4 Higher Education Loan Program

Criteria

Australian universities continue to rank highly in research excellence

Measure

Australia’s share of the world’s top 10% most highly cited research publications

Target

Above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average

Result

ACHIEVED

Australia’s share of the world’s top 10% most highly cited research publications is 5.3% and remains above the 2.9% average for OECD countries.

Analysis

Australia ranks fourth among OECD countries behind the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. While Australia’s ranking has remained relatively stable over the past five years, the result is an increase in the rankings from the previous year from fifth to fourth.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of Australian research publications in the top 10% most cited over the total number of publications in the top 10% most cited, compared to the average share of OECD countries.

Methodology can be validated by Excellence in Research for Australia results (triennially).

Source

SciVal /Scopus (bibliometric abstract and citation database).

Contributing Program

2.5 Investment in Higher Education Research

Criteria

Research postgraduates continue to have high employability

Measure

Proportion of research postgraduates who are employed within four months of completing their degree

Target

90% or higher

Result

ACHIEVED

90.7% of research postgraduates are employed within four months of completing their degree.

Analysis

Research postgraduate employment outcomes are highly dependent on general economic and labour market conditions.

Overall employment rates, as measured in this indicator, have been relatively stable over the past three years. Improvements in labour market conditions have been more evident in improving rates of full-time employment, that is, in a reduction in under-employment. However, the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market is likely to see an overall fall in employment rates for the 2020–21 reporting year.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of research postgraduates employed within four months of completing their degree over the total number available for work in that four months.

Source

QILT, Graduate Outcomes Survey.

Contributing Program

2.5 Investment in Higher Education Research

Criteria

More Indigenous Australians attain higher degrees by research

Measure

Indigenous Higher Education Research completions as a proportion of all domestic Higher Education Research completions

Target

Increase from previous year

Result

ACHIEVED

Indigenous Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) completions, as a proportion of all domestic HDR completions in 2019, is 1.1%, which is an increase from 0.9% in 2018.

Analysis

The main reason for this increase is that growth in the number of Indigenous HDR enrolments over 10 years to 2018 (61.8 per cent) is higher than for domestic non-Indigenous students (8.9 per cent).

Recent growth in Indigenous HDR enrolments can be attributed to the doubling of financial incentives implemented by the Government through the Research Training Program from 2017.

Methodology

A comparison of the number of Indigenous higher education research completions to the previous year.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data, Higher Education Statistics Collection.

Contributing Program

2.5 Investment in Higher Education Research

Criteria

Investments are prioritised to ensure researchers have access to the resources needed to undertake world-class research

Measure

Proportion of research conducted by Australian universities and related to priority investment areas is rated as world standard or above

Target

85% or higher

Result

2019–20 survey results are unavailable.

Analysis

The 2019–20 survey results have been delayed following agreement with Universities Australia to minimise reporting during COVID-19.

The most recent available data (2019 NCRIS Census Survey collecting 2017–18 data) shows that 86 per cent of research (NCRIS facilities) conducted by Australian universities and related to priority investment areas is rated as world standard or above.

Methodology

The annual survey collects data based on the previous financial year.

The result is calculated as the number of publications rated as world standard or above over the total number of publications that have used a NCRIS facility.

Source

NCRIS Census Survey.

Contributing Program

2.6 Research Capacity

Measure

Proportion of researchers report access to National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy facilities, and projects improved research quality and outputs

Target

90% or higher

Result

2019–20 survey results are unavailable.

Analysis

The 2019–20 survey results have been delayed following agreement with Universities Australia to minimise reporting during COVID-19.

The most recent available data collected in early 2019 shows that 92 per cent of users who responded to the survey believe NCRIS research infrastructure improved research quality and outputs.

Methodology

The annual survey collects data based on the previous financial year.

The result is calculated using the number of respondents that report NCRIS has improved research quality and outcome over total number of survey respondents.

The department conducted an NCRIS user satisfaction survey between February and March 2019. A total of 1,342 NCRIS users responded.

Source

NCRIS user survey.

Contributing Program

2.6 Research Capacity

Criteria

Sustainably grow Australia’s international education sector by maintaining quality and increasing diversity

Measure

Average annual growth rate in international education export earnings

Target

3–5% annual growth

Result

ACHIEVED

Export earnings grew from $35.2 billion in 2018 to $40.3 billion, or 14%, in 2019. The figure incorporates both tuition fees and student spending on non-capital living expenses in Australia.

Analysis

International education export earnings have grown by 14 per cent, consistent with trends over the past five years where growth has averaged 15 per cent. Education remained Australia’s fourth-largest export industry and largest services export. This average growth rate is likely to contract from 2020 given the impact of COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions.

Methodology

The increase of international education export earnings for the particular year over the international education export earnings from the previous year. The methodology used to calculate international education export earnings is defined by the ABS.

See Table 2.1.

Source

ABS, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, June 2020, cat. No 5368.0.

Contributing Program

2.7 International Education Support

Table 2.1: International education export earnings

Sector

2018

2019

% change

Higher Education

24,337

27,783

14%

Vocational

6,347

7,922

25%

Schools

1,445

1,460

1%

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students

1,585

1,638

3%

Non-Award

1,052

1,079

3%

Other (includes New Zealand and

Foreign Affairs or Defence sponsored students)

467

454

-3%

Total

35,234

40,336

14%

Measure

Proportion of international students who are satisfied or very satisfied with studying and living in Australia

Target

85% or higher

Result

ACHIEVED

The department’s 2018 International Student Survey showed that 89% of students were satisfied or very satisfied with studying and living in Australia.

Analysis

The 2018 survey results are consistent with trends for the previous results, and improve on the average satisfaction rating of 88 per cent since this biennial survey was first conducted by the department in 2010. More than 80,000 students responded to the survey. Scores from several questions (arrival, living, learning and support satisfaction) are aggregated across the different education sectors (higher education, VET and English language) to give an overall measure of satisfaction for all international tertiary students.

