Sufficient education attainment for a decent standard of living in modern Australia

Emily Joy Callander, Deborah J Schofield, Rupendra N Shrestha, Simon J Kelly

Abstract


Education attainment will impact upon an individual’s capacity to engage in the labour force, their living standards and hence their poverty status. As such, education should be included in measures of poverty. However, it is not known what a sufficient level of education to have a decent standard of living is. Using the 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers different levels of education attainment were tested for their association with labour force participation and income. Based upon this, it was concluded that Year 12 or higher is a sufficient level of education attainment for 15 to 64 year olds; and Year 10 or higher for people over the age of 65 years. This is in line with current government policies to improve Year 12 completion rates. Knowing what a ‘sufficient level of education attainment’ is, allows education to be included in multidimensional measures of poverty that view education as a key dimension of disadvantage.


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