The costs of lost opportunity for early school leavers

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Factsheet: The costs of lost opportunity for early school leavers

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Twelve per cent or one in eight people will never attain a Year 12 certificate or an equivalent qualification.

Completion of Year 12 or an equivalent qualification is an indication of whether young people have developed knowledge and skills to prepare them for further study or participation in the workforce. The reasons for young people missing out are complex and varied: some have less access to good quality early education, others struggle to overcome difficult life circumstances and some attend underfunded schools that aren’t able to cater sufficiently to all students’ needs. 

Costs

Fiscal: For taxpayers, each long-term early leaver costs $335,000 over the course of their working lives. Across the cohort, this amounts to $315 million each year, or $12.6 billion over a working lifetime.

Social: In social terms, each early leaver costs the Australian community $616,000 over a working lifetime. Across the cohort, this amounts to $580 million each year, or $23.2 billion over a working lifetime.

Early leaver annual and lifetime costs per cohort

 

Authors:

  • Stephen Lamb

    Stephen Lamb

  • Shuyan Huo

    Shuyan Huo

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