6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2010 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/11/2010   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Education and Work survey provides annual information about a range of key indicators relating to the educational participation and attainment along with data on people's transition between education and work for all persons aged 15 to 64 years and persons aged 65 to 74 who are employed or marginally attached to the labour force.

As a result of this survey being supplementary to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), persons excluded from the LFS were also excluded from this survey (see Explanatory Notes of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for standard LFS exclusions). Additional exclusions from this survey were persons aged 75 or older, persons aged 65-74 years who are not intending to work, persons permanently unable to work, institutionalised persons and boarding school pupils. Very remote areas were included for the first time in 2009.

The type of information collected included: 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 and main field of highest non-school qualification; transition from education to work; unmet demand for education; and selected characteristics of apprentices.

The Australian Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0) was used to classify 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. The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education.


The most recent Education and Work survey was conducted throughout Australia in May 2010 as a supplement to the monthly LFS. The ABS has been conducting similar surveys since 1964. These surveys were conducted annually from February 1964 to February 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 number of completed interviews (after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions) was about 39,800. This sample was achieved by obtaining a response rate of 96% from the selected households.

The Labour Force Survey is designed to primarily provide estimates for the whole of Australia and, secondly, for each state and territory.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

Every 5 years, following the availability of data from the Census of Population and Housing, the ABS reviews the LFS sample design. As a result of the review following the 2006 Census, the new sample design, implemented over the period November 2007 to June 2008, resulted in a smaller sample size from July 2008. For more information see Information Paper: Labour Force Sample Design, Nov 2007 (cat. no. 6269.0)


The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey; sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. No changes were made to the survey between 2009 and 2010.

In 2009 the scope of the survey was extended to include persons aged 65 to 74 years who are employed or marginally attached to the labour force. Persons are determined to be marginally attached to the labour force if they were not in the labour force in the reference week, wanted to work and: were actively looking for work but did not meet the availability criteria to be classified as unemployed; or were not actively looking for work but were available to start work within four weeks or could start work within four weeks if child care was available. To maintain comparability between years, the extra persons were not included in most of the tables. A separate table has been included.

Prior to 2009 all persons in very remote areas were excluded from SEW. Very remote areas represent about 2% of the total Australian and 20% of the Northern Territory population. From 2009 onwards SEW has a slightly wider scope, and excludes only persons in Indigenous communities in very remote areas. The current exclusion has only a minor impact on national estimates or estimates by state/territory except for the Northern Territory where such persons account for about 15% of the population.


Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with the Survey of Education and Work can be found in the pdf release as well as the relevant web pages included with this release.


In addition to the pdf publication, the tables and associated RSEs are available in spreadsheet format on the website. Extra tables not contained in the pdf are also included on the website.

A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) containing confidentialised microdata from the Survey of Education and Work has been released biennially since 2001. The CURF facilitates interrogation and analysis of survey data. A CURF will not be released for the 2010 Survey of Education and Work. The most recent CURF for the Survey of Education and Work was released from the 2009 survey. For further details refer to the ABS website <https://www.abs.gov.au>.

Data are also available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors which in some cases may result in data being confidentialised.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.