Methodology

The methodology is defined by the survey consultant (Tribal/i-graduate) in consultation with the department. The survey is undertaken every two years. The next survey is late 2020.

The result is calculated using the number of international students who are satisfied or very satisfied with studying and living in Australia over the total number of international students with valid survey responses.

Source

International Student Survey.

Contributing Program

2.7 International Education Support

Measure

Proportion of international students employed or enrolled in further study after graduation

Target

60%

Result

ACHIEVED

89% (8,124 of 9,091) of international graduates were employed or enrolled in further study.

Analysis

The department’s 2018 International Graduate Outcomes Survey is a new survey seeking to establish outcomes for international students. It shows that 89 per cent of international graduates were employed or enrolled in further study. Detailed analysis shows 82 per cent were employed and 7 per cent were enrolled in further study. This is consistent with broader research identifying positive employability outcomes and the strong representation of Australian universities ranked in the top 100 in the world for graduate employability (QS Global Graduate Employability 2019).

From 2020, international graduate outcomes will form part of the annual QILT survey.

Methodology

The 2018 International Graduate Outcomes Survey result reported for the latest annual report is the proportion of graduate survey respondents (between the years 2013 and 2017– that is in the 2010–2019 decade) available for work who were employed plus those studying.

Source

2018 International Graduate Outcomes Survey.

Contributing Program

2.7 International Education Support

Measure

Growth in the number of students enrolled in offshore and transnational education and training delivered by Australian providers

Target

Annual increase

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

Analysis

The measure is determined as students enrolled in Australian higher education courses whose term residence is outside Australia.

The department’s research snapshot shows that from 2017 to 2018 there was a decline in offshore and transnational education and training delivered by Australian education providers. This apparent decline follows a growth spurt (+6 per cent) in 2017. Annual growth has tracked at around +2 per cent in recent years, so growth is expected to normalise in the next year without remedial action.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of overseas students studying Australian higher education offshore courses compared to previous year.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data, Higher Education Statistics Collection.

Contributing Program

2.7 International Education Support

Measure

The proportion of students surveyed that report studying for business or job related reasons remains stable or increases from the previous year

Result

As part of the Machinery of Government changes announced on 26 May 2019, VET Student Loans transferred from Program 2.4 Higher Education Loan Program in the former Department of Education and Training to Program 2.2 Building Skills and Capability in the former Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

As part of the development of the 2019–20 Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Corporate Plan, this performance criteria and measure was replaced in the 2019–20 Corporate Plan with the new criteria ‘Reduce the financial student barriers to undertaking quality higher-level VET Training’ and two performance measures and targets to better support the outcome of the revised program structure.

The two measures are:

  • Proportion of VET Student Loans students who are satisfied with quality of their training provider (refer page 57)
  • Proportion of VET Student Loans students who complete units of study. (refer page 58)

Analysis

Not applicable

Methodology

Not applicable

Source

DESE program administrative data

Contributing Program

2.4 Higher Education Loan Program

Outcome 3: Key performance results

The department measures its progress towards achieving Outcome 3 against the criteria published in the department’s 2019-20 PBS and Corporate Plan. The performance tables indicate the programs as published in the Education, Skills and Employment Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2019–20 that relate to each criterion.

Criteria

Maintain the quality of vocational education and training1

Measure

Proportion of employers that report use of the VET system

Target

50%

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019, 50.9% of employers reported that they used the VET system.

Analysis

The latest result shows that VET remains a training system of choice for a substantial proportion of employers.

About one in three employers (34.2 per cent) reported that they had jobs requiring vocational qualifications. Employers using the VET system were generally satisfied – 78.8 per cent of employers were satisfied with their use of nationally recognised training and 77.6 per cent of employers with apprentices and trainees were satisfied.

The proportion of employers reporting use of VET has exceeded 50 per cent since the survey commenced in its current form in 2005 (as shown in Table 2.2). In the past 10 years, there has been a decline in the proportion of employers using VET. In response, the department is supporting initiatives to design industry-relevant training products and to streamline and simplify existing national qualifications to make the VET system more relevant to industry and employer needs.

Limitations

The measure is derived from a sample survey; estimates are subject to sampling error.

Methodology

The indicator measures employers’ self-reported use of the VET system. The survey is conducted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and in 2019 around 7,000 employers responded.

The 2019 survey sample was designed to maximise overlap with respondents to the 2017 survey to increase the precision in estimates of change over time.

The result is calculated using the number of businesses with employees that—in the previous 12 months—used nationally recognised training, have apprentices/trainees, or have jobs that require a vocational qualification, over the total number of businesses with employees.

Source

NCVER, Employers’ Use and Views of the VET System, 2019.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Table 2.2: Proportion of employers that report use of the VET system (%)

Year

2005

2007

2009

2011

2013

2015

2017

2019

%

57.9

55.6

58.0

56.1

51.9

52.8

54.4

50.9

Measure

Proportion of graduates who are satisfied with the overall quality of the training

Target

85%

Result

ACHIEVED

88.1% of 2018 VET graduates (almost 9 in 10) were satisfied with the overall quality of their training.

Analysis

Students undertaking vocational education and training continue to report high levels of satisfaction with the training they receive. This measure has exceeded the target of 85 per cent since 2016 (the first year where the scope of the survey included all VET graduates). The measure increased by 1.3 percentage points between 2018 and 2019, with an overall increase of 2.1 percentage points since 2016. See Table 2.3 for survey outcomes from 2016–2019.

