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6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/03/2002   
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INTRODUCTION

1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Survey of Education and Work (SEW) that was conducted throughout Australia in May 2001 as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who fell within the scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The additional output from the supplementary 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 people's transition between education and work. The annual time series allows for ongoing monitoring and provides a link with the more detailed range of educational indicators available from the four yearly Surveys of Education and Training. Specifically, the supplementary survey provides information on: people presently participating in education; levels of educational attainment, including highest and most recent educational attainment; characteristics of people's transition between education and work; and data on apprentices.

3 From April 2001 the LFS has been conducted using a redesigned questionnaire containing additional questions and some minor definitional changes. These changes also affect the supplementary surveys. For further details, see Information Paper: Implementing the Redesigned Labour Force Survey Questionnaire (Cat. no. 6295.0) and Information Paper: Questionnaires Used in the Labour Force Survey (Cat. no. 6232.0).


SCOPE

4 The scope of this supplementary survey was restricted to persons aged 15-64 and excluded the following persons:

  • members of the permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated populations;
  • overseas residents in Australia;
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants);
  • persons permanently unable to work;
  • patients in hospitals and sanatoriums; and
  • inmates of reformatories, gaols, etc.

5 The survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all States and Territories, but excluded 80,000 persons living in remote and sparsely settled parts of Australia who would otherwise have been within the scope of the survey. The exclusion of these persons will have only a minor impact on any aggregate estimates that are produced for individual States and Territories, except in the Northern Territory where the distribution of characteristics may be affected due to the relatively small population. Approximately 19,200 boarding school pupils aged 15 years or more were included in the survey. However, limited information was collected for these students, in particular, details are not available for country of birth or level of school study.


COVERAGE

6 In the LFS, 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. See Labour Force, Australia (Cat. no. 6203.0) for more details.


DEFINITIONS

7 Detailed definitions of labour force, and demographic classifications appearing in this publication, are given in Labour Force, Australia (Cat. no. 6203.0).

8 Definitions of level and main field of education appearing in this publication are from the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (Cat. no. 1272.0.).

9 Unless otherwise stated, all characteristics referenced in this publication relate to the week before the interview (i.e. the reference week).


CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATION

10 In 2001, the ABS Standard Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ) (Cat no. 1262.0) was replaced by the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (Cat. no. 1272.0). 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. It replaces a number of classifications previously used in administrative and statistical systems, including the ABSCQ. The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education.

11 The structure of ASCED Level of Education has three levels:
  • broad level;
  • narrow level; and
  • detailed level.

12 Level of Education is defined as a function of the quality and quantity of learning involved in an educational activity. There are nine broad levels, 15 narrow levels and 64 detailed levels. For definitions of these levels see the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (Cat. no. 1272.0).

13 The relationship between categories in the Level of Education classification should be essentially ordinal. In other words, educational activities at Broad Level 1 Postgraduate Degree should be at a higher level than those at the Broad Level 2 Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate and so on. However, when this idea is applied to the reality of educational provision in Australia, it is not always possible to assert that an ordinal relationship exists among the various levels of education.

14 This is particularly evident in the case of the relationship between Certificates I-IV in Broad Level 5 Certificate Level, and School Education included in Broad Level 6 Secondary Education. In this instance, the level of education associated with secondary education may range from satisfying the entry requirements for admission to a university degree course, to the completion of units in basic literacy, numeracy and life skills. Educational activity in these categories may therefore be of an equal, higher or lower level than Certificates found in Broad Level 5, Certificate Level.

15 Level of Highest Educational Attainment can be derived when questions on Highest Year of School Completed and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification are asked, and there is a requirement for a single measure of attainment rather than data items representing responses to both of these questions. The derivation process determines which of the 'non-school' or 'school' attainments will be regarded as the higher. Usually the higher ranking attainment will be self-evident but in some cases some Secondary Education is regarded, for the purposes of obtaining a single measure, as higher than some Certificate level attainments.

16 The following decision table is used to determine which of the responses to questions on Highest Year of School Completed and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification which have been coded to Broad ASCED Level of Education 5 and 6 will be regarded as the highest. It is emphasised that this table is solely for the purpose of obtaining a single value for the output variable Level of Highest Educational Attainment and is not intended to convey any other ordinality.

