Training Expenditure and Practices Survey

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    This sample survey will provide data for the 2001-02 financial year on levels of direct expenditure on employee training by employers, and on employer training practices. It is fully funded by the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).


    The data collected from TEPS will be used by ANTA to improve the availability of relevant data on employer training activity to support vocational education and training policy, planning and marketing activities. This will assist with assessing the extent of, and changes in, employer engagement with the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system, as well as identification of issues which may need to be addressed.


    Public and Private sector employers in all States & Territories excluding Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting, Private Households employing staff, Foreign Government Representation and the Defence forces.


    Conceptual framework

    The TEPS follows the framework used for all Labour Employer Surveys. The statistical unit for the survey comprises all activities of a management unit in a particular State or Territory. Each statistical unit was classified to an industry which reflected the predominant activity of the management unit in the State or Territory. The statistical units are referred to as employers for this collection.

    The survey covers employers in all States and Territories and all industries except for: employers primarily engaged in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; private households employing staff; overseas embassies, consulates, etc.; and the Australian permanent defence forces. The sample consists of approximately 6,000 employers selected from the ABS register of businesses. The sample was stratified by state, sector, industry and employer size.

    As well as standard data items related to employment and wages and salaries, information was collected on a range of training expenditure and practices items. These are largely based on the earlier TES and TPS surveys. They have been further developed in consultation with ANTA, and reflect accepted industry usage and parlance.

    Main outputs

    Employing businesses: proportions of businesses providing structured, unstructured and no training; proportions of employees in businesses providing structured, unstructured and no training; total direct employer expenditure on structured training; direct training expenditure per employee and as a proportion of Gross Wages and Salaries (GWS); by industry, state, sector and employment size.

    Further dissection of training data will be available by:

    Employee Characteristics - total employment size; workforce composition including part-time/full-time, permanent/non-permanent, broad occupation, number of apprentices/trainees, number of employees whose main job is training, other workers.

    Business Profile - whether a Registered Training Organisations (RTO), years in business.

    Training Practices - support for structured training, structured and unstructured training arrangements, e-learning usage, types of structured training, structured training requirements, providers of structured training, reasons for providing structured training, level of structured training, reasons for no provision of training, training arrangements for other workers.

    Training Expenditure - types of expenditure on structured training, total expenditure on structured training, training subsidies/payments received, training budgets.


    Industry is classified according to the Australia and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC), 1993. Data will be available at the industry division (1 digit) level. Industry-based outputs will also be provided as a special data service on the basis of Industry Training Advisory Board (ITAB) coverage, for which a concordance has been provided.

    Occupation Group is classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), 2nd edition. The 1 digit level has been collapsed to provide four groupings: Managers and administrators, professionals and associate professionals; Tradespersons and related workers; clerical, sales and service workers; and production and transport workers and labourers. This will allow the release of training expenditure and practices by broad workforce composition.

    State and territory estimates will be available; there will be no smaller geographical area data.

    Sector will be published by public/private. Further breakdown into level of government (Commonwealth, State and Local) and 'public trading enterprises', 'financial enterprises' and 'general government' will be available as a special data service if quality is acceptable.

    Employee Size. Estimates of employees and earnings are expected to be published for businesses employing 0-19, 20-99 and 100+ employees by State by Industry for the private sector. Other size ranges will be available on request as a special data service.

    Training Classifications: The data items relating specifically to training expenditure and practices are not related to ABS classifications, but have been developed in consultation with ANTA, and reflect accepted industry usage and parlance. Attempts have been made to keep the data items consistent with previous TES and TPS where possible, but the extent of change in methods and drivers of training since 1996-97 has meant that considerable changes have been made to ensure relevancy.

    Other concepts (summary)

    Training - the development of work-related skills, knowledge, attitudes or competencies through instruction or practice. This is divided into:

    a) Structured Training - defined as training activities that have a predetermined plan and format designed to develop employment related skills and competencies. It consists of instruction or a combination of instruction and monitored practical work.

    b) Unstructured Training - All training activities which do not have a specified content or predetermined plan.

    Registered Training Organisation (RTO) - registered by a State or Territory authority to deliver training and/or conduct assessments and issue nationally recognised qualifications in accordance with the Australian Recognition Framework.

    E-learning - Use of arrangements such as on-line learning, multi-media technology and computer assisted training to deliver structured training to employees.

    Nationally recognised vocational training course/program - Training delivered by an RTO which was accredited, or which met the requirements specified in a national industry or enterprise training package.

    Other workers - People other than employees of an organisation as defined by the ABS definition, who were engaged to provide a service to that organisation and regarded as part of its workforce.

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    The largest geographical area covered is Australia. Estimates by State or Territory will be available. Estimates for geographic areas below State or Territory level will not be available.

    Business within the Jervis Bay territory and external territories {Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands} are out of scope of the survey.


    Frequency comments

    May become 3 yearly


    The ABS conducted Training Expenditure Surveys (TES) in 1990, 1993 and 1996, and Training Practices Survey (TPS) in 1994 and 1997. A feasibility study to conduct a combined survey in 2000 concluded that the provider load involved in repeating the past surveys was excessive. An alternative proposal to collect direct expenditure and practices data (TEPS) was rejected by ANTA at that stage.

    ABS and ANTA again discussed options for running the TEPS in early 2001. As the ABS work program at that stage did not permit this, the ABS agreed to test collection of the direct expenditure data in the proposed 2002 Labour Cost Survey (LCS). ANTA flagged their intention to put a Practices survey to tender. The LCS was deferred in mid-2001, providing the ABS with the opportunity to run a TEPS.

    A proposal to conduct the Training Expenditure and Practices Survey 2002 (TEPS) was forwarded to ANTA (Australian National Training Authority) in September 2001 and accepted.


    Data availability comments

    Data will be released in the form of a publication and special data services to ANTA in March 2003, nine months after the reference date.

    28/05/2002 08:26 AM