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Evaluating the electrotechnology gateway
Introduction

The Skills Organisation develops electrotechnology unit standards for secondary schools. We take a look at how many secondary school students are completing these standards and whether they are more likely to go on to training with The Skills Organisation than other students.

How many students are taking electrotechnology standards?

The chart below shows the number of the number of school leavers each year who have completed an electrotechnology standard developed by the Skills organisation. Since 2009, the percentage of school leavers who completed an electrotechnology standard has decreased from just over 2% to below 1%. The number of girls taking these standards has been extremely small at about a tenth of a percent.

Methodology

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 an electrotechnology 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 an electrotechnology standard includes those who completed Level 2 or Level 3 standards.

How many gateway alumni go on to ITO training?

Many students who complete gateway electrotechnology standards go on to some form of ITO training. By three years after completing their last electrotechnology standard, over 20% of alumni have either completed ITO training or are currently enrolled. Ten years after their last standard, about 30% of them have completed ITO training.

Methodology

The gateway alumni included here refer to anyone who successfully completed an electrotechnology standard at school since 2002. Each year after completing their last electrotechnology standard, they are classified as currently in ITO training, completed ITO training, ITO training incomplete or 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.

Effect on Skills enrolment

To investigate the effect of completing gateway unit standards on school leavers’ choices further, we compare with school leavers who did not complete these standards. We then calculate the fraction among each group that goes into training with each ITO. In the chart below, we can see that gateway alumni are disproportionately likely to participate in Skills Organisation training, when compared to other trade ITOs.

We have filtered by gender since men are both more likely to choose trade ITOs, and more likely to take electrotechnology standards, and so a comparison using both genders would be misleading.

Methodology

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.

Controlling for other factors

From the previous chart, it is unclear as to whether gateway standards are:

  • Attractive to students that would have gone on to study with Skills anyway
  • Encouraging students that would have gone to other ITOs to instead go to Skills
  • Encouraging students that would have pursued study or career options outside of ITO training to instead go to Skills.

We performed a regression analysis to control for the characteristics of each student, including school grades, or where parental employment was in the electrotechnology sector. In the following table we present the effect that each factor has on the likelihood of choosing Skills among those who enrolled with any ITO in the five years after leaving school.

Even after controlling for these factors, it appears that the electrotechnology gateway standards are having a significant effect in encouraging students into training and careers in the electrotechnology sector.

Factor Effect on choosing Skills vs other ITOs
Completing a Level 2 electrotechnology standard 2.8x as likely
Gender Men 3x as likely
Father in electrotechnology sector 2x as likely

There were also regional differences in how likely students were to choose to enrol with The Skills Organisation.

Conclusion

Students who complete electrotechnology unit standards developed by The Skills Organisation are more likely than others to go on to ITO training, in particular with Skills itself. The number of school leavers who have completed these standards has been dropping in recent years however, so it may be worth trying to get more students back into taking these unit standards.

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Analyse the effectiveness of BCATS in guiding students towards trades training

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Evaluating the electrotechnology gateway

Analyse the effectiveness of electrotechnology unit standards in guiding students toward training