Department of Family and Community Services

2.2 Qualifications at AQF Certificate III and above

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Qualifications at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate III and above held by 20 to 64-year-olds

Current position

In 2012, 59 percent of women 20-64 years had attained qualifications at AQF Certificate III and above. This compares to 62 percent of men.

Gender gap

  • Among the prime working-aged population, the gap between women and men with qualifications at Certificate III and above is 3.6 percent in men’s favour.
The direction of change over time

Completion rates have continued to grow since 2011. During the last year, women’s completion rates improved faster than men’s (4.4 percentage point increase in the proportion of women with qualifications at AQF Certificate III and above compared to 2.6 percentage points increase for men) resulting in the gender gap closing from 5.4 to 3.6 percentage points.

The percentage of 20 to 64-year-olds with qualifications at Certificate III and above has grown rapidly in NSW over the last decade, from 45 percent of the population in 2002 to 61 percent in 2012 (both sexes). Nationally 54 percent of working-age women have a post-school qualification at Certificate III or above compared to 59 percent in NSW.

Figure 3.5 shows that women’s qualification rate has increased at a faster rate over the last decade compared to the rate of men, changing by 20 percentage points from 39 to 59 percent.

Discussion

The proportion of people with qualifications at Certificate III or above differs significantly amongst those from varying socio-economic status. The gender gap is smallest (3.6 percent) among those in the higher socio-economic groups and largest (6.2 percent) among those in the middle socio-economic groups (see Figure 3.6).

As noted in last year’s Report, women in the younger age groups are more qualified than their male counterparts and are more educated than their mother’s generation.

Indicator 2.2 describes gender differences in a key long-term national performance measure, the holding of Certificate III, which is regarded as a minimum non-school qualification. This indicator is regarded as a useful stock measure for the skills base of the workforce (noting that skills are also acquired through informal work and life experience).

Year collected: 2012 and previous years.
Data source: ABS (2012 and previous years) Education and Work, Australia, May 2012. Cat no. 6227.0, unpublished data.
More information is available at www.abs.gov.au

Figure 3.5 Women and men with qualifications at AQF Certificate III or above, 2002-12

Fig 3.5

Population: NSW residents aged 20 to 64 years.
Source: ABS (2012 and previous years) Education and Work, Australia. Cat no. 6227.0.

Figure 3.6 People with qualifications at Certificate III or above, by socio-economic status

Fig 3.6

Note: Socio-economic status is measured using the ABS SEIFA Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage.
Population: NSW residents aged 20 to 64 years.
Source: ABS (2012 and previous years) Education and Work, Australia, May 2012. Cat no. 6227.0, unpublished data.