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Transition from Education to Work
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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    The Transition from Education to Work survey provides a range of key indicators relating to the educational participation and attainment of the population aged 15-64 years along with data on persons in transition between education and work. Information collected in the survey includes attendance at educational institutions in the previous year, and in survey month; type of educational institution, and type of course attended; labour force characteristics; educational attainment; unmet demand for education in the current year; and characteristics of apprentices.


    The annual time series allows for ongoing monitoring and provides a link with the more detailed range of educational indicators available from the irregular Surveys of Education and Training.


    This survey is conducted as part of the Monthly Population Survey, which comprises the Labour Force Survey and, in most months, a supplementary survey topic.

    SCOPE - Labour Force Survey

    The Labour Force Survey includes all persons aged 15 and over except:

    • members of the permanent defence forces;
    • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated populations;
    • overseas residents in Australia; and
    • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia.

    From July 1993 Jervis Bay Territory is also excluded from the scope of the survey. Before July 1993 it was included in estimates for the Australian Capital Territory.

    SCOPE - Transition from Education to Work survey

    The SCOPE of this supplementary survey is further restricted to persons aged 15 to 64 years and excludes persons permanently unable to work, some patients in hospitals and sanatoriums and inmates of reformatories, gaols, etc.

    From July 1997, all supplementary surveys excluded persons in remote and sparsely settled areas of Australia. The exclusion of these persons has only a minor effect on estimates for individual States or Territories.

    COVERAGE - Labour Force Survey

    In the Labour Force Survey, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling, and hence has only one chance of selection. The chance of a person being enumerated at two separate dwellings in the one survey is considered to be negligible.

    Persons who are away from their usual residence for six weeks or less at the time of interview are enumerated at their usual residence (relevant information may be obtained from other usual residents present at the time of the survey).


    Conceptual framework

    Respondents to the Labour Force Survey who fell within the scope of this supplementary survey were asked additional questions. They were asked whether they were attending, or had attended in the previous year, an educational institution and if so, the type of educational intuition and the type of course attended. If respondents were not attending an educational institution full-time at the time of interview they were asked the year they finished full-time study. Persons who had left full-time study during the previous year were asked the time of the year they had left. Persons who were not studying were asked whether they had applied to enrol for study in the current year. All persons were also asked about their highest and most recent educational qualifications.

    Main outputs

    The main output from this survey is in the publication 'Transition from Education to Work, Australia' (ABS Cat. No. 6227.0) and includes the following tables:

    Whether attending an educational institution in May and type of study * age, labour force status and sex

    Whether attended an educational institution in the previous year and type of study * age, labour force status and sex

    Whether attending an educational institution in May and level of course attending

    Whether attended an educational institution in the year prior to the survey and level of course attending

    Whether applied to enrol in an educational institution in current year * Type of study * Type of institution * Age

    Whether attended an educational institution to study for a recognised qualification in previous and current year & type of attendance * Labour force status * Age

    Whether attended an educational institution to study for a recognised qualification in previous year & type of attendance * whether attending and type of attendance in current year and labour force status

    Persons attending an educational institution full-time or part-time in previous year who were not attending in current year * level of course attended * educational attainment * labour force status

    Educational attainment * Sex

    Educational attainment * Age

    Educational attainment * labour force status

    Educational attainment * Relationship in household

    Educational attainment of employed persons * selected characteristics

    Educational attainment of unemployed persons * selected characteristics

    Persons attending school in previous year but not at time of interview * type of school attended * current tertiary attendance * labour force status

    Persons attending school in previous year but not in current year * Year of school last attended * current tertiary attendance * labour force status

    Persons aged 19 or 22 * labour force status * educational attainment

    Apprentices * selected characteristics - time series

    Data items from the survey are listed at the back of the publication, and include:

    Data items collected in the survey include:

    • Sex
    • State/Area/Region
    • Single ages
    • Labour force status
    • Occupation
    • Industry
    • Birthplace
    • Year of arrival
    • Relationship in Household
    • Whether attending an educational institution in previous year
    • Whether attending an educational institution in May
    • Type of Institution attending/attended
    • Type of attendance
    • Level of course attending/attended
    • Field of study of course attending/attended
    • Level of Qualification and Field of Study
    • Type of school attending/last attended
    • Age left full-time study
    • Year left school
    • Unmet demand for educational places
    • Field of trade of apprenticeship
    • Year of apprenticeship
    • Sector


    Demographics: State, Area, Region, Sex, Marital Status, Relationship in Household, Period of Arrival and Age.

    Country of Birth: The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC).

    Occupation: Australian Standard Classification of Occupations Second Edition (ASCO SE).

    Industry: Australia and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

    Educational attainment: Australian Bureau of Statistics Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ) and/or Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

    Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Regional levels - limited cross-classifications with other data items available

    Other concepts (summary)

    In this survey the term 'Leaver' has been used to describe persons who have left full-time education regardless of whether they still attend on a part-time basis. The term was coined back in the 1960's when only full-time attendance was considered to be of importance to policy makers. Given that full-time students still have different labour force patterns to part-time students the concept still remains of some value particularly in the movements shown over such a long period of time. However part-time students are equally relevant to today's policy makers and information on total leavers (full-time + part-time) is collected in the survey. Since the survey now also collects information on what period of the previous 16 months the respondent left full-time education, there is a range of information available relating to 'Leavers' from education.

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Not all data available for all areas.


    Frequency comments

    While this has always been an annual survey the month of the survey has varied between February, May and August.


    Data on this topic was first collected in 1964, however there have been a number of breaks in the time series since then. Until 1976 the survey was restricted to persons aged 15-24 years. From 1977 to 1980 inclusive the survey was restricted to persons aged 15-25 years. From 1981, the survey was expanded to include persons aged 15-64 years. Data on apprenticeships has been collected since 1983 and educational attainment since 1989.

    The topic has variously been conducted in the months of February, May, August and back to May again. For the first 17 surveys it was titled "Survey of Leavers from Schools, Universities and Other Educational Institutions". Changes in the amount and type of data collected supported a naming change in May 1981 to the title 'Transition from Education to Work'.


    Data availability comments

    Initial indications of data availability are provided by the release of a publication which shows a selection of results plus information on the range and scope of data collected. Other data available on request.

    25/11/2003 01:27 PM

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