Australian Standard Level of Education ASCEDCertificate not further defined (500)Certificate III or IV not further defined (510)Certificate IV (511)Certificate III (514)Certificate I or II not further defined (520)Certificate II (521)Certificate I (524)
Secondary Education not further defined (600)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate II or I not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Senior Secondary Education not further defined (610)Senior Secondary not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIISenior Secondary not further definedSenior Secondary not further definedSenior Secondary not further defined
Year 12 (612) Year 12Certificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate III Year 12 Year 12 Year 12
Year 11 (613) Year 11Certificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate III Year 11 Year 11 Year 11
Junior Secondary Education not further defined (620)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Year 10 (621) Year 10Certificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate III Year 10 Certificate II Year 10
Year 9 (622)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Year 8 (623)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I
Year 7 (624)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further defined Certificate IV Certificate IIICertificate I or II not further defined Certificate II Certificate I


17 The decision table is used to rank the information provided in a survey about the qualifications and attainments of a single individual. It does not represent any basis for comparison between differing qualifications. For example, a person who responded to the Standard Question Module for Highest Year of School Completed with "Year 12", and who also indicated that their Level of Highest Non-school Educational Attainment was "Certificate III" would have those responses crosschecked on the decision table and would as a result have their Level of Highest Educational Attainment output as "Certificate III". For most statistical purposes, this is a more useful outcome. However, if their response to Level of Highest Non-school Educational Attainment had been "Certificate", it would be crosschecked against "Year 12" on the decision table as "Certificate not further defined" and the output would be "Year 12". Neither result implies that one qualification is 'higher' than the other.

18 The structure of ASCED Field of Education has three levels:
  • broad field;
  • narrow field; and
  • detailed field.

19 There are 12 broad fields, 71 narrow fields and 356 detailed fields. For definitions of these fields see the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (Cat. no. 1272.0).

20 Field of Education in ASCED is defined as the subject matter of an educational activity. Fields of education are related to each other through the similarity of subject matter, through the broad purpose for which the education is undertaken, and through the theoretical content which underpins the subject matter.


CLASSIFICATION OF INDUSTRY

21 Industry data have been classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), a detailed description of which appears in Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (Cat. no. 1292.0). ANZSIC classifies businesses according to their economic activities, in a structure consisting of four levels (Division, Subdivision, Group and Class).


CLASSIFICATION OF OCCUPATION

22 Occupation data have been classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), a detailed description of which appears in Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition (Cat. no. 1220.0). ASCO is a skill-based classification of occupations. However, a new hierarchical level, the Sub-Major Group, has been added to the previous Major Group, Minor Group, Unit Group and Occupation levels. Survey data are coded to the Unit Group level, as was the practice under ASCO First Edition.


ESTIMATION PROCEDURE

23 Estimates are derived by use of a ratio estimation procedure which ensures that the estimates conform to an independently estimated distribution of the population for each capital city and remainder of State by age, sex and labour force status, rather than to the corresponding distribution within the sample itself.

24 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling error. For more information refer to the Technical Note.


NEW PUBLICATION TITLE

25 Previously, this publication was titled Transition from Education to Work, Australia (Cat. no. 6227.0).


PREVIOUS SURVEYS

26 Due to differences in the method of estimation used in this supplementary survey and that used in the LFS, there are some small variations between estimates in this publication and those in the corresponding issue of Labour Force, Australia (Cat. no. 6203.0).

27 The estimates in this publication refer to information collected in the survey month and, due to seasonal factors, may not be representative of other months of the year.

28 Results of similar surveys, conducted annually from February 1964 to February 1974, in May 1975 and 1976, in August 1977 and 1978, and annually since May 1979 have been given in previous issues of this publication. Information on apprentices was collected for the first time in May 1983.


NEXT SURVEY

29 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again in May 2002.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

30 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

31 As well as the statistics included in this publication, the ABS may have other relevant data available. For example, data are available on request at the broad, narrow and detailed Level of Education and Field of Education categories. Occupation data are available at the Major, Sub-Major, Minor and Unit Group Level. Industry data are available at the Division, Subdivision and Group level. Inquiries should be made to James Ashburner by email at james.ashburner@abs.gov.au or on Canberra 02 6252 7934 or facsimile 02 6252 8013.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

32 Other ABS publications which may be of interest include:

A Directory of Education and Training Statistics (Cat. no. 1136.0) - issued irregularly, latest issue: October 1997. Available on this site.

Education and Training Experience (Cat. no. 6278.0) - issued 4 yearly, latest issue 1997, released in November 1998. The 2001 edition is expected to be released at the end of May 2002.

Education and Training in Australia (Cat. no. 4224.0) - issued irregularly, final issue: November 1999.

Education and Training Indicators, Australia (Cat. no. 4230.0) - issued biennially, first issue (2002) expected to be released November 2002.

Labour Force, Australia (Cat. no. 6203.0) - issued monthly

Schools, Australia (Cat. no. 4221.0) - issued annually, latest issue 2001, released in February 2002.

33 Current publications and products produced by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products, Australia (Cat. no. 1101.0). The ABS also issues, on Tuesdays and Fridays, a Release Advice (Cat. no. 1105.0) which lists publications to be released in the next few days. The Catalogue and Release Advice are available from any ABS office and also on this site.


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