This document was added or updated on 11/01/2019.
QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
The Survey of Education and Work (SEW) is conducted in May each year throughout Australia as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) household survey program. For information on the institutional environment of the ABS, including its legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
Microdata files are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA). This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released using methods and systems that protect the confidentiality of people, households, and businesses. For more information about confidentiality, see the ABS Confidentiality Series and How ABS keeps your information confidential.
The SEW provides information for a range of key indicators relating to the educational participation and attainment of persons aged 15 to 74 years, along with data on their transition between education and work.
The type of information collected includes: general demographic and labour force characteristics; participation in education in the survey month and in the year prior to the survey; type of educational institution attended; level of education of current and previous study; level and main field of highest non-school qualification; transition from education to work; unmet demand for education; and selected characteristics of apprentices, including unmet demand for apprenticeships and traineeships.
The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0) is used to classify the Level and Field of education. 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.
As SEW is collected as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), persons excluded from the LFS are also excluded from this survey (see Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for standard LFS exclusions). Additional exclusions from SEW are persons aged 75 years or older, institutionalised persons, boarding school pupils and persons in Indigenous Communities. Persons permanently unable to work and persons aged 65 to 74 years who are not intending to work, or not in the labour force, or not marginally attached to the labour force, were included for the first time in 2013.
The ABS has been conducting similar education and work surveys since 1964. These surveys were conducted annually, in February, from 1964 to 1974, in May 1975 and 1976, in August 1977 and 1978 and annually, in May, since 1979. Data from the survey are released approximately six months after they have been collected.
The microdata generally contains finer levels of detail for data items than what is otherwise published in other formats, for example, in Education and Work, Australia, May 2016 (cat. no. 6227.0). For information on the level of detail provided, please refer to the data item list in the Downloads tab.
Steps to confidentialise the data made available in TableBuilder and the DataLab are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents selected in the survey. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from TableBuilder or the DataLab with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available in How the ABS keeps your information confidential. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with microdata from the DataLab can be found on the Using the DataLab page.
The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to its surveys. However, sound survey practice requires ongoing development and maintenance to maintain the integrity of the data and the efficiency of collection. For changes between iterations of the survey, please refer to the Data Comparability section in the Explanatory Notes of Education and Work, Australia, May 2016 (cat. no. 6227.0).
After each Census, population estimates are normally revised back five years to the previous Census year. As announced in the June 2012 issue of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0), intercensal error between 2006 and 2011 Censuses was larger than normal due to improved methodologies used in the 2011 Census Post Enumeration Survey. The intercensal error analysis indicated that previous population estimates for the base Census years were over-counted. An indicative estimate of the size of the over-count is that there should have been 240,000 fewer people at June 2006, 130,000 fewer in 2001 and 70,000 fewer in 1996. As a result, Estimated Resident Population estimates have been revised for the past 20 years rather than the usual five.
Consequently, estimates of particular populations derived since SEW 2014 may be lower than those published for the previous years as the SEW estimates have not been revised. Therefore, comparisons of SEW estimates since 2014 with previous years should not be made. However, for comparable data items, comparison of rates or proportions between years is appropriate.
The May 2013 SEW was the first supplementary survey to incorporate the online data collection method, where the option was offered to just over one-quarter of the SEW sample. Since the May 2014 SEW this option has been offered to all respondents. For more information, see the article Transition to Online Collection of the Labour Force Survey.
For changes between iterations of the SEW, please refer to the Explanatory Notes. For a full list of changes made to the LFS, see Chapter 20 of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2013 (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001) and Information Paper: Forthcoming Changes to Labour Force Statistics, Aug 2015 (cat. no. 6292.0).
Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with the SEW can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.
Microdata products are available to approved users. Access can be applied for through the Registration page. Users should also familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.
A full list of all available microdata can be viewed via the List of expected and available Microdata.
Any queries regarding access to microdata can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 6252 7714.