LESS than half of Australian mums whose highest schooling level was Year 11 have returned to work, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed.
Data released on Friday revealed the importance of education for getting mothers back into the workforce, with more than three-quarters of mums with degrees gaining employment.
"Overall, women were slightly more likely than men to have a degree - one in four women compared to one in five men," ABS spokesman Myles Burleigh said.
"However, men were almost twice as likely as women to report their highest level of educational attainment as a Certificate III or IV."
Only one in four mothers with children younger than 15 were employed in May this year whereas 84% of men with kids the same age had jobs.
There are more factors at play than schooling levels - the 2014 Australian Human Rights Commission Supporting Working Parents review found half of the women who returned to work experienced discrimination.
About one in five mothers who did not re-enter the workforce further stated their reluctance was due to an inability to negotiate suitable work conditions.
The ABS survey found more than half of 2013 school leavers had enrolled in further education and about 1.2 million students were currently enrolled in Australian universities.
"For those (2013 school leavers) who didn't go onto further study, more than half had found jobs, and the majority of those people were working part-time," Mr Burleigh said.
Non-school qualifications are on the rise in younger generations, with 72% of 25- to 34-year-olds gaining university or TAFE education compared to 57% of those aged 55 to 64 years old.
Those credentials translated into far greater job opportunities - 80% of people with a university degree were employed and 75% of those with diplomas or TAFE certificates had jobs, compared to 66% of those who completed high school.
- APN NEWSDESK