Education is an essential means of building the knowledge and skill levels of the labour force, which is a key factor in achieving future economic and social development.
The level of educational attainment for Cairns's resident workforce relates to a number of factors including:
- The age structure of the resident workforce;
- The professional or social ambitions of people to obtain qualifications (that is, to seek education and retraining);
- The opportunities afforded to people to continue studying beyond compulsory schooling, and;
- The knowledge and skill requirements of the local industries.
When comparing the Qualifications of local resident worker with local workers, Qualifications statistics indicates whether an economy draws on the skills offered by its own residents or on a different set of skills imported from elsewhere in the region.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Census 2011 and 2016 – by usual residence
|Resident workers qualifications|
|Cairns - Persons||2016||2011||Change|
|Qualification level||Number||%||Queensland||Number||%||Queensland||2011 - 2016|
|Bachelor or Higher degree||16,296||22.5||25.1||13,853||18.6||21.5||+2,443|
|Advanced Diploma or Diploma||8,569||11.8||10.9||7,507||10.1||9.3||+1,062|
|Certificate I and II Level||1,103||1.5||1.3||1,208||1.6||1.5||-105|
|Certificate III & IV Level||18,192||25.1||23.0||18,089||24.3||21.6||+103|
|Certificate Level, nfd||1,586||2.2||2.0||1,299||1.7||1.7||+287|
|Inadequately described or not stated||2,310||3.2||2.7||3,470||4.7||3.8||-1,160|
Analysis of the qualifications of the resident workers (All industries) in Cairns in 2016 compared to Queensland shows that there was a higher proportion of resident holding formal qualifications (Bachelor or higher degree; Advanced Diploma or Diploma; or Vocational qualifications), and a lower proportion of males with no formal qualifications.
Overall, 63.2% of the resident workers (All industries) held educational qualifications, and 33.6% had no qualifications, compared with 62.4% and 35.0% respectively for Queensland.
The major differences between qualifications held by the resident workers (All industries) of Cairns and (Queensland) were:
- A smaller percentage of resident workers (All industries) with Bachelor or Higher degree (22.5% compared to 25.1%)
- A larger percentage of resident workers (All industries) with Certificate III & IV Level (25.1% compared to 23.0%)
- A smaller percentage of resident workers (All industries) with No qualification (33.6% compared to 35.0%)
The largest changes in the qualifications held by the resident workers (All industries) in Cairns between 2011 and 2016 were:
- No qualification (-4,716 persons)
- Bachelor or Higher degree (+2,443 persons)
- Advanced Diploma or Diploma (+1,062 persons)
- Certificate Level, nfd (+287 persons)