National youth survey reveals students' concerns beyond school

The results from Mission Australia's annual Youth Surveyhave been released, with the 2015 report providing a spotlight on students' future work and study plans, as well as their concerns. The survey includes responses from close to 19,000 Australians aged 15 to 19. We look at some of the key findings below.

Future study plans

Of those respondents who were still at school, 98.2 per cent of females and 94.7 per cent of males stated that they intended to finish Year 12. In regards to plans beyond school, the most popular options were:

  • university (65.3 per cent)
  • work (34.5 per cent)
  • travel or gap year (29.6 per cent)
  • TAFE (13 per cent)
  • apprenticeship (9.7 per cent).

Barriers to employment and education

Around half of respondents indicated that they were confident in their ability to achieve their work and study goals beyond school, with 10.3 per cent stating they were extremely confident and 40.3 per cent saying they were very confident. On the other hand, 8.1 per cent of students stated they were slightly confident in their abilities and 2.3 per cent were not at all confident. The top three barriers to future goals were as follows:

  • academic ability (18.2 per cent)
  • financial difficulty (16.9 per cent)
  • lack of jobs (12.2 per cent).


Friendships and family relationships were ranked as the top two values for young people, as determined by the percentage of students who rated these categories extremely important or very important 75.8 per cent for friendships and 72.7 per cent for family relationships. Other important values to young people include school or study satisfaction (67.6 per cent), physical and mental health (62.3 per cent), financial security (41.2 per cent) and getting a job (38.1 per cent).


For young people, the top three issues of personal concern as indicated by the percentage of students who stated they were extremely concerned or very concerned about the issue were coping with stress (38.4 per cent), school or study problems (33.6 per cent) and body image (26.5 per cent). Depression (20 per cent) and family conflict (18.1 per cent) were also listed as top concerns, followed by bullying and emotional abuse (13.5 per cent).

Family relationships

Most respondents were positive about their family's relationship, with 27.4 per cent rating their family's ability to get along as excellent and 31.3 per cent as very good. At the other end of the scale, 12.5 per cent of respondents rated their family's ability to get along as fair, while seven per cent rated it poor.

For more information, or to read the full report, see the Mission Australia website.

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