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6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2002   
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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 2002 as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents to the LFS who were in scope of the supplementary survey were asked further questions.

2 The SEW provides a range of key indicators relating to the educational participation and attainment of persons 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; level of highest non-school qualification, and level of highest educational attainment; non-school qualification completed in the previous year; characteristics of people's transition between education and work; and data on apprentices.

3 The monthly publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing relevant to both the LFS and supplementary surveys.

4 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).


CONCEPTS SOURCES AND METHODS

5 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0) which is also available on the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au (About Statistics--Concepts and Classifications).


SCOPE

6 The scope of the supplementary survey was restricted to persons aged 15-64 years and excludes the following persons:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from the Census and estimated resident population figures
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants)
  • persons permanently unable to work.

7 Patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with handicaps), and inmates of prisons are excluded from all supplementary surveys.

8 Students at boarding schools are in scope for SEW. The 2002 survey yielded an estimate of 10,800 boarding school pupils aged 15 years or more. The only other information collected on these persons was sex and age.

9 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded approximately 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 the Northern Territory where such persons account for over 20% of the population.


COVERAGE

10 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey in May 2002. 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 in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) for more details.


RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES

11 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:
  • sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For more information see the Technical Note.
  • non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient processing procedures.


SEASONAL FACTORS

12 The estimates are based on information collected in the survey month, and due to seasonal factors they may not be representative of other months of the year.


CLASSIFICATIONS USED

13 Industry data are classified according to the ANZSIC -- Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 1993 (cat.no. 1292.0).

14 Occupation data are classified according to the ASCO - Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, Second Edition, 1997 (cat. no. 1220.0).

15 Country of birth data are classified according to the SACC -Standard Australian Classification of Countries, 1998 (cat.no. 1269.0).


CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATION

16 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 national standard classification which can be applied to all sectors of the Australian education system including schools, vocational education and training and higher education. ASCED 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.

17 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).

18 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.

19 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.

20 Field of Education 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.

21 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).


LEVEL OF HIGHEST EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

22 Level of Highest Educational Attainment can be derived from information on Highest Year of School Completed and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification. The derivation process determines which of the 'non-school' or 'school' attainments will be regarded as the highest. 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.

23 The following decision table is used to determine which of the responses to questions on Highest Year of School Completed (coded to ASCED Broad Level 6) and Level of Highest Non-school Qualification (coded to ASCED Broad Level 5) will be regarded as the highest. It is emphasised that this table was designed 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 (ASCED) CODES

Australian Standard Level of Education (ASCED) codesCertificate 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 definedCertificate IVCertificate III
Certificate I or II not further defined
Certificate IICertificate I
Senior Secondary Education not further defined (610)Senior Secondary not further definedCertificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIISenior Secondary not further definedSenior Secondary not further definedSenior
Secondary
not further
defined
Year 12 (612)Year 12Certificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIIYear 12Year 12Year 12
Year 11 (613)Year 11Certificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIIYear 11Year 11Year 11
Junior Secondary Education not further defined (620)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIICertificate I or II not further definedCertificate IICertificate 1
Year 10 (621)Year 10Certificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIIYear 10Certificate IIYear 10
Year 9 (622)
Certificate not further defined Certificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIICertificate I or II not further definedCertificate IICertificate I
Year 8 (623)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIICertificate I or II not further definedCertificate IICertificate I
Year 7 (624)Certificate not further definedCertificate III or IV not further definedCertificate IVCertificate IIICertificate I or II not further definedCertificate IICertificate I



24 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 whose Highest Year of School Completed was Year 12, and whose Level of Highest Non-school Qualification was a 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. However, if the same person answered "Certificate" to the highest non-school qualification question, without offering any further detail, it would be crosschecked against Year 12 on the decision table as "Certificate not further defined". The output would then be "Year 12". The decision table, therefore, does not necessarily imply that one qualification is 'higher' than the other.


COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES

25 Revisions are made to population benchmarks for the LFS after each five-yearly Census of Population and Housing. The last such revision was made in February 1999 to take account of the results of the 1996 Census of Population and Housing. Estimates from supplementary surveys conducted from and including February 1999 are therefore based on revised population benchmarks.

26 Supplementary surveys are not always conducted on the full LFS sample. Since August 1994 the sample for supplementary surveys has been restricted to no more than seven-eighths of the LFS sample. Since it was introduced, this survey has been conducted on various proportional samples and therefore sampling errors associated with previous supplementary surveys may vary from the sampling error for this survey.


COMPARABILITY WITH MONTHLY LFS STATISTICS

27 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of this supplementary survey and that of the LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS. The differences between the estimates appearing in this publication and Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6203.0) are chiefly the result of excluding persons aged 65 years and over from the sample of this supplementary survey.

28 Core LFS series from April 1986 to March 2001 have been revised on the basis of the redesigned LFS questionnaire. Supplementary survey data have not been revised.


PREVIOUS SURVEYS

29 Results of similar surveys have been given in previous issues of this publication. These surveys were conducted annually from February 1964 to February 1974, in May 1975 and 1976, in August 1977 and 1978, and annually since May 1979 . Results of previous surveys were published in:
  • Transition from Education to Work, Australia (cat. no. 6227.0)
  • Standard data service, Transition from Education to Work, Australia, May 1995 (cat. no. 6227.0.40.001), (available in hardcopy only)
  • Education and Work, Australia,2001 (cat. no. 6227.0).


NEXT SURVEY

30 The ABS intends to conduct this survey again in May 2003.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

31 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

32 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

33 Other publications which may be of interest include:
  • A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 1136.0) - issued irregularly, latest issue: October 1997. Available on ths site.
  • Education and Training Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6278.0) - issued four-yearly, latest issue 2001 released in May 2002.
  • Education and Training in Australia (cat. no. 4224.0) - issued irregularly, final issue: November 1998.
  • Education and Training Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 4230.0) - issued irregularly, first issue 2002 released in December 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.

34 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue is available from any ABS office or this site. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.


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