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6278.0 - Education and Training Experience, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2010   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


PARTICIPATION IN LEARNING

Education and training contribute to personal and economic well-being and to Australia's knowledge base. In this publication learning has been classified into three distinct categories:

  • Formal learning is structured, taught in educational institutions and organisations, as well as through the workplace, and leads to a recognised qualification.
  • Non-formal learning is structured, taught in educational institutions and organisations, as well as through the workplace, but does not lead to a recognised qualification.
  • Informal learning is unstructured, non-institutional learning activities related to work, family, community or leisure.

In 2009, almost nine in every ten (88%) persons aged 15-64 years had participated in some type of learning during the 12 months prior to the survey. It was estimated that of those aged 15-64 years:
  • 3.8 million (26%) participated in formal learning;
  • 4.0 million (28%) participated in non-formal learning;
  • 12.1 million (84%) participated in informal learning.

Informal learning is the most common type of learning across all age groups with participation rates ranging from 79% of those aged 55-64 years up to 87% of persons 25-34 years old. Participation in formal learning decreases by age group, from 74% of persons aged 15-24 years to 5% of those aged 55--64 years. Non-formal learning is more popular with persons aged 25-34 years (32%) than those aged 15-24 (25%) and 55-64 (20%) years. (Table 1)

Persons aged 15-64 years, Age group by Type of learning(a)
Graph: Persons aged 15–64 years, Age group by Type of learning(a)


Persons in the labour force are more than twice as likely to have participated in non-formal learning (32%) than those not in the labour force (14%). Persons employed full-time were half as likely to be undertaking formal learning (18%) as those employed part-time (37%) while 30% of persons not in the labour force and 42% of the unemployed participated in formal learning. Persons not in the labour force are much less likely to have participated in non-formal learning (14%) than formal (30%) or informal (74%) learning. (Table 1)

Persons aged 15-64 years with a disability had similar levels of participation to those without a disability in non-formal (26% vs 28%) and informal (82% vs 85%) learning but they were less likely to have undertaken formal learning (18% vs 30%). (Table 1)

Persons aged 15-64 years in the lowest equivalised weekly household income quintile were more likely to have participated in formal learning in the 12 months prior to the survey than those in the highest quintile (26% vs 23%) but they were less likely to have undertaken non-formal (16% vs 39%) or informal (74% vs 92%) learning. (Table 1)


PARTICIPATION IN NON-FORMAL WORK-RELATED LEARNING

Non-formal learning comprises courses that do not result in a qualification. Participation in non-formal work-related learning in the 2009 SET included persons who participated in non-formal learning for the following reasons; to get a job, to get a different job or promotion, as a requirement of their job, because they wanted extra skills for their job, to start their own business, to develop an existing business, or to try for a different career. Information on the four most recent non-formal courses was collected from the 12 months prior to the survey.

Approximately 2.5 million (74%) employed persons aged 15-74 years undertook non-formal work-related training in the 12 months prior to the survey (Table 18 and 22). Persons employed full-time were more likely to participate in work-related training than those employed part-time (79% compared with 62%). (Table 22)

Of the approximately 4.4 million non-formal work-related courses undertaken in the 12 months prior to the 2009 SET by persons aged 15-74 years in the labour force, over a third (34%) were in the field of Health, followed by Management and commerce (19%). The main reason for participation in non-formal work-related courses was that it was a requirement of the job (66%). The non-formal work-related courses were generally organised and delivered external to the workplace (45%) and did not result in personal expenses for the participant (86%). (Table 17)

PARTICIPATION IN NON-FORMAL WORK-RELATED COURSES(a), by Field of study for persons in the labour force
Graph: PARTICIPATION IN NON-FORMAL WORK-RELATED COURSES(a), by Field of study for persons in the labour force


Approximately 4.2 million non-formal work-related courses were undertaken by employed persons aged 15-74 years in the 12 months prior to the survey. (Table 19)

Most non-formal work-related courses (17%) were undertaken by employed persons who worked in the Health care and social assistance industry, followed by the Education and training industry (14%). Non-formal work-related courses were most likely to have been undertaken by Professionals (32%) and persons aged 35-54 (51%) were more likely to have participated than those in other age groups. (Table 18)

PARTICIPATION IN NON-FORMAL WORK-RELATED COURSES(a), Occupation - Employed persons aged 15-74 years
Graph: PARTICIPATION IN NON-FORMAL WORK-RELATED COURSES(a), Occupation—Employed persons aged 15–74 years


In the 12 months prior to the 2009 SET, almost half (47%) of reported non-formal work-related courses undertaken by employed persons aged 15-74 years were internally provided. The majority of courses in the Public administration and safety industry (63%) were internally provided compared with only 12% of courses in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. (Table 19)


Financial support

Approximately 14% of non-formal work-related courses undertaken by employed persons aged 15-74 years resulted in costs for the participant, and just over a third (34%) of courses were undertaken by employed persons who were provided with financial support. (Table 19) Non-formal work-related courses that were undertaken by persons aged 15-74 years in the labour force and who participated in the course while they were working, resulted in a median cost to participants of approximately $165. (Table 17)


Barriers to learning

There were 11.6 million persons aged 15-64 years who did not want to participate in formal learning and 12.3 million who did not want to participate in non-formal learning in the 12 months prior to the survey. Over a quarter (26%) of those persons who wanted to participate in more non-formal learning but did not reported that a lack of time was their main barrier. Significantly more females (18%) than males (12%) reported that they would have liked to have participated in more non-formal learning in the 12 months prior to the survey but did not. Females were most likely to report personal or family reasons (25%) or a lack of time (25%) as their main barrier to participating in more non-formal learning than any other reason. Males were most likely to report work-related reasons (29%) or a lack of time (28%) as their main barriers. (Table 21)

MAIN REASON DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN MORE NON-FORMAL LEARNING(a), Employed persons aged 15-64 years
Graph: MAIN REASON DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN MORE NON-FORMAL LEARNING(a), Employed persons aged 15–64 years



EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Educational attainment is seen as a key factor contributing to individual success and Australia's economic prosperity. The level of educational attainment is a component of the stock of skills or competencies available in the population.

