Improving the employment potential of graduates

Media Release
  • Minister for Education and Training

A new survey out today of more than 4000 employers across Australia outlines employer impressions of the skills and knowledge of our higher education graduates.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey results were encouraging but also reinforce the need to ensure our higher education institutions are focused on the work readiness of graduates.

“Australia has excellent universities but they must place student outcomes at the forefront of their considerations to meet the needs of our economy, employers and ultimately boost the employment prospects of graduates,” Minister Birmingham said.

“That’s precisely why the changes we announced in MYEFO will link additional funding for bachelor courses to performance outcomes.

“By further incentivising performance in areas such as employer and student satisfaction, completion and retention we should see better outcomes for graduates and better value for taxpayers.”

Minister Birmingham also said the survey highlighted satisfaction levels for vocationally oriented courses, such as engineering and health, were almost 10 per cent higher than graduates from generalist courses such as management and commerce.

“These are the types of signals universities should be looking out for to ensure course offerings are aligned with the expectations of employers so as to ultimately improve the job prospects of graduates,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“We’re also seeing overall employer satisfaction levels for some institutions over the 90 per cent mark and others down as low as 77 per cent.

“Data such as this is vital in arming students with the necessary information on the performance of institutions and how courses are viewed by prospective employers to help them make more informed choices on what career paths to follow.

“I encourage students to do thorough research into courses and institutions by making use of information such as the Quality Indicators in Learning and Teaching, available at”

The employer satisfaction survey is a key part of the Turnbull Government’s drive to ensure greater transparency in the information students can access to make informed decisions about what and where to study.

Students are also able to compare satisfaction rates across a broader range of Australian higher education institutions and also how courses are viewed by employers.

The report can be found at

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