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1136.0 - Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2004  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/12/2004   
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Contents >> ABS Collections >> Education and Training >> Education and Work, Survey of

Education and Work, Survey of


James Ashburner
National Centre for Education and Training Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 7934
Facsimile (02) 6252 8013


The Survey of Education and Work (SEW) provides information on the educational experience of persons aged 15-64 years. Information collected includes participation in education in the previous year, and in the survey month, educational attainment, transition from education to work and selected characteristics of apprentices.


All persons aged 15-64 years, excluding the following:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants)
  • persons permanently unable to work
  • patients in hospitals, residents of homes, and inmates of prisons.

Students at boarding schools are in scope and the survey has an estimate of 10,800 boarding school pupils aged 15 years or more. The only details collected for this group were sex and age.

The survey is conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but since 1997 excludes persons living in certain remote and sparsely settled parts of Australia. The exclusion of these persons only has a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual states and territories, with the exception of the Northern Territory.



Australian Bureau of Statistics, Education and Work, Australia (cat. no. 6227.0), ABS, Canberra.

Data service

A range of data is available on request.

Release schedule

Data is collected in May each year and then published in December.



State or territory of usual residence
Area of usual residence
Region of usual residence
Age group
Indigenous status
Marital status
Relationship in household
Country of birth
Period of arrival in Australia


Level of highest educational attainment
Level of highest non-school qualification
Level of highest school educational attainment
Main field of highest educational attainment
Year completed highest non-school qualification
Number of non-school qualifications obtained

Labour force

Labour force status
Status in employment in current job
Occupation of last full-time job
Industry of last full-time job
Duration of unemployment

Study arrangements in previous year

Whether attended an educational institution
Type of educational institution attended
Type of attendance
Level of education of study
Main field of education of study

Status of course of study undertaken

Current study arrangements

Whether attending an educational institution
Type of educational institution attending
Type of attendance (full-time/part-time)
Level of education of study
Main field of education of study
Type of school attending (government/non-government)


Persons who were not enrolled in a course of study leading to a qualification in the previous year and are currently enrolled in a course of study in the reference period
Level and main field of education of current study leading to a qualification


Age at time of leaving full-time education
Year last attended an educational institution full-time
Time of leaving full-time education
Main reason left full-time tertiary education
Type of school last attended
Labour force status of leavers

Unmet demand

Whether applied to enrol in an educational institution and type of institution


Commencement of apprenticeship
Industry sector
Field of trade


Data are available for Australia, each State and Territory, capital city/balance of state (excluding Territories), and may be available for the standard labour force survey dissemination regions within each State.


SEW is a supplementary survey to the Labour Force Survey. Information is collected from a responsible adult on behalf of household members. Interviews are conducted over the phone by trained interviewers.

The sample for SEW is restricted to no more than seven-eights of the LFS sample and includes approximately 44,000 persons.


Reference Period

May each year.

Frequency of Collection


Historical Data

The survey was first conducted in February 1964. The most recent survey was conducted in May 2003, and is scheduled for release in December 2003. Complete data are available from May 1983 to present. Limited data are available from February 1964 to May 1982. Information regarding apprentices was collected for the first time in May 1983.

In 2001, the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ) was replaced by the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED). The ASCED is a new national standard classification which can be applied to all sectors of the Australian education system including schools, vocational education and training, and higher education. The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education.



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