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Youth Retention: Value of post secondary education in regional settings

  • Year: 2013
  • Publisher: RDA Mid North Coast
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: New South Wales
The focus of this report is on the benefits of youth retention and attraction to the region by the presence of a growing tertiary and research sector. Growth in the young demographic of the Mid North Coast is needed, not just because it is a major gap in the region’s age profile, but that the youth are valuable human capital and have the capacity to significantly add to the region’s economic capital. 
A snapshot of the current Mid North Coast ‘youth’ (defined as 15-24 years old throughout the report) is provided, including: level of workforce and education engagement, unemployment, the decline in youth from the region, and the industries employing youth. Statistics have also been compiled to examine the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) youth population to 
demonstrate engagement levels in TAFE and university and how much higher the participation rates are in university towns like Armidale (University of New England) and Lismore (Southern Cross University) by the young indigenous.  
The profile of the region’s youth will clearly demonstrate that the Mid North Coast 15-24 year olds are engaging far less with post compulsory education and full time employment than the New South Wales averages and other regional towns with university presence. There are larger gaps in participation within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth – although technical institution participation (e.g. TAFE) is above the national average, the university attendance is well behind. 

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