To build on these consistently strong results, in 2020–21 the department will continue to deliver a range of initiatives focused on enhancing the quality

of vocational education and training. For example, the department will work with states and territories and ASQA to move the system of regulation from its focus on compliance to focus on excellence in training. The department is also developing a new in-training survey of current students, which will add to the evidence base by providing targeted and timely data to assist ASQA monitor the performance of training providers.

Limitations

The result is derived from responses to a sample survey; estimates are subject to sampling error.

Methodology

The results are based on the annual survey consistent with previous reporting. The latest survey results for 2019–20 are from the 2019 National Student Outcomes Survey.

The result is calculated using the number of VET graduates who were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their training, over the total number of VET graduates.

Source

NCVER, National Student Outcomes Survey, 2019.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Measure

Proportion of graduates who are satisfied with the overall quality of the training

Limitations

The result is derived from responses to a sample survey; estimates are subject to sampling error.

Methodology

The results are based on the annual survey consistent with previous reporting. The latest survey results for 2019–20 are from the 2019 National Student Outcomes Survey.

The result is calculated using the number of VET graduates who were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their training, over the total number of VET graduates.

Source

NCVER, National Student Outcomes Survey, 2019.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Table 2.3: Proportion of graduates who are satisfied with the overall quality of the training (%)

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

%

86.0

87.3

86.8

88.1

Criteria

Respond to industry and employers through access to VET graduates with the required skills

Measure

Positive growth in apprenticeship completion rate from the previous year

Target

An increase in the completion rate from the previous year

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

Individual completion rate for apprentices and trainees who commenced in 2015 was 56.8% a decrease from 57.2% for the 2014 commencing cohort.

Analysis

The Fair Work Commission published a report in 2017 which states, strong economic and labour conditions may encourage people to commence apprenticeships. According to the report, some research suggests that it has the opposite effect on the retention of apprentices’, as apprentices take advantage of other opportunities. (Research Report 3/2017: Factors affecting apprenticeships and traineeships, pp. 28−29).

Methodology

The result is based on completion rates between the 2015 and 2014 commencing cohort. This is because it can take up to four years for apprentices to complete.

Source

NCVER 2020, Australian vocational education and training statistics: completion and attrition rates for apprentices and trainees 2019, NCVER, Adelaide.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Measure

Growth in the number of apprenticeship and traineeship commencements

Target

An increase from current financial year to previous financial year

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

March quarter data from the NCVER data – Apprentices and trainees 2020, provides an early indication of the negative impact on commencement numbers from the 2019–20 bushfires crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data for the 2019–20 financial year will be published by the NCVER in late 2020.

Analysis

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a key educational pathway for developing people’s careers. The number of commencements will be used as an indicator of the number of people undertaking this combined education and employment pathway.

While commencements have been relatively stable, 2018–19 recorded a 3 per cent decline on the previous financial year. This trend has continued with the decline in commencement numbers likely exacerbated by the 2019–20 bushfires crisis and COVID-19.

To support and encourage new commencements in 2020–21, the department will continue to provide the Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment— introduced on 1 July 2019—to promote apprenticeships in areas of national skills shortage, and will help businesses retain their apprentices through the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy.

Limitations

An apprenticeship has both an educational and employment component and as such it is influenced by a range of factors such as the overall strength of the economy and employer confidence, wages, industry growth and decline, and students’ individual choices of education and career pathways.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of apprenticeship commencements in the current financial year compared to the number of commencements for the previous financial year.

Source

NCVER (2019), Australian vocational education and training statistics: apprentices and trainees.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Measure

Proportion of VET graduates who are employed or enrolled in further study after training

Target

80%

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019, 85.6% of 2018 VET graduates were employed or enrolled in further study.

Analysis

Vocational education and training graduates continue to report strong labour market and further study outcomes. This measure has exceeded the target of 80 per cent since 2016 (the first year where the scope of the survey included all VET graduates).

The 2019 result (85.6 per cent) is in line with the results since 2016. See Table 2.4 for outcomes from 2016–2019. These results have been reasonably consistent for a period, despite short-term fluctuations in the labour market. We also know that 65.8 per cent of 2018 graduates had improved their employment status after training – for example, got a job, were employed at a higher skill level, or received job-related benefits.

Limitations

The result is derived from responses to a sample survey; estimates are subject to sampling error.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of VET graduates who had a labour force status of ‘employed’ or were enrolled in further study at the time of the survey, over the total number of VET graduates.

Source

NCVER, National Student Outcomes Survey, 2019. The measure combines the outcomes for graduates ‘employed after study’ and ‘enrolled in further study’.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Table 2.4: Proportion of VET graduates who are employed or enrolled in further study after training (%)

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

%

86.8

86.1

85.4

85.6

Criteria

Improve language, literacy and numeracy for target groups

Measure

Proportion of participants assessed in targeted program who increase one or more levels on the Australian Core Skills Framework

Target

80%

Result

ACHIEVED

During 2019–20, 22,917 people participated in the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program. Of those, 96% undertook a progressive assessment that showed an increase of one or more levels against the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). The ACSF is a tool to describe an individual’s performance in the five core skills of learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy.

Analysis

The SEE program provides language, literacy and numeracy training of up to 650 hours to eligible job seekers. It aims to help job seekers participate more effectively in training or the labour force.

SEE clients are assessed against the ACSF at the commencement of the program, and after every 200 hours of training, to track progress.

During 2019–20, the majority of SEE participants were successful in making improvements against the ACSF. Analysis has shown that client progression has remained unchanged despite the impact of COVID-19. From mid-March, training was delivered remotely by most SEE providers and client progression continued to remain stable with a comparable trend to previous years.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of clients assessed as achieving an increase in one or more indicators after completing 200 hours or more of training, over the total number of assessed program participants.

Source

DESE, SEE program administrative data.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Criteria

Reduce financial student barriers to undertaking quality higher-level VET training

Measure

Proportion of VET Student Loans students who are satisfied with the quality of their training provider

Target

80%

Result

ACHIEVED

80.4% of VET Student Loans students (more than 8 in 10) were satisfied with the quality of their training provider.

