4234.0 - Work-Related Training and Adult Learning, Australia, Apr 2013 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/12/2013  First Issue
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The Survey of Work-Related Training and Adult Learning (WRTAL) was conducted throughout Australia for the first time in April 2013, as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) household survey program. For information on the institutional environment of the 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 Work-Related Training and Adult Learning survey provides a range of information about formal and non-formal learning activities undertaken by Australians, with a particular focus on work-related training. Data is presented along side general demographic, educational and employment characteristics. The data available includes participation rates for work-related training and personal interest learning, the reasons for participation, the time spent undertaking the most recent training and personal costs incurred. Also collected is information on the barriers that prevent people from undertaking training.

Work-related training plays a crucial role in developing and sustaining skilled and competent employees. For the individual, work-related training helps enhance personal and professional development and build new capabilities for career advancement or a change in occupation. For businesses, it improves workplace performance and productivity.


The first WRTAL survey was conducted in April 2013 and is expected to be collected every four years, with the next iteration planned for January 2017. Data from the survey are released approximately six months after collection.


The LFS, and consequently the WRTAL survey, is designed primarily to provide reliable estimates at the national level and secondly, for each state and territory. The WRTAL sample, based on a subset of the LFS sample, comprised of usual residents aged 15–74 in private dwellings. One person from each household was randomly selected to respond to the WRTAL survey,

In addition to general LFS scope and coverage exclusions for private dwellings (e.g. members of defence forces, diplomatic personnel, etc), WRTAL also excluded those LFS respondents who completed the LFS questionnaire over the Internet. The number of completed interviews for WRTAL, after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions, was 19,976. This sample was achieved by obtaining a response rate of 95% from selected households. For a complete list of scope and coverage inclusions and exclusions for the Survey of Work-related Training and Adult Learning, refer to the Explanatory Notes.

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 nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

Estimates (numbers and proportions) with RSEs less than 25% are considered sufficiently reliable for most purposes. Estimates with RSEs between 25% and 50% are annotated to indicate they are subject to high sampling variability and should be used with caution. Estimates with RSEs greater than 50% have also been included and annotated to indicate they are considered too unreliable for general use.


This is the first time the Work-related Training and Adult learning survey has been conducted, and as such no other data is available for direct comparison.

Although data presented in the WRTAL publication are similar to that collected in the Survey of Education and Training, data between the two surveys should not be directly compared due to the different collection methodologies used. The Explanatory Notes section included in this publication provides more detailed information on the differences between the two surveys.


This publication, contains a collection of tables with footnoted data to aid with the interpretation of the survey results. The Summary of Findings comprises analytical text and graphics to support interpretation of the publication tables. Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note, and a Glossary provide additional information on the data, terminology, classifications and other associated technical aspects of the survey.


Tabulated data and associated RSEs are available in spreadsheet format and can be accessed from the Downloads tab.

Data from this survey will be accessible in the TableBuilder environment, enabling users to create tabulated 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 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.