Full response from Foundation for Young Australians

In relation to this FactCheck on the time it takes for young Australians to find employment, a spokeswoman for the Foundation for Young Australians told The Conversation that:

As per p2 of FYA’s report card on How are young people faring in the transition from school to work, on average it takes young people 4.7 years from leaving full time education to entering full time work. This refers to the most recent full time education undertaken by the young person and could include school, VET or university.

It is worth noting that during these years young people may be doing a range of things including working part time while studying part time, travelling or volunteering overseas, working in a casual job or on a contract, and we are talking specifically about them finding full time work.

The numbers came from the ABS labour force statistics, looking at the average age that young people leave fulltime education and the average age they start fulltime work. Our Unlimited Potential website has more information, including tracking of that number over time. Under the graph is the reference to the original data. It’s ABS, Labour Force Australia, Cat No, 6291.0.55.001, released this in 2015.

NCVER did the analysis for us (full report can be found here and their data tables can be downloaded too from here).


  1. ​Looked at the average age at which more than half the population had left fulltime education

  2. ​L​ooked at the average age at which more than half the population has got fulltime work

  3. Then they compared those two numbers, factoring in that the people graduating and the people getting jobs are from slightly different age cohorts.

So, the data is not from the collation of individual responses, but based on population-trend data.