The minimum school leaving age has been raised to age 17 to ensure school leavers have the opportunity to maximise their preparation for further education, training, employment or a combination of these.
Research demonstrates that people with higher levels of schooling are more likely to make a successful transition to further education, training, or work.
The research also demonstrates that early school leavers are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed, earn lower wages and have poorer quality of life outcomes; and that those who do not leave school early generally enjoy enhanced life choices and better economic and social outcomes.
Exemptions will only be granted where the school principal considers that the student is a suitable candidate to complete his or her education through an apprenticeship or traineeship, that the student has written permission from his / her parents for this to occur.
The employer also needs to agree to notify the Department of Education and Training in writing through the school principal if the apprenticeship or traineeship is abandoned or cancelled before the student turns 17. For state specific information visit www.acara.edu.au.