Analysis

Students undertaking vocational education and training continue to report high levels of satisfaction with their training provider, and this measure has exceeded the target of 80 per cent since 2017 (the first year it was introduced). Although the measure has been exceeded for the past three years, it has shown a downward trend. See Table 2.5 for survey outcomes from 2017–2019. Care should be taken when comparing results across years as the mix of students surveyed has varied over time, with increasing numbers of continuing students being included in the results.

The department will continue:

  • influencing providers to improve through provider discussions and performance reviews
  • taking student satisfaction into account when determining provider fee limits (i.e. the maximum amount the department will pay in loans for a given provider), approved courses, and re-approvals of providers as their respective periods of approval approach expiry.

It is also planned to share provider information through a portal being developed as part of the project to enhance the Performance Information for VET (PIVET), enabling providers to assess engagement with students.

Limitations

Results are reliant on students answering and submitting survey data.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of students who were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their training provider, over the total number of students.

Source

Students’ surveys submitted through the electronic Commonwealth assistance form for the 2019 calendar year.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Table 2.5: VET Student Loans students satisfied with the quality of their training provider

Year (annual)

2017

2018

2019

%

85.6%

83.5%

80.4%

Measure

Proportion of VET Student Loans students who complete units of study

Target

70%

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019, 81.6% of study undertaken by VET Student Loans students was successfully completed.

Analysis

VET students continue to have strong unit of study completion rates.

This measure has exceeded the target of 70 per cent since 2017 (the first year it was introduced). Results in Table 2.6 show a small amount of variation over time but have consistently fallen into the 81–82 per cent range.

To foster these consistently strong outcomes the department will continue its focus on approving/re-approving only high-quality providers for participation in the VET Student Loans program, encouraging good providers (e.g. allowing higher provider fee limits up to the maximum amount the department will pay in loans for a given provider), monitoring provider outcomes, and initiating provider discussions and performance reviews as relevant.

Limitations

The completion rate relies on the providers’ submissions of unit of study completions for the 2019 calendar period.

Methodology

The results for student completion rates for each reporting year are based on data extracted in the August of the year following the reporting year. The timing of the data extraction allows for providers to complete their submissions of units of study data.

The result is calculated using the number of reported Equivalent Full-Time Study Load (EFTSL) units of study completed, over the total number of EFTSL units of study.

Source

Student completions data submitted by VET Student Loans approved course providers through the department’s Higher Education Information Management System for the 2019 calendar year.

Contributing Program

3.1 Building Skills and Capability

Table 2.6: VET Student Loans students completion rates

Year

2017

2018

2019

%

82.1

81.2

81.6

Outcome 4: Key performance results

The department measures its progress towards achieving Outcome 4 against the criteria published in the department’s 2019-20 PBS and Corporate Plan. The performance tables indicate the programs as published in the Education, Skills and Employment Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2019–20 that relate to each criterion.

Criteria

Job seekers find and keep a job

Measure

Proportion of job placements sustained to 26 weeks

Target

30% overall

30% Indigenous

Result

ACHIEVED

Overall, 40.4% of in-scope job placements were sustained to a 26-week outcome in 2019–20, exceeding the target of 30%.

For Indigenous participants, this proportion was 31.4%, also exceeding the parity target of 30%.

Analysis

Performance against this measure declined slightly from 2018–19, both overall and for Indigenous participants specifically, after improving each year previously under jobactive. However, it remains higher than the results achieved in the first two years of the program.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the rate at which placements were converted to 26-week outcomes from mid-March 2020, as participants who had started a new job before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic lost work or had their hours reduced below the income support eligibility threshold. This is in line with the broader labour market decline.

Methodology

This measure tracks sustainable employment gained through jobactive, reporting on the proportion of job placements that converted into a 26-week outcome. The measure also reflects the department’s commitment to the Closing the Gap initiative. To drive continuous improvement in Indigenous employment, the department set a specific parity target for achieving sustainable outcomes for Indigenous participants.

A jobactive provider receives a 26-week outcome payment if the participant remains employed for 26 weeks and reduces their reliance on income support by 100 per cent. Adjustments are made for participants with modified mutual obligation requirements.

The results are based on the 12-month period from 6 November 2018 to 5 November 2019.

The result is calculated using the number of job placements that sustained to a 26 week employment outcome over the total number of job placements that can achieve a 26 week outcome, in a 12-month period.

Source

DESE’s administrative system—ESSWeb—is used to administer employment services. This data is made publicly available each year.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of job seekers employed three months following participation in employment services

Target

Overall 45%

Stream A 55%

Stream B 40%

Stream C 25%

Result

ACHIEVED

46.1% of participants were employed three months following participation in jobactive.

The results for each stream were:

  • 56.4% for Stream A – ACHIEVED
  • 39.7% for Stream B – NOT ACHIEVED
  • 25.9% for Stream C – ACHIEVED.

The overall target and targets for Stream A and C were met. The Stream B result of 39.7% is 0.3 percentage points below the target.

Stream A participants are the most job-ready, and receive services to help them meet employer needs and navigate the local labour market. Stream B participants have some employment barriers, such as disability or lower levels of educational attainment, and need their provider to play a greater role to help them find work. Stream C participants require the most assistance, often having a combination of vocational and non-vocational barriers that need to be addressed before they are ready for employment. These barriers may include reduced work capacity, physical or mental health issues or substance abuse. Stream C job seekers receive case management support to help them take up and keep a job.

Analysis

The overall figure of 46.1 per cent exceeded the target but was lower than the result achieved in 2018–19 (48.6 per cent). The most significant change was the result for Stream B participants, which fell marginally below the target.

