ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents information about the educational experience of persons aged 15-64 years, especially in relation to their labour force status.
Statistics in this publication were collected in May 2006 as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey.
Information collected in the survey includes: participation in education in the year prior to the survey, and in the survey month; labour force characteristics; type of educational institution; level of education of current and previous study; highest year of school completed; level of highest non-school qualification; level of highest educational attainment; unmet demand for education in current year; and selected characteristics of apprentices.
CLASSIFICATION OF EDUCATION
The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0) was introduced into ABS collections in 2001. It replaced a number of education classifications used prior to 2001 for data from the various sectors of the Australian education system, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ) (cat. no. 1262.0). ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education. For further details, see paragraphs 18-23 of the Explanatory Notes.
As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Terri Jamieson on Canberra (02) 6252 5267.
In May 2006, there were 13,394,700 persons aged 15-64 years in the scope of the survey, of whom 2,392,400 (18%) were enrolled in a course of study. Approximately 877,900 (37%) of these enrolled persons were attending a Higher education institution, 714,700 (30%) were at school, 502,500 (21%) were at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions, and 297,300 (12%) were at other educational institutions.
Of persons enrolled in a course of study in May 2006, 53% were females, 44% were aged 15-19 years, and 64% were studying full time.
Study leading to a qualification
Approximately 95% (2,279,100) of persons who were enrolled in a course of study were enrolled in a course leading to a qualification.
The proportion of persons aged 15-64 years enrolled in a course leading to a qualification in May 2006 was 17%, the same proportion as recorded in May 1996.
Of persons who were enrolled in a course leading to a qualification, more than one in four (28%) were studying for a Bachelor Degree, of whom 45% were aged between 20 and 24 years, and 27% were aged between 15 and 19 years.
Other than Mixed field programmes, which includes persons studying for Year 12 or below, the most commonly reported main field of education of current study for persons enrolled in a course leading to a qualification was Management and commerce (18%), followed by Society and culture (13%).
Level of highest non-school qualification
The proportion of persons with a non-school qualification increased from 42% in May 1996 to 52% in May 2006. Persons attaining a Bachelor Degree or above underwent the greatest increase (13% in May 1996 to 21% in May 2006). The proportion of persons whose highest non-school qualification was an Advanced Diploma or below increased from 29% in 1996 to 31% in 2006.
Among the 7,019,500 persons with a non-school qualification, the most commonly reported fields of education for the highest non-school qualification were Management and commerce (23%), and Engineering and related technologies (19%).
Of persons with a non-school qualification, 83% were employed, compared to 63% without a non-school qualification. Of employed persons with a non-school qualification, 77% were full-time workers, compared to 64% of employed persons without a non-school qualification.
Level of highest educational attainment
More than a third (34%) of persons aged 15-64 years reported their level of highest educational attainment as being Year 11 or below, and a further 20% reported Year 12. Additionally, more than 1 in 5 (21%) had a highest level of attainment of Bachelor Degree or higher, and another 15% had a Certificate III or IV.
STARTING A COURSE OF STUDY
Approximately 338,400 persons who were not enrolled in a course of study leading to a qualification in 2005 were enrolled in a course of study leading to a qualification in May 2006. Of these, 58% were female, and more than 72% were employed, of which 64% were employed on a full-time basis. While 62% of this group were aged between 15 and 34 years, there remained 129,600 persons aged 35 or more starting a course of study leading to a qualification.
LEAVING A COURSE OF STUDY
Approximately 971,600 persons who were enrolled in a course of study leading to a qualification in 2005 were not enrolled in a course of study leading to a qualification in May 2006. Among this group, 82% were employed and a further 8% were unemployed. While the majority (65%) of 'leavers' were aged between 15 and 34 years, there were 342,900 (35%) who were aged 35 to 64 years.