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Higher indigenous drop-out rates

Posted by David Jenkins

One common question we get from employers is around targeting Indigenous students. We do have some offerings to help attract them to check your organisation out when they do come through the site, and it's an offering we are trying to develop further to be more effective. However we wanted to share the numbers we've found to help provide some insight as to the challenges employers face when recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as the numbers are limited. As the below graph shows it appears that the numbers are increasing.

Graph

*Graph provided by Financial Review

Retention rates

However, the retention rate for first year Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is estimated at 67.6 percent, compared to 79.2 percent for all other domestic students. This translates to the sector losing one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, compared to the one-in-five dropout rate that occurs for all domestic students. Similarly, overall completion rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are reported to be 22 per cent less than for non-Indigenous Australian students.

 *Information on the report can be found here.

Technical discipline shortage

Another problem that exists is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students aren't studying a lot of the technical disciplines such as engineering that are the bulk of what the mining sector recruit who often have indigenous intake requirements. Information from DEEWR indicates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were clustered in society and culture (32.5%), health (19.1%) and education (18.1%) fields of study at university in 2010. Which does however fit the intakes of a lot of the Government employers who have indigenous intake requirements.

*Information on the report can be found here.

We will continue to develop our attraction methods for employers who do run Indigenous Programs, however as long as the numbers stay the way they are it's always going to be arguably the most difficult area to recruit, especially as more employers target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

*Information in this article can be found at the original source here.


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