Almost a quarter (24%) of persons aged 25-34 years reported a Bachelor degree as their highest formal qualification with a further 22% reporting a Certificate III/IV. Almost a third (32%) of persons aged 25-34 years reported Year 12 or below as their highest educational attainment. Persons aged 35-44 years were most likely to report a Certificate III/IV (19%) or Year 10 or below (19%) as their highest level of educational attainment. Persons aged 45-54 years and 55-64 years were more likely to report Year 10 or below as their highest qualification than any other level of attainment (25% and 36% respectively). (Table 9)

Persons aged 15-64 years, Level of highest educational attainment by Age group
Graph: Persons aged 15-64 years, Level of highest educational attainment by Age group


The proportion of persons aged 15-64 years not at school reporting a Certificate III/IV or above as their highest non-school qualification has been steadily increasing from 43% in 2001 to 48% in 2005 and 53% in 2009 . The proportion of persons aged 15-64 years not at school, reporting a Bachelor degree as their highest non-school qualification has also been increasing from 18% in 2001 to 23% in 2009. Over the same period, the proportion of persons aged 15-64 years not at school without a non-school qualification has been reducing from 47% in 2001 to 40% in 2009. Persons aged 25-34 years not at school had the largest proportional growth in attainment at the Certificate III/IV level or above of all age groups, increasing 17 percentage points between 2001 and 2009. (Table 16)

Persons aged 15-64 years not at school, Level of highest non-school qualification - 2001, 2005, 2009
Graph: Persons aged 15–64 years not at school, Level of highest non-school qualification – 2001, 2005, 2009



Employment characteristics

Approximately one-third (34%) of persons aged 15-64 years not at school and who were unemployed or not in the labour force reported that their highest level of educational attainment was Year 10 or below. Conversely, 16% of persons aged 15-64 years who were employed full-time reported that their highest level of educational attainment was Year 10 or below. Persons aged 15-64 years not at school who were employed full-time were more likely to have a Certificate III/IV or higher qualification (62%) than those who were employed part-time (50%). (Table 10)

Persons aged 15-64 years not at school, Level of highest educational attainment by Labour force status
Graph: Persons aged 15–64 years not at school, Level of highest educational attainment by Labour force status


Of the approximately 10.2 million employed persons aged 15-64 years not at school, those whose highest educational attainment was a Bachelor degree or higher were most likely to be employed as Professionals (59%) or Managers (15%). People without a non-school qualification were most likely to be employed as Clerical and administrative workers (20%) or Labourers (18%). The median weekly earnings for employed persons aged 15-64 years not at school whose highest educational attainment was a Bachelor degree was $1,351 compared with $907 for those with Year 10 or below. (Table 11)

Employed persons aged 15-64 years not at school, Earnings(a) by Level of highest educational attainment
Graph: Employed persons aged 15–64 years not at school, Earnings(a) by Level of highest educational attainment



Parental characteristics

Persons aged 15-24 years not at school were less likely to have completed Year 12 if neither of their parents had completed Year 12 or higher (55%) than persons where at least one (66%) or both (85%) parents had completed Year 12 or higher. Over half (52%) of males aged 15-24 years not at school did not complete Year 12 if neither parent had completed Year 12 or higher compared with just over one-third (37%) of females. (Table 7)

Persons aged 15-24 years not at school who completed Year 12 and whose parents were both employed were more likely to have participated in both formal (55%) and non-formal (23%) learning in the 12 months prior to the survey than persons who had neither parent employed (43% and 15% respectively). Females aged 15-24 years who completed Year 12 and whose parents were both employed were more likely (79%) to have participated in any types of learning in the 12 months prior to the survey than their male counterparts (70%). (Table 7)


Multiple qualifications

In 2009, over one-third (34%) of persons aged 15-64 years had completed one non-school qualification with a further 14% having completed two non-school qualifications and 9% having completed three or more non-school qualifications. The median weekly earnings for males who had completed one non-school qualification was significantly higher than their female counterparts ($1,055 and $700 respectively). This difference continued as the number of non-school qualifications increased. (Table 15)

Persons aged 15-64 years, Earnings(a) by number of non-school qualifications completed and sex
Graph: Persons aged 15–64 years, Earnings(a) by number of non-school qualifications completed and sex



Work history

Over one in five (22%) persons aged 15-64 years who had completed at least one non-school qualification reported that they were not employed before but were employed six months after completing their first qualification. In contrast, 14% of persons who had completed multiple non-school qualifications had moved into employment six months after completing their most recent qualification. The most commonly reported impact of the most recent qualification on the work history of persons aged 15-64 years who had completed multiple non-school qualifications was that they performed the same job to a higher standard or undertook additional duties (32%).

A person's first non-school qualification is more likely to lead to a change in career with 34% of persons changing careers after their first and 20% after their most recent subsequent qualification. (Table 14)


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