The major drivers of this trend were an increase in the proportion of:

  • participants in employment services with multiple and complex barriers to employment
  • exits (particularly Stream B participants) transferring to Disability Employment Services. Transfers of this nature are associated with lower employment rates than exits by participants for other reasons.

COVID-19 had some effect on performance against this measure, as many people who participated in jobactive assistance in November and December 2019 responded to the post-program monitoring survey over the period March to May 2020. Employment outcome rates for this cohort were markedly lower than for the months preceding the labour market decline associated with COVID-19.

Methodology

The department’s post-program monitoring survey samples jobactive participants on their employment (labour market) status, around three months after participation. The survey data provides additional information not available from administrative data, such as the employment and education status of exited participants. It provides a fuller picture of employment outcomes, as not all employment undertaken by jobactive participants is recorded in the department’s job placement records.

The results are based on the 12-month period between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019.

The result is calculated by estimating the number, of a representative sample, of job seekers employed three months following participation in jobactive over the total number of job seekers who participated in jobactive during the reference period (a rolling 12-month period).

Source

DESE, Program administrative data. Employment rates are sourced from the post-program monitoring survey.

The department has published the Employment Services Outcomes Report, which includes the results from the post-program monitoring survey.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

Help job seekers move from welfare to work

Measure

Proportion of job seekers moving off income support, or with reduced reliance on income support, six months after participation in jobactive

Target

40%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

36.8% of job seekers moved off income support, or reduced their reliance by at least 60%, six months after participation in jobactive.

Analysis

This result is for job seekers in jobactive from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019, with their income support status measured six months later up until 30 June 2020. The result of 36.8 per cent is the lowest rate recorded under jobactive.

There has been a significant decline in the proportion of jobactive job seekers moving off or reducing their reliance on income support. It is likely that the impact of COVID-19 on employment has affected this measure, as fewer job seekers have exited income support since March 2020. This is in line with the broader labour market decline.

Changes in policy settings in response to COVID-19 have had an impact on trends in income support, particularly temporary changes to JobSeeker Payment means test arrangements from April 2020. These changes include increases to the partner income limit and waiving the assets test. While it is difficult to quantify the overall effect of the variety of changes, it is likely that this meant fewer job seekers exited income support from April to June 2020.

See Figure 2.2.

Methodology

A snapshot of the income support status of all job seekers on the jobactive caseload is taken at the end of each month between 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 (the reference period). Each job seeker’s income support status is then compared with their income support status six months later.

The result is calculated using the number of job seekers off income support, or with reduced reliance on income support (defined as a reduction of 60% or more), six months after participating in jobactive over the total number of job seekers on income support who participated in jobactive during the reference period.

Source

DESE’s administrative system—ESSWeb—which is used to administer employment services. Income support data is collected by Services Australia.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Figure 2.2: Proportion of job seekers moving off income support - or with reduced reliance on income support - six months after participation in jobactive The graph displays the proportion of job seekers moving off income support or with reduced reliance on income support six months after participation in jobactive.

Criteria

Help job seekers meet their mutual obligation requirements

Measure

Proportion of Work for the Dole participants who report increased motivation to find a job

Target

75%

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019–20, the proportion of Work for the Dole (WfD) participants reporting improved motivation to find a job was 76.8%, exceeding the 75% target for 2019–20 and in line with the results for 2018–19 (76.7%). The majority of participants also reported an improvement in their desire to find a job, ability to work with others, self-confidence, work-related skills and chances of getting a job.

Results are published online in the Employment Services Outcome Report.

Analysis

Participants who initially enter the WfD program may have limited to no experience in the workplace and may have reduced confidence in their abilities to secure employment. As WfD is a work experience and activation program, it is expected the program will increase a job seeker’s motivation and self-confidence, as it provides an opportunity for job seekers to enhance their skills, develop positive work habits, obtain work references, while meeting and working with new people in a workplace and identifying new prospects for employment.

The result is similar to previous years, reflecting that the experiences of participants in WfD are mostly unaffected by labour market conditions.

WfD participants were generally satisfied with their experiences in the program, as evidenced by 76.8 per cent reporting improvement in their desire to find a job. In addition:

  • 79.8 per cent of participants reported an improvement in their ability to adapt to a new environment
  • 75.7 per cent reported an improvement in their ability to work with others
  • 75.3 per cent reported an improvement in their understanding of the workplace
  • 75.1 per cent reported an improvement in their communication skills.

Methodology

The results are based on participant responses to the post-program monitoring survey who commenced in WfD between 1 February 2019 and 31 January 2020. Participants are surveyed six weeks after commencement in a WfD activity.

The survey measured the impact of WfD participation on job seekers’ soft skills and outlook and, in particular, the proportion of participants reporting an improvement in their desire to find a job six weeks after commencing in a WfD activity.

The result is calculated using a representative sample of job seekers surveyed six weeks after participating in WfD who reported participation in the activity improved their desire to find a job over the total number of job seekers who responded to the survey following participation in WfD.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data and the post-program monitoring survey.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of Work for the Dole participants who report increased motivation to find a job

Analysis

Participants who initially enter the WfD program may have limited to no experience in the workplace and may have reduced confidence in their abilities to secure employment. As WfD is a work experience and activation program, it is expected the program will increase a job seeker’s motivation and self-confidence, as it provides an opportunity for job seekers to enhance their skills, develop positive work habits, obtain work references, while meeting and working with new people in a workplace and identifying new prospects for employment.

The result is similar to previous years, reflecting that the experiences of participants in WfD are mostly unaffected by labour market conditions.

WfD participants were generally satisfied with their experiences in the program, as evidenced by 76.8 per cent reporting improvement in their desire to find a job. In addition:

  • 79.8 per cent of participants reported an improvement in their ability to adapt to a new environment
  • 75.7 per cent reported an improvement in their ability to work with others
  • 75.3 per cent reported an improvement in their understanding of the workplace
  • 75.1 per cent reported an improvement in their communication skills.

