Youth survey reveals students’ study plans

GRIFFITH students are ditching traineeships and apprenticeships in favour of short courses and certificate-based qualifications.

Results from a survey of 347 year 11 and 12 students from nine schools in Griffith, Leeton, Hillston, Ardlethan and Barellan have revealed interesting insights about local students.

The survey released on Friday also found three out of five local students intended to leave home after school, regardless of whether they found work or went on to study further.

Taking a “gap” year is in vogue, with 70 per cent of students putting a year of travelling overseas or within Australia on their bucket lists. 

In good news for the region, the majority of local senior students said they would return to the region after gaining some experience, travelling and studying elsewhere. 

NSW education minister and member for Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli said the survey reinforced what he had always suspected.

“Anecdotally we’ve always known people come back, a lot of my friends from school went away for trades and work and then came back to the region,” Mr Piccoli said. “I was away for nine years between boarding school and university, it’s healthy for the community for people to go away because they bring back skills and different experiences.

“Friends I have in Sydney are envious that here in Griffith I have a 10-minute drive to the airport and five-minute drive to the gym.”

Mr Piccoli said the data would influence his decisions as minister for education, so that he made informed decisions and didn’t waste valuable resources.

Griffith High School principal Charlie Cochrane said the data was helpful but needed to go further.

“Data like this is helpful and it backs up our efforts to focus on our seniors and to make sure they value their education,” Mr Cochrane said.

“Hopefully the next study will address the cultural composition of the schools.”

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