BCATS, or the National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades Skills, aims to guide students towards a career in a related industry. This study shows that this is effective at increasing enrolments in ITOs. In particular, BCATS directs the majority of the students towards further training in construction, particularly at BCITO. It was found that 10 years after completing the unit standards, 30% of individuals will have completed a qualification at an ITO.
BCATS refers to the National Certificate in Building, Construction, and Allied Trades Skills at Levels 1 and 2. It is a series of unit standards for high school students introducing them to the skills required for building, construction and allied trades. These standards were designed in hope that it would encourage more secondary students to move into the trades. This report analyses the outcomes of those who took these standards against those that did not to assess the effectiveness of BCATS.
The number of students taking BCATS standards has increased rapidly since their introduction, with almost 10% of 2016 school leavers having completed a standard compared with 5% in 2009. Majority of those that take the standards will complete level 2 of the BCATS. There are about ten times as many males as females that complete the standards.
School leaver data is sourced from Ministry of Education data in the IDI. Foreign fee-paying students and exchange students have been excluded. Students are tagged as having completed a BCATS standard if they have ever completed one during their time at school. Those who do not achieve a standard are not included. The percentage of school leavers who completed a BCATS standard includes those who completed level 1 or level 2 standards.
The progression into enrolling with an ITO after completing the BCATS standard is not immediate. One year after completing the BCATS standards, 9% of individuals are enrolled with an ITO. 10 years after completing the BCATS qualification, roughly 30% of those will have completed training with an ITO with an additional 3% still enrolled with an ITO and 16% having their training incomplete.
Of those that only completed the first stage of the BCATS, 24% of them had finished training with an ITO 8 years later. 26% of individuals with both stages will have completed training in the same time frame. This demonstrates that there is a higher completion rate for ITO qualifications for those that do both BCATS standards.
A male is three times as likely to have completed an ITO qualification 10 years after finishing BCATS than a female, however, this is consistent with lower female participation in ITOs overall.
The BCATS alumni included here are anyone who successfully completed a BCATS standard at school since 2002. Each year after completing their last BCATS standard, they are classified as currently in ITO training, completed ITO training, ITO training incomplete to No ITO training. This training is with any ITO.
ITO training completion is defined as being recorded as successfully completing and/or receiving a qualification. Incomplete training is defined as having no completion recorded, and either an end date recorded in a previous year or the last start date being recorded over three years ago with no end date.
To investigate the effect of BCATS on the choice of ITO, those who completed the BCATS standards were compared to those that did not. The data is filtered by gender since men are both more likely to choose trade ITOs and to take BCATS standards, therefore, a comparison using both genders would be misleading.
Male BCATS alumni are twice as likely to attend in BCITO than Competenz or Skills Org. Males are 3 times as likely to enrol with BCITO if they completed the BCATS standards. When looking only at female school leavers, the overall proportion going into BCITO training is much lower, with females favouring Skills Org over other ITOs. However, a female that completed the BCATS standards is 10 times as likely to enrol in BCITO than a female that didn’t. Meanwhile, for the Skills Org, a female that completed the BCATS standards is only twice as likely to enrol than a female who did not.
School leaver data is sourced from Ministry of Education data in the IDI. Foreign fee-paying students and exchange students have been excluded. The first ITO that a school leaver enrols with after leaving is used for classification. Both school leaver and ITO data are for the years 2009 to 2016 inclusive.
The results above could be the result of some form of bias. It is unclear as to whether BCATS is:
- Attractive to students that would have gone on to study with BCITO anyway
- Encouraging students to attend BCITO that would have otherwise gone to an alternative ITO
- Encouraging students to attend BCITO that would have otherwise pursued study or career options outside of ITO training
A regression analysis was conducted to control for the characteristics suspected to also have an impact on an individual’s further study decisions. The table below demonstrates the effect that each factor has on the likelihood of choosing BCITO over another ITO in the five years after leaving school.
The results demonstrate that BCATS still has a significant effect in encouraging students into training and careers in the building, construction and allied trade sectors. However, this effect is only significant for students that complete level 2.
|Factor||Effect on choosing BCITO vs other ITOs|
|Completing a Level 2 BCATS standard||2.6x as likely|
|Gender||Men 38x as likely|
|Gaining university entrance||0.5x as likely|
|Father in building/construction||1.6x as likely|
|European ethnicity||1.7x as likely|
|Decile||1.14x as likely per unit increase in decile|
Access to the anonymised data used in this study was provided by Statistics New Zealand in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975, and secrecy provisions of the Tax Administration Act 1994. The findings are not Official Statistics. The results in this paper are the work of the authors, not Statistics NZ, and have been confidentialised to protect individuals, households, businesses, and other organisations from identification. Read our full disclaimer here.