Australian Bureau of Statistics
1136.0 - Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2007
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2007
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Survey of Aspects of Literacy
The survey covered all persons aged 15-74 years who were usual residents of private dwellings, excluding overseas residents in Australia; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments; and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia. It was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded persons living in certain remote and sparsely settled parts of Australia.
The survey was conducted between May and July 1996.
Frequency of Collection
This is an irregular collection. A second survey of this type, the Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (ALLS) was conducted in Australia in late 2006. The ALLS will allow comparison of 2006 literacy skill levels to those reported in 1996, and comparison of Australians' literacy skills with those of other countries.
Method of Collection
Background information was collected from a randomly selected member of each selected household by specially trained ABS interviewers. Respondents were then asked to complete a set of literacy-related tasks. The objective assessment of literacy skills was based on a methodology developed by the United States’ Educational Testing Service and Statistics Canada which was adapted for use in several countries.
The results of the first component of the 1996 SAL were released in May 1997. The results of the objective assessment were released in September 1997.
The first results of the 2006 ALLS are expected in late 2007.
Survey of Aspects of Literacy, 1996
Aspects of Literacy: Assessed Skill Levels, Australia, 1996 (ABS cat. no. 4228.0)
Aspects of Literacy: Profiles and Perceptions, Australia, 1996 (ABS cat. no. 4226.0)
Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, 2006
Adult Literacy and Life Skills, Summary Results, Australia, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 4233.0) (expected release late 2007)
Data are available for Australia, state and territory, and capital city/balance of state (excluding territories).
Customised tables are available on request (a charged service), and a set of state/territory tables. A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) is available.
In 2006 the ALLS assessed four different types of skills in related domains. Only two scales - prose and document literacy - have been defined and measured in the same manner as the 1996 SAL, and are therefore directly comparable. While the 2006 ALLS collected some items consistent with the 1996 SAL, a variety of new topics such as use of technologies, social capital and well being have been introduced. The four scales defined in the 2006 ALLS are:
State or territory of usual residence
Area of usual residence
Relationship in household
Country of birth
Year of arrival in Australia
Labour force participation, Employment activities
Labour force status
Status in employment in current job
Occupation of last full-time job
Industry of last full-time job
Hours (usually) worked
Duration and other characteristics of unemployment and underemployment
Participation in education and training
Number of schools attended before the age of 15 years
Educational attainment before migration
Field of study of highest qualification obtained before migration
Whether finished schooling in Australia
Educational attainment in Australia
Level of educational attainment
Level of parents' educational attainment
Field of study of highest qualification obtained
Main reason left school early
Years of formal education completed
Whether received any training or education in the last 12 months
Number of courses or workshops attended in the last 12 months
For first, second and third courses:
Reasons for not taking recreational course in the last 12 months
Reasons for not taking job-related training course in the last 12 months
Language and literacy
Language first spoken
Self-perception of current reading and writing skills in language first spoken
Age learned to read, write and speak English
Self-perception of current English speaking skills
Age attended English language classes
Length of English language classes
Provider of English language classes
Languages spoken well enough to converse in
Language usually spoken at home
Language in which most at ease
Reasons for not taking training to improve English reading and writing skills
Frequency of using or reading written material in job
Frequency of writing or filling in forms etc. in job
Frequency of using mathematics or arithmetic in job
Self-assessment of English reading, writing and mathematics skills against those required in job held
Self-perception of extent to which English reading, writing and mathematics skills limit jobs
Frequency of general reading, writing, social and cultural events
Kinds of reading material in the home
How often help needed from others to read/write in English
Self-perception of English reading, writing and mathematics skills needed for daily life
Satisfaction with English reading and writing skills
Assessed skill level - prose scale
Assessed skill level - document scale
Assessed skill level - quantitative scale
Occupation of parents' main job
Personal income from wages, salary or self-employment
Personal income from all sources
Types of income from government sources
This survey was conducted for the first time in 1996. Data for this survey will become historical upon release of data from the 2006 ALLS.
This page last updated 10 April 2008
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