Education, Training and Information Technology (Survey of)

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    The 2001 Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology is largely a repeat of the 1997 survey and retains a focus on the level of participation, educational pathways, skills acquisition, economic outcomes and individual experiences of education and training activities. More specifically, the survey provides much needed information on the links between education, training and employment through the collection of data about current levels and changes in participation and achievement, access and attitudes to education and training, and transition to employment-particularly in relation to young persons. The survey also includes information on household access to a computer and the Internet.


    The aim of the survey is to provide national benchmark information on a range of key indicators relating to educational attainment and participation in education and training activities for the population aged 15-64, and to enable trends in these areas to be monitored over time.


    The survey covers urban and rural areas across all States and Territories, and includes residents of private dwellings aged 15 to 64 only. Remote and sparsely settled areas of Australia are excluded, as are visitors to private dwellings, persons in institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes and special dwellings such as hotels and boarding houses.

    The following persons living in Australia but not usually considered part of the resident population are excluded from the scope of the survey:

    • diplomatic personnel of overseas governments and non-Australian members of their households;
    • non-Australian defence force personnel stationed in Australia, and their dependants;
    • overseas visitors whose usual place of residence was outside Australia;
    • persons living