6227.0 - Education and Work, Australia, May 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/11/2012   
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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 Survey of Education and Work 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 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 permanently unable to work; persons aged 75 or older; persons aged 65-74 years who are not intending to work, or not in the labour force, or not marginally attached to the labour force; institutionalised persons; and boarding school pupils. Very remote areas, excluding Indigenous Communities, 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 Survey of Education and Work is conducted throughout Australia annually in May, 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 LFS is designed to primarily provide estimates for the whole of Australia and, secondly, for each state and territory. The LFS is based on a sample of private dwellings (approximately 29,000 houses, flats etc) and non-private dwellings, such as hotels and motels. The number of completed interviews for the Survey of Education and Work each year (after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions) is around 39,000. For scope and coverage exclusions for the Survey of Education and Work, 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.

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 Survey 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 have been made to the survey since 2009. For changes between iterations of the survey, please refer to the Explanatory Notes.


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


Tabulated data and associated RSEs are available in spreadsheet format on the website. Extra tables are also included on the website and usually available at the time of initial data release in the publication Education and Work, Australia - Additional data cubes (cat. no. 6227.0.55.003).

Data from this survey will be accessible in the Survey TableBuilder environment, enabling users to create tabulated output as required. For further details, refer to the Microdata pages on the ABS website.

A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) containing confidentialised microdata from the Survey of Education and Work has been released biennially since 2001. For further details refer to 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.