Methodology

The results are based on participant responses to the post-program monitoring survey who commenced in WfD between 1 February 2019 and 31 January 2020. Participants are surveyed six weeks after commencement in a WfD activity.

The survey measured the impact of WfD participation on job seekers’ soft skills and outlook and, in particular, the proportion of participants reporting an improvement in their desire to find a job six weeks after commencing in a WfD activity.

The result is calculated using a representative sample of job seekers surveyed six weeks after participating in WfD who reported participation in the activity improved their desire to find a job over the total number of job seekers who responded to the survey following participation in WfD.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data and the post-program monitoring survey.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of provider appointments attended by activity-tested job seekers

Target

90%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

77.9% of provider appointments were attended, below the target of 90%, and 0.8 percentage points lower than in 2018–19 (78.7%).

Analysis

The suspension of mutual obligation requirements due to COVID-19 from mid-March 2020 onwards positively impacted the attendance rate by disproportionately reducing the denominator for the measure (refer methodology below). This impact was partially offset over 2019–20 by lower attendance rates between January 2020 and mid-March 2020, likely a result of seasonal factors and job seeker disengagement after mutual obligation requirements were suspended, and then more flexible arrangements applied, due to the bushfires crisis.

Methodology

jobactive participants must regularly attend appointments with their provider to monitor progress against their requirements and to discuss strategies to find work. The extent to which job seekers attend these appointments—the attendance rate—is an established measure of job seeker engagement.

The result is calculated using the number of provider appointments attended over the sum of attended appointments, appointments not attended for an invalid reason and appointments where misconduct occurred.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of job seekers (with mutual obligation requirements) who are actively looking for work

Target

90%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

86% of job seekers met their job search requirements, below the target of 90%, however the result is 15.8 percentage points higher than in 2018–19 (70.2%).

Analysis

The suspension of mutual obligation requirements implemented for the bushfires crisis and COVID-19 positively impacted the measure results in the second half of 2019–20. Mutual obligations were lifted and no penalties applied for not meeting requirements from December 2019 in bushfire affected employment regions and from March–June 2020 nationally.

Encouragingly, the results for this measure in the first half of 2019–20 (which were not affected by the suspension of mutual obligations) were in line with the first half of 2018–19.

Methodology

To help sustain engagement, most job seekers are required to look for work and report efforts as part of their job plan. A job plan is unique to the job seeker and outlines their mutual obligation requirements, such as appointment attendance and job search, as well as any education, skills training and other activities they need to undertake to improve their employability.

The result is calculated using the number of active job seekers meeting their job search requirement or have no job search requirement set, or it is no longer required to be met, over the total number of job seekers who may be required to undertake job search as part of their mutual obligation requirement.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data: job search assessment results.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

jobactive organisations deliver quality services

Measure

Proportion of jobactive organisations that meet their service delivery commitments

Target

80%

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019–20, 94% of jobactive providers met their service delivery commitments.

Analysis

jobactive providers are meeting their service commitments to job seekers, employers and other stakeholders as outlined in their individual service delivery offers. This reflects a continuing improvement in the results since 2017–18 with providers improving delivery against their service commitments. This happened at the same time as assessments against this performance measure were revised following feedback from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

Methodology

jobactive providers are monitored to ensure they are making available to job seekers, employers and other stakeholders the services to which they have committed in their tailored service delivery offers. The department continues to monitor these commitments through the contract management process, which assesses 25% of each provider’s commitments each six-month period and determines whether they have been met. Each commitment is assessed as either not met, partially met, or met.

The result is calculated using the number of jobactive providers that meet at least 80% of their assessed service delivery commitments over all jobactive providers. In each six-month period, department account managers review 25% of each provider’s service delivery commitments, with all commitments reviewed over two years.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data sourced from Provider 360 – the Contract Management System.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of employers satisfied with the assistance provided by a jobactive organisation

Target

80%

Result

ACHIEVED

The proportion of employers who were satisfied with assistance provided by a jobactive provider was 84% in the 2019 calendar year, above the 80% benchmark.

Analysis

In the 2019 calendar year, the department surveyed 14,000 employers through the Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences. About 84 per cent of employers were satisfied with the assistance provided by a jobactive provider, above the target of 80 per cent.

In late 2019, the methodology of the survey changed to improve quality and sample representation. In addition, the survey was temporarily discontinued in early 2020 to focus on collecting information related to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses. The combination of these factors means it will be some time before an accurate measure of satisfaction can be determined with jobactive providers beyond the 2019 calendar year.

Once the Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences is reinstated, priority will be given to collect an accurate measure of satisfaction with jobactive providers.

As the department introduces a new employment service model in the coming years, the survey will be adjusted to account for changes in how employers use providers.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of employers who used an employment service provider, and who said they were satisfied with the assistance provided, over all employers who used an employment services provider who were surveyed in the same 12-month period.

Source

DESE, Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

Overall program measure

Measure

Cost per employment outcome

Target

$2,500

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

The cost per employment outcome was $2,503. This was marginally above the target of $2,500.

Analysis

The result is marginally above the target of $2,500 but below the 2018–19 figure ($2,5871).

The key drivers of jobactive expenditure are outcome payments, administration fees and the Employment Fund. The jobactive payment model has a strong focus on outcomes, and during periods where jobactive providers have performed well, outcome payments will be the key driver of jobactive expenditure.

Over the reference period, fewer job seekers have found employment than previous years, and as a result, expenditure on outcome fees has decreased. However, this is offset by the decline in the denominator, which is the number of job seekers estimated to be employed.

