2076.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2018   
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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

ENGAGEMENT IN EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT

Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians reported being fully engaged in education, employment and training in the 2016 Census. This represents a slight increase from 36 per cent in 2011.

More than half (53%) of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population were engaged either fully or partly in 2016. In contrast, 67 per cent of non-Indigenous people were engaged in some mix of education, employment and training, with 49 per cent fully engaged.

Understanding engagement

Engagement in Employment, Education and Training (EETP) was a new data item compiled for the 2016 Census. It classifies persons aged 15 years and over as Engaged or Not engaged in work and study. It is derived from the data items Labour Force Status (LFSP), Hours Worked (HRSP), Full-Time/Part-Time Student Status (STUP) and Age (AGEP).

A person is classified as engaged if they participate in any type of education, employment and training. A fully engaged person works or studies full-time or has any combination of work and study. The not engaged category includes persons who are unemployed, not in the labour force or not attending an educational institution. More information on this variable is available in the Engagement in Employment, Education and Training (EETP) Data Quality Statement.

For the purposes of this article, the total number of people who are either fully or partially engaged will be referred to as overall engagement. The rate of overall engagement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and females was similar (55% and 52% respectively). However, males were more likely to be fully engaged than females (42% compared to 33%).

Where people live affects their levels of engagement. 4 in 10 (40%) people living in urban areas were fully engaged compared to 29 per cent of people living in non-urban areas. There was also considerable variation across the states and territories. Well over half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT (58%) were fully engaged, with 73 per cent reporting they were engaged in some way. In contrast, 51 per cent of people living in the Northern Territory were not engaged in any education, employment and training.

Graph Image for Level of Engagement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, States and Territories, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



15 to 24 year olds

Young adults' transition from school to continued study or full-time work can have long-term implications. Those who are not fully engaged in either education and/or work may be at increased risk of becoming long-term unemployed, underemployed or marginally attached to the labour force.

According to the 2016 Census, more than half (52%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 to 24 years were fully engaged in work or study, with little difference between males (53%) and females (52%) . People aged 15 to 24 years and living in urban areas (55%) were more likely to be fully engaged in work or study than those living in non-urban areas (42%).

In the last 10 years, however the rate of full engagement for persons 15 to 24 years increased from 46 per cent to 52 per cent, the rate of total engagement increased only marginally from 62 per cent to 65 per cent, and the proportion of people not engaged remains unchanged. This is due to a reduction in the partially engaged population and an improvement in response rates rather than a reduction in the number of people not engaged.

Graph Image for Level of Engagement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 15 to 24 years, 2006 to 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2016




ENGAGEMENT AND UNPAID WORK

For information on unpaid work, including definitions, please refer to the related unpaid work article.

The rest of this article will explore the interaction between formal engagement and unpaid work. For the purposes of this analysis, unpaid work includes any unpaid child care, volunteer work, or care for persons with a disability, as well as domestic work exceeding 5 hours per week.

In the 2016 Census, the amount of unpaid work reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons varied little in relation to their level of engagement. Just under 1 in 6 (58%) fully-engaged persons reported doing some type of unpaid work compared to 60 per cent of persons who were not engaged.

2 per cent of the population undertook all types of unpaid work regardless of their level of engagement. 40 per cent of the fully engaged population did no unpaid work. Just under 4 in 10 (38%) people who were not engaged in education, employment and training also did no unpaid work. This rate is slightly lower for the non-Indigenous population at 32 per cent.

Sex

Females were significantly more likely than males to do unpaid work regardless of their level of engagement. Around two thirds of fully engaged females (63%), engaged females (67%) and non-engaged females (68%) did some type of unpaid work. In contrast, just over half of fully engaged males (53%), engaged males (54%) and non-engaged males (51%) did some type of unpaid work.

While a marginally higher number of fully engaged males (29%) than females (28%) reported doing one type of unpaid work, fully engaged females were significantly more likely to do two or more types of unpaid work.

Graph Image for Unpaid Work by Sex by Level of Engagement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016



Age

Age has an impact on an individual’s overall engagement, including unpaid work.

Considering retirement age, it’s not surprising that persons aged 65 years and over were more likely to be not engaged and not doing any unpaid work (39%). However, relative to other age groups, the proportion of people 65 years and over who were not engaged but who undertook one or more types of unpaid work was comparatively high.

People aged 15 to 24 years were more likely to be fully engaged but not doing any unpaid work (30%). 12 per cent of people in that age group were not engaged and not doing any unpaid work.

As people move into the middle of their lives, the volume of unpaid work they do increases. 15 per cent of people 25 to 44 were fully engaged and doing two more types of unpaid work. Only 11 per cent of people in this age group were not doing any work, study or unpaid work.

Graph Image for Unpaid Work by Age by Level of Engagement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016