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18th November 2022

The Sunshine Coast community has farewelled graduating Year 12 students on their last day of school, wishing them all the best for the future.

A recent survey shows that future is brighter than ever, with their predecessors, the Class of 2021, recording a major increase in engagement in education, training and employment after graduating.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the 2022 Next Step survey showed graduates from the Sunshine Coast are kicking goals.

“On the Sunshine Coast, total engagement in education, training and employment for the most recent graduates has risen to 92.7% in 2022 from 88.6% in 2019,” Ms Grace said.

“This year’s graduating Year 12 students can celebrate their success knowing a bright future of good jobs and a great lifestyle lies ahead of them.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring all Queensland students get a world-class education, regardless of where in our state they live.”

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the survey results show the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 is ensuring students from the Sunshine Coast have a strong pathway to their future careers.

“The 2022 Next Step survey shows us that young people from the Sunshine Coast have been highly resilient in their learning during the COVID pandemic, and they’re now in a position to prosper in life after school,” Mr Hunt said.

“It’s pleasing to see the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates engaging in education, training or employment in Queensland has continued to improve, up 1.2 percentage points from last year to 76.7%.

“This constitutes an increase of almost 7 percentage points since 2019.

“This is an excellent result and shows the Palaszczuk Government’s continued focus on improving learning outcomes for all Queenslanders is working.”

Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton wished Sunshine Coast Year 12s all the best in their future endeavours.
“The last day of your school life is a celebration of all you have achieved at school and an exciting time to think of all that is to come,” Mr Skelton said.

“Between university, TAFE or employment, there are many great options for Sunshine Coast students in their first year out of school.”

Participation in employment by last year’s Year 12 students across Queensland increased 3.2 percentage points to above pre-pandemic levels and the highest rate since 2009, while participation in education and training has also reached pre-pandemic levels.

Bachelor Degree studies remain the most popular destination for Queensland Year 12 students after graduating.

Ethan Irvine graduated from Coolum State High School in 2021 with a passion for writing and theatre, and is currently studying a double degree at QUT in Secondary Education (English) and Fine Arts (Drama).

“The passion I have for this field was encouraged by many of my teachers at Coolum High,” Ethan said.

“I developed a deep respect for the teachers who taught me throughout my senior years. They were not only selfless in giving of their time, but in the rapport I developed with them.

I hope I can be as enthusiastic in my delivery of content and curriculum towards my students in the future, as they were for me.”

Coolum State High School Principal Troy Ascott said that the school was delighted with the pathways chosen by 2021 graduates.

“Coolum High had its highest ever number of students entering apprenticeships and continued its outstanding academic traditions, with 37% of students choosing to study bachelor degrees,” Mr Ascott said.

“Coolum High’s students have taken up pathways in music, health, engineering, a wide variety of trades, education and the military and we are enormously proud of them.”

More than 51,000 Year 12 students from 2021 were invited to participate in the 2022 Next Step survey, with more than 39,000 providing a response.

For more information on the 2022 Next Step survey, and for full regional breakdowns of statistics from right across Queensland, visit

Sunshine Coast data was calculated with survey results of students from the Sunshine Coast and Noosa LGAs.

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