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.
TableBuilder 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. Microdata is released using methods and systems that protect the confidentiality 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 LFS is primarily designed to provide estimates for the whole of Australia and, secondly, for each state and territory. The LFS is based on a sample of private dwellings and non-private dwellings, such as hotels and motels. The number of completed interviews for the 2018 Survey of Education and Work (after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions) was 41,781. The sample size was achieved by obtaining a response rate of 92% from the Monthly Population Survey.
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.
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 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two standard errors. Relative standard errors (RSEs) of the estimates for this survey are included with this release.
Another measure is the Margin of Error (MOE), which describes the distance from the population value of the estimate at a given confidence level, and is specified at a given level of confidence. Confidence levels typically used are 90%, 95% and 99%. For example, at the 95% confidence level the MOE indicates that there are about 19 chances in 20 that the estimate will differ by less than the specified MOE from the population value (the figure obtained if all dwellings had been enumerated). The MOEs in this publication are calculated at the 95% confidence level.
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.
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 the 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 last 20 years rather than the usual five.
Consequently, estimates of particular populations derived since SEW 2014 may be lower than those published for 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 an 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 the Labour force comparability over time chapter of Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Feb 2018 (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.
Tabulated data and associated measures of error are available in spreadsheet format and can be accessed from the Downloads tab.
Data from this survey will also be accessible in the TableBuilder environment, enabling users to create their own customised output as required. For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS website.
Data are also available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high measures of error 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, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.