Worsening Employment Outcomes for Pacific Technical Graduate Job-seekers
26 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 1 Apr 2021
Date Written: February 15, 2021
The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) is a major Australian government foreign aid initiative that commenced in 2008, that has spent over $350 million, and that has turned out over 15,000 graduates with Australian qualifications. Analysis of graduate tracer surveys shows that employment outcomes for APTC graduates looking for a job (job-seekers) have worsened markedly over the last decade. Graduates from each of the seven Pacific countries for whom there is sufficient data show worsening outcomes over time. Employment outcomes have worsened in part because APTC has changed the composition of courses it offers towards qualifications with weaker employer demand, but mainly because of the falling demand for the trades and hospitality qualifications it has offered since inception. There are worse employment outcomes for female APTC job-seekers. Our analysis suggests that concerns about brain drain are overblown. We suggest the APTC adopt a greater focus on promoting international migration opportunities to improve employment outcomes for their graduates, a more demand-led approach to student admission and course selection, and a review of the quality of graduates.
Keywords: Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), employment outcomes, qualifications, jobs, graduates, employer demand, trades, hospitality, labour mobility
JEL Classification: I25, I26, J24, J61, O15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation