Vocational education is popular with Gladstone school leavers.
Vocational education is popular with Gladstone school leavers. Jacob Ammentorp Lund

What influences Gladstone school leaver choices?

NEW data released by the Department of Education shows 84 per cent of Gladstone's high school graduates opted to seek further education or training.

Out of those who decided to continue with study, 28 per cent of students have elected to study a Certificate III in TAFE, which is double the state average of 14 per cent.

CQUniversity pro-vice-chancellor Peter Heilbuth said the nature of industry in the region was driving the demand for vocational education.

"For example, as local and international demand for Australian oil and gas continues to strengthen, this drives local Gladstone employer demand for new apprentices in these and related industries,” Mr Heilbuth said.

"In many ways, demand for education and training is a 'weather-vane' for the wellbeing of our regional towns and communities.”

Fifty-three per cent of Gladstone's high school graduates opted to study a bachelor's degree at university, which is below the state average of 67 per cent.

The most popular course was engineering - indicative of Gladstone's role as an industry hub.

When broken down by gender, males are the largest group opting to study engineering, with most females choosing to study a health course.

However, one Gladstone student has decided to go against the trend.

Kailee Butcher received an OP 3 in the recent round of result releases.

She told The Observer last month that she was hoping to study a dual degree in engineering and computer science at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

"It's something I've always been interested in,” Ms Butcher said.

"I think it's important that women are represented especially in (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) fields.”

Ms Butcher was a prefect for STEM in her final year at Rockhampton Girls Grammar.

"It's something that's always been very important to me,” she said.

"I think engineering, especially computer-based engineering, is a real need in the future.”

Ms Butcher is one of six girls in the Gladstone Region who opted to study a STEM course.

Across the state, 1357 girls elected to study courses in the field, which accounts for 5 per cent of total Year 12 graduates, and 11 per cent of female graduates.

For other students who are not going to university or TAFE, 74 elected to take an apprenticeship and 26 took up traineeships.

CQUniversity is holding a TAFE Careers Expo at the City Campus on January 23 from 2-5.30pm.



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