Electric Graduate Wage Uplift

Job Skills Australia (JSA) recently worked in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to create the VET National Data Asset (VNDA). This asset is designed to inform all users and potential users of the VET system of the opportunities available to them, as well as to gain an understanding of how VET contributes to improving economic and social outcomes for participants. It looks at VET students’ who completed a qualification in the 2018-19 financial year and conducts an analysis of their employment, economic, social and further study outcomes.

The VNDA notes that after completing a VET course, 82.7% of graduates were employed. Graduates from courses in the Engineering and Related Technologies2,  field of education, which includes electrical trades, had good reported employment outcomes. This is believed to be due to the persistent demand for skilled labour in the electrical industry.

The VNDA includes information on the median change in income post completion. Topping this table2  were those who had completed Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician. Explanation of this increase centres around the fact that those completing this course tend to be younger, less experienced workers at commencement, as well as the duration of time in completing this course compared to other courses in the study.

When looking at higher education transitions, and analysing further study outcomes collectively, the percentage of graduates that commenced further VET training was 15.7% and those going on to higher education was 6.7%. Of interest is that the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) had a 52.1% progression to further VET training and was one of the top five courses leading to further VET progression. The Diploma of Nursing experienced the highest percentage progression to higher education, with the explanation for this focusing on the fact that the Bachelor of Nursing is a pathway to being a Registered Nurse with better income prospects.

The social outcomes element of the VDNA looked at an individual’s independence post-graduation. Of note is that trade qualifications, in particular, appear to assist in reducing reliance on income support. However, not all students at the completion of an apprenticeship had been successful in finding a job.  Data indicates that factors including family circumstances, employer viability, workplace conditions and the impact of the pandemic had an impact on this.

This report is the first of its type for JSA, and further analysis is currently underway across the full suite of courses, including via breaking down data across states and territories as well as against Australian Qualification Framework levels. We look forward to being able to discuss further information in the future.

The VNDA is available on the Jobs and Skills Australia website.

1.Table 2 Page 6, Jobs and Skills Australia. (2023). Understanding the potential in VET: an introduction to the VNDA.

2. Table 19, Page 42 Appendix C, Jobs and Skills Australia. (2023). Understanding the potential in VET: an introduction to the VNDA