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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Work-related training

The Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology, which was conducted between April and August 2001, collected information from individuals aged 15-64 years. The survey focused on educational attainment, participation in education and training over the past 12 months, and use of information technology. This article explores the incidence and characteristics of work-related training, using information collected in the survey about work-related training courses which were completed over the 12-month period prior to the survey. Details were collected about a maximum of four training courses for each person. Some comparisons are made with data from the 1997 Survey of Education and Training.

Further explanatory material is available in Education and Training Experience, Australia (6278.0).

Work-related training in context

Work-related training not only enhances individuals' skills, enabling them to remain competitive in the labour market, but also promotes labour market competitiveness in a global context. Workplace training is also a key element of society's increasing focus on a learning path for individuals which extends beyond schooling to other formal and non-formal types of learning, and which continues throughout adult life. In 2001, 37% of the 12.9 million people aged 15-64 years had completed at least one work-related training course in the 12 months prior to the survey. In all, 4.8 million people completed 9.8 million courses.

This article focuses on the 8.3 million training courses which were completed by people who were wage or salary earners at the time of training. (A more detailed explanation of wage or salary earners is available in Education and Training Experience, Australia (6278.0).) These training courses, which involved over 143 million hours of training, represented 84% of all training courses completed. For ease of expression, the remainder of the article will refer to training course completions as those training courses completed by people who were wage or salary earners at the time of training.

Age and sex of training participants

Some 85% of all training course completions were by people aged 25-64 years. Within this broad age range, relatively little training was completed by people aged 55-64 years (6% of training course completions) (graph 10.20). Half (50%) of completions were by females, an increase from 48% in 1997.

Graph - 10.20 Training course completions(a)-2001



Occupation of training participants

Some 30% of completed courses were undertaken by the broad occupation group Professionals, 19% by Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers, and 14% by Associate professionals. This pattern is similar to that in 1997, when the corresponding figures were 32%, 19% and 12% respectively. Only 3% of courses were undertaken by Advanced clerical and service workers, and 4% by Labourers and related workers, unchanged from 1997.

Over the period 1997 to 2001, the number of training course completions increased for each of the broad occupation groups, but most notably for those wage or salary earners who were employed as Elementary clerical, sales and service workers (33%) and Associate professionals (27%) (graph 10.21). In comparison, training course completions by Professionals and Advanced clerical and service workers both increased by 7%.

Graph - 10.21 Training course completions, by occupation of training participants(a) - 1997 to 2001



Industry of trainees

In 2001, 15% of training course completions were by people employed in Health and community services and a further 14% by those employed in Education, little change from 1997 when the corresponding figures were 15% for both these industries. Between 1997 and 2001, training course completions increased most notably for people employed in Cultural and recreational services (54%), Construction (54%) and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (48%). However, over the same period, training course completions by those wage and salary earners in Wholesale trade fell by 16%, and there were small declines also in Agriculture, forestry and fishing (5%), Mining (3%) and Manufacturing (2%) (graph 10.22).

Graph - 10.22 Training course completions, by industry of training participants(a) - 1997 to 2001



Field of training

In 2001, 41% of all training course completions were in the Management and professional, and Technical and para-professional fields (compared to 43% in 1997). The incidence of Health and safety training courses increased from 12% (of all training courses completed in 1997) to 17% in 2001 (table 10.23), largely due to a 63% increase in the number of training courses completed in this field between 1997 and 2001.


10.23 TRAINING COURSE COMPLETIONS(a), Field and duration of training course

1997
2001


'000
%
'000
%

Field of training course
Management and professional
2,110.4
29.3
2,393.3
29.0
Technical and para-professional
958.2
13.3
1,022.3
12.4
Trade and craft
406.8
5.6
502.3
6.1
Clerical and office
335.6
4.7
323.5
3.9
Sales and personal service
764.9
10.6
711.4
8.6
Transport, plant and machinery operation, and labouring & related fields
270.2
3.8
351.5
4.3
Induction
254.9
3.5
400.4
4.8
Supervision
158.4
2.2
203.2
2.5
Computing skills
611.1
8.5
833.7
10.1
Health and safety
859.7
11.9
1,401.4
17.0
Other(b)
475.6
6.6
118.5
1.4
Time spent on training courses (hours)
1-9
3,959.6
55.0
4,991.0
60.4
10-19
1,488.4
20.7
1,481.2
17.9
20-29
693.1
9.6
726.3
8.8
30-39
337.4
4.7
337.1
4.1
40 or more
727.3
10.1
726.0
8.8
Total
7,205.8
100.0
8,261.6
100.0

(a) This table relates to the number of training courses completed, not the number of persons. Estimates relate to a maximum of four training courses per person. Therefore, a person may contribute more than once to a given category and/or to more than one category.
(b) Includes English language, Literacy, Numeracy, and Music and arts.

Source: Education and Training Experience, Australia (6278.0).


Duration of training courses

In 2001, 60% of training courses completed were less than 10 hours in length and 18% were between 10 and 19 hours (table 10.23). Only 9% of training courses were of 40 hours or more duration. Since 1997, there has been a 26% increase in the number of courses of less than 10 hours, while the number of those of duration 10 hours or more has remained constant. As a consequence, the average duration of work-related training courses completed by wage or salary earners fell from 20.6 hours in 1997 to 17.4 hours in 2001.

Method of training delivery

In 2001, 82% of training course completions were delivered mainly by classroom instruction, lecture, seminar, workshop or conferences. The predominance of this method of training delivery reflects the importance of the formalised nature of training for workers and a training environment that provides for interactions between the participant and the trainer. By comparison, less people-interactive delivery methods of reading materials, audio or video cassette, and computer disk or CD-ROM each accounted for a further 4% of courses completed.

Training costs and support

In 2001, 77% of training courses were completed solely in work time and a further 7% were partly completed in work time. Men more frequently completed training courses in work time than did women (82% and 72% respectively) (table 10.24).

Only 7% of training courses completed had some cost to the participant, much the same as in 1997 (8%). However, for those courses which did incur a cost, the average cost of $272 was slightly higher than in 1997 ($243). For men, the average cost of training courses was $374 while for women it was $199. The corresponding figures for 1997 were $317 and $200.

Some 92% of all training course completions were supported by the employer in some way. That support was most frequently provided as in-house training courses. The proportion of training courses where the employer provided paid study leave more than doubled since 1997 - 13% of all training courses compared to 6% in 1997.


10.24 TRAINING COURSE COMPLETIONS(a), Support for training

1997
2001


'000
%
'000
%

When course conducted
In work time
5,385.4
74.7
6,378.4
77.2
Own time
1,307.2
18.1
1,302.7
15.8
In both work and own time
513.1
7.1
580.5
7.0
Whether costs incurred
Yes
588.6
8.2
561.8
6.8
No
6,617.2
91.8
7,699.8
93.2
All training courses
7,205.8
100.0
8,261.6
100.0
Whether received financial support(b)
Main-period employer provided paid study leave
430.0
6.0
1,032.2
12.5
Main-period employer paid fees
1,142.0
15.8
1,193.0
14.4
Main-period employer provided other financial support(c)
630.7
8.8
730.9
8.9
Other employer provided support
30.3
0.4
40.6
0.5
No employer support
751.9
10.4
641.4
7.8
In-house training course
5,055.7
70.2
6,033.3
73.0

(a) This table relates to the number of training courses completed not the number of persons. Estimates relate to a maximum of four training courses per person. Therefore, a person may contribute more than once to a given category and/or to more than one category.
(b) Multiple response category.
(c) Includes payment for training materials, accommodation, travel expense.

Source: ABS data available on request, Survey of Education and Training, 1997 and 2001.


Training course outcomes

For 89% of training course completions, participants considered that the skills gained would be transferable; that is, they could be used in a similar job with another employer. Also, some 8% of training course completions are believed to have helped the participant obtain a pay rise or promotion.

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 1998, Education and Training Experience, 1997, cat. no. 6278.0, ABS, Canberra.

ABS 2002, Education and Training Experience, 2001, cat. no. 6278.0, ABS, Canberra.

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