Methodology

The cost per employment outcome is a measure of efficiency and is the average sum of money spent per employment outcome. The total expenditure on jobactive includes expenditure such as administration fees, outcome payments and support provided from the Employment Fund. Employment outcomes are estimated as the number of participants employed three months after participating in jobactive as measured by the post-program monitoring survey. Note that this is not the same as the number of employment outcomes paid to providers.

The reference period for this measure is participants in jobactive from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019.

The result is calculated using the total expenditure on jobactive job seekers within the relevant reference period, over the estimated number of job seekers who are employed three months after participating in jobactive.

Source

DESE’s financial data, program administrative data, and responses to the post-program monitoring survey.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

Help people create their own job through self-employment

Measure

Proportion of NEIS participants off income support or working 20 hours a week three months after participating in and then exiting NEIS

Target

68%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

65% of New Employment Incentive Scheme (NEIS) participants were off income support, or working 20 hours a week three months after participating in and then exiting NEIS.

Analysis

The bushfires crisis and COVID-19 pandemic in the second half of 2019–20, as well as the suspension of mutual obligation requirements during this time, has impacted the number of people participating in and completing the NEIS program.

For COVID-19 specifically, income support eligibility was relaxed (such as asset and income tests) allowing more people access to income support when they would not have been previously eligible while running their business.

Methodology

The results are based on administrative data for the period between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2020.

To determine whether participants achieved sustainable work, the measure samples all NEIS participants who exited NEIS at least three months ago. The result is calculated using the number of NEIS participants off income support or working 20 hours a week three months after exiting NEIS.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

Support parents to build their work readiness

Measure

Proportion of ParentsNext participants who increase their work readiness

Target

80% overall

80% Indigenous

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

Overall, 67.9% of participants increased their work readiness—and 66% of Indigenous participants improved their work readiness—in the period. While targets were not achieved, the results are a marginal improvement on those recorded over the first six months of 2019–20 (1 percentage point overall and 2 percentage points for Indigenous participants).

Analysis

ParentsNext provides personalised support to parents to help them plan and prepare for employment while caring for young children. It aims to increase their work prospects by the time their children start school.

A number of factors can affect work readiness assessment results, including the accuracy of each assessment and the length of time the participant is receiving assistance in the program. Participants are more likely to improve their work readiness the longer they are engaged with their provider, and once they move past their third and fourth assessments.

While the targets were not met for this measure, the increase in work readiness for the disadvantaged cohorts supported by ParentsNext is encouraging, and demonstrates that the program is helping parents prepare for employment. ParentsNext also exceeded the targets for all measures under the objective to support parents on a pathway to education or work. These results contribute to Outcome 4, to assist job seekers into work.

Methodology

Using the Star Online Work Star assessment tool, providers undertake an initial assessment with participants, and conduct subsequent assessments every six months. To be included in the population for analysis, a participant must have had at least two work readiness assessments, with at least one of these in the current 2019–20 performance period.

The result is calculated using the number of participants who increase their work readiness based on their results in the Work Star assessment tool, over the total number of participants who have had more than one work readiness assessment using the tool.

A number of factors can impact the success of this measure including:

  • reliance on correct use of the tool by providers
  • assessment accuracy
  • rapport between the provider and participant
  • the amount of assessments being undertaken by providers, as this is not a mandatory requirement with all participants.

Source

DESE’s Star Online system: Work Star Online Service User Report.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

Support parents on a pathway to education or work

Measure

Number of participants who improve their education (completion of an education course higher than the participant’s previous education level) or find employment

Target

5,000 overall

1,000 Indigenous

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019–20, 13,733 ParentsNext participants improved their education or found employment. This result exceeds the target of 5,000 participants. The result for Indigenous participants (1,949) also exceeded the target.

Analysis

ParentsNext has exceeded the targets for all measures under the objective to support parents on a pathway to education or employment.

In the 2019–20, performance period, of those participants who achieved this measure, 90 per cent found employment and 14 per cent completed accredited education higher than their previous level of education.

These results demonstrate that ParentsNext is achieving the objective of increasing parents’ participation in education and employment. This result contributes to Outcome 4, to assist job seekers into work.

Methodology

Program administrative data is used to:

  • establish participants who were commenced on the caseload from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 (performance period)
  • determine whether participants found employment within the performance period from either declared earnings data, exits with stable employment, or approved or pending employment outcome claims
  • determine whether participants increased their education from completed activity commencements or approved/pending education outcome claims within the period
  • establish education level and Indigenous status as captured at referral date.

The result is calculated using the number of participants who improved their education or found employment within the performance period.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data, including declared earnings data.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of early school leavers who are in or have completed education or training

Target

25%

Result

ACHIEVED

The proportion of early school leavers who are in, or have completed, education and training was 33.8%, exceeding the target.

Analysis

This measure has exceeded the target demonstrating that ParentsNext is achieving the objective of increasing participation in education for early school leavers.

Methodology

The result is calculated using the number of participants who are referred to the program due to being an early school leaver, who:

  • commences, or is expected to commence, in an accredited education course, or
  • completes an accredited education course higher than their previous level of education, or
  • achieves an education outcome over the total number of participants who are referred to the program as an early school leaver.

Participation in education and training is affected by:

  • availability of appropriate courses
  • enablers or barriers to access
  • ParentsNext participants’ interest in and aptitude for further study.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

Support Indigenous prisoners to prepare for and find employment, and reintegrate into the community

Measure

Proportion of eligible prisoners who participate in the Time to Work Employment Service

Target

50%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

Out of the prisoners estimated to be eligible for the Time to Work Employment Service (TWES) in non-remote prisons (where the service was offered), 27% volunteered to be involved. This is well below the target of 50% of eligible TWES prisoners volunteering to participate in the program.

Analysis

TWES provides a voluntary in-prison employment service to adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sentenced prisoners to facilitate access to the support they need upon release. The objective of the support is to better prepare participants to find employment and reintegrate into the community.

During the year, the proportion of eligible prisoners who commenced in TWES was below the target of 50 per cent of eligible prisoners. Several factors affected the performance of this measure:

  • TWES became available in more prisons across Australia over the year, increasing the potential population of eligible prisoners
  • lower than anticipated commencement numbers attributed to:
    • visiting restrictions in prisons to limit the transmission of COVID-19
    • different approaches between states and territories and prisons to promote the service
    • the voluntary nature of the service
    • limited prison resources such as rooms and phones to conduct meetings.

The department is working with providers and prisons to promote the service and encourage eligible prisoners to volunteer.

Methodology

The department provides guidance to corrections departments in state and territory governments on the data parameters.

The result is calculated using the number of participants over the number of eligible prisoners where providers have commenced delivering services in a prison.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data. Corrections data for estimated number of eligible prisoners is provided by state and territory governments.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of participants who exit the service with an approved transition plan

Target

25%

Result

ACHIEVED

41% of participants who exited the service had an approved transition plan.

Analysis

Performance against this measure exceeded the target. It demonstrated that where eligible prisoners volunteer to participate in the service, they are being supported by the provider to complete the service and to better prepare themselves to find employment on release.

Methodology

This measure assesses whether participants, who volunteered for the service and exited the program, received an approved transition plan before leaving the program.

The result is calculated using the number of participants who exit the service with an approved transition plan over the total number of participants who have exited the service.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data and transition plans from providers.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Criteria

Help young people move into work or education

Measure

Proportion of Transition to Work placements sustained to a 12-week employment outcome, hybrid outcome, or an education outcome

Target

65%

Result

ACHIEVED

72.1% of TtW placements achieved a 12-week employment or hybrid outcome, or a 26-week education outcome. This exceeded the 2019–20 target of 65% and is higher than in 2018–19 (71.7%).

Analysis

TtW participants continued to achieve employment, education and hybrid outcomes at rates consistent with previous years. This is in line with expectations, as the placements in scope for this measure occurred before the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. Reduced outcomes are anticipated for the 2020–21 reporting year, as fewer young people are expected to have opportunities to sustain work due to the significant impact of the pandemic on employment opportunities for young people.

Methodology

The result is based on placements occurring between 14 August 2018 and 13 August 2019 that achieve an employment or education outcome in the 12 months to 30 June 2020.

The result is calculated using the number of job placements that led to a 12-week employment outcome, or a hybrid employment outcome, or a 26-week education outcome being achieved over all job placements recorded in a 12-month period.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data from the ESSWeb system, which is used to administer employment services.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of placements that are converted to sustainability outcomes

Target

40%

Result

ACHIEVED

In 2019–20, 46.3% of TtW job placements converted to sustainability outcomes, exceeding the results for 2018–19 (45%).

Analysis

TtW participants continued to achieve sustainability outcomes at rates consistent with previous years. This is in line with expectations, as the placements in scope for this measure occurred before the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. Reduced outcomes are anticipated for the 2020–21 reporting year, as fewer young people are expected to have opportunities to sustain work due to the significant impact of the pandemic on employment opportunities for young people.

Methodology

This measure reports the proportion of TtW placements that converted to sustainable outcomes. Sustainable outcomes are where the participant continued in their employment or education placement for an additional 14 consecutive weeks following the completion of their 12-week employment or hybrid outcome.

The reference period for job placements is a placement occurring between 8 May 2018 and 7 May 2019 with outcomes achieved in the 12 months to 30 June 2020.

The result is calculated using the number of job placements converted to a 26-week sustainability outcome, overall job placements that can achieve a 26-week sustainability outcome over a 12-month period.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data from the ESSWeb system, which is used to administer employment services.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Measure

Proportion of Transition to Work participants moving off income support, reducing their reliance on income support, or moving on to Youth Allowance (student) six months after participating in the service

Target

30%

Result

NOT ACHIEVED

In 2019–20, 28% of participants moved off income support, reduced their reliance on income support or were on Youth Allowance (Student) six months after participating in TtW. This is below the target of 30%.

Analysis

There has been a significant decline in the proportion of TtW participants moving off or reducing their reliance on income support. It is likely the impact of COVID-19 on employment has affected this measure, as fewer participants have exited income support since March 2020. This is in line with the broader labour market decline.

Changes in policy settings have also had an impact on trends in income support, particularly temporary changes to JobSeeker payment means test arrangements from April 2020, including increases to the partner income limit and waiving of the assets test. While it is difficult to quantify the overall effect of these changes, it is likely that this meant fewer participants exited income support from April to June 2020.

In past recessions, there has been an increase in young people remaining in, or moving into, full-time study. It is too early for a similar pattern to have emerged in the COVID-19 pandemic, and many may be affected by the restrictions to face-to-face learning that were not present in previous economic downturns. However, if there is an increase in young people taking up study in 2020–21, this could influence the result for this measure next year.

See Figure 2.3.

Methodology

The reference period for participants in the TtW service is 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. The income support status of these participants is determined six months later, up to 30 June 2020.

The result is calculated using the number of TtW participants who, six months after participating in the service, had:

  • moved off income support
  • reduced their reliance on income support (defined as a reduction of 60% or more)
  • moved on to Youth Allowance (Student).

This is then represented as a percentage of all TtW participants on income support who participated in the program during the reference period.

Source

DESE, Program administrative data from the ESSWeb system—used to administer employment services—and income support data collected by Services Australia.

Contributing Program

4.1 Employment Services

Figure 2.3: Proportion of TtW participants moving off income support, reducing their reliance on income support, or moving on to Youth Allowance (Student) six months after participating in the service The graph displays the proportion of TtW participants moving off income support, reducing their reliance on income support, or moving on to Youth Allowance (Student) six months after participating in the service.