1392.0 - Statistical News SA, Dec 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/12/2009   
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Courses of study

The most common field of education (for persons enrolled in a non-school qualification) was Management and commerce (26%), followed by Society and culture (19%), according to figures released in Education and Work, Australia, May 2009 (cat. no. 6227.0). The proportion of people studying Information technology decreased from 9% in 2001 to 3% in 2009.

About 2.7 million people (19% of all Australians aged 15-64) were enrolled in a course of study in May 2009 compared to 18% in 2001.

Qualifications such as Bachelor Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates are being undertaken by more Australians than in previous years. However, the number of apprenticeships dropped from 188,700 in 2008 to 163,000 in 2009.

The number of school leavers not engaged in education or work increased from 36,300 people in 2008 to 60,800 people in 2009, an increase of 67%.

Further details can be found in Education and Work, Australia, May 2009 (cat. no. 6227.0). It provides selected information on participation in education, highest educational attainment, transition from education to work and current labour force and demographic characteristics for the civilian population aged 15-64 years. Limited information is also included for persons aged 65-74 years who are in the labour force or marginally attached to it.

Increase in Indigenous participation in education and work

According to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0) there has been increased participation by Indigenous people in education and employment over the six years to 2008. As there were also improvements for all Australians, gaps remain between outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

More young Indigenous people are completing Year 12 and further studies. In 2008, more than one in five Indigenous people (21%) aged 15 - 64 years had completed Year 12 (up from 18% in 2002) while 40% held a non-school qualification (up from 32%). Despite these improvements, educational attainment rates remain at around half those for non-Indigenous people. In 2008, 54% of non-Indigenous people had completed Year 12 and 61% had non-school qualifications.

More Indigenous Australians were in employment in 2008, 54% of people aged 15-64 years, up from 48% in 2002. Correspondingly, the unemployment rate for Indigenous people decreased from 23% to 17%, but this rate was over three times the rate for all Australians in 2008.

Topics summarised in this release include language and culture, social networks and support, health, education, work, housing and financial stress. More detailed results for these and other topics from the survey will be released on the ABS website in 2010.

ABS Forward Work Program, 2009-10 to 2012-13 (cat. no. 1006.0)

The ABS Forward Work Program (cat. no. 1006.0) (FWP) is produced annually and is one of the suite of ABS corporate publications.

The FWP provides background information about statistical and non-statistical programs across the ABS, their objectives and the outputs they produce. It includes details of past and current resource usage, and provides developments in the work program for each of the statistical and non-statistical programs over the next three years. The FWP covers all programs in the ABS, across central office and all eight state and territory regional offices.

The ABS secured an additional $15m per annum in Government appropriation in the 2009-10 Budget. The increased appropriation enabled the reinstatement of the majority of 2008-09 work program reductions, most notably the reinstatement of the full sample for the Labour Force Survey and the monthly Retail Survey. These decisions were influenced by an extensive user consultation process. In addition to the increase in the ABS base funding, the ABS has secured additional funding to cover:
  • The creation of a new index to measure the out-of-pocket living costs experienced by households whose principal source of income is derived from a pension or other government benefit (see Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, (cat. no. 6467.0)
  • Assistance with the measurement of progress in reforming human service delivery, using performance indicators in Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Agreements, specifically in the areas of health, disability, education and housing, and
  • An increase in Census field-staff pays to ensure compliance with the new National Employment Standards under the revised workplace relations system.

Other Information

New Look Website for the National Statistical Service (NSS)

Some of the new features of the NSS website include:
  • a new look news section;
  • an NSS Quickfind - to get you to the most frequently used pages more quickly;
  • new licensing of electronic content under Creative Commons;
  • faster access to the ABS website from the new homepage icon; and
  • the Rate the NSS website survey.

Creative Commons licensing means that people are free to re-use, build upon and share the information - with acknowledgement of the source preferred. For more information on Creative Commons see the article in the November 2009 newsletter or go to the Creative Commons website.

Another addition is the new "Event Finder" so you can easily and quickly find statistical events in your State or Territory.