6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2018 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/11/2018   
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08 November 2018
Embargoed: 11:30 am (Canberra time)

Education level affects mothers' employment

Having a young family, with children less than 15 years old, continues to affect women's employment arrangements more than it does men according to latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

ABS Director of Education and Training Statistics, Michelle Ducat, said the Survey of Education and Work 2018 showed that while 28 per cent of mothers took time out of employment, or did not work, for fathers the figure was 4 per cent.

Mothers are also more likely to work part-time than fathers (39 per cent compared with 7 per cent).

"The survey also identified that the proportion of women with young children who are employed increases with the mother's level of education, with 79 per cent of mothers with a Bachelor Degree or higher being employed, compared with 53 per cent of mothers with qualifications below a Certificate III," Ms Ducat said.

"The level of education has a much smaller effect on employment for fathers with young children, with 96 per cent with a Bachelor Degree or higher being employed, compared with 89 per cent below a Certificate III."

More broadly, women aged 20-64 years are more likely than ever to gain a non-school qualification (e.g. a Certificate III or a Bachelor Degree).

Ms Ducat said: "Our 15 year time-series shows that since 2004 the proportion of women attaining a non-school qualification has increased significantly from 53 per cent in 2004 to reach around the same proportion as men in 2018, with around 2 out of 3 men and women having attained a non-school qualification."

Persons aged 20 to 64 years, Attainment of non-school qualification, by sex, 2004-2018
Source: Education and Work, Australia, 2018

Further details can be found at Education and Work, Australia, 2018 (cat. no. 6227.0).

Media Note:
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • Where this Media Release refers to 'mothers' and 'fathers', only those aged 25-44 years (with at least one child under 15) are included.
  • "Young children" is defined as 'at least one child aged less than 15 years'.
  • Levels of education are described in Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272).
  • People typically study for a Certificate III at a Technical or Vocational Education and Training Institution such as a TAFE college.
  • Levels of education below a Certificate III includes persons whose highest educational attainment is Year 12 or below, Certificate not further defined, and those who haven't completed any formal education.
  • Attainment of non-school qualifications for men and women have been similar since 2016. 2018 is the first year that women have a slightly higher proportion with a non-school qualification (67% for women and 66% for men), but the difference is not statistically significant.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team at media@abs.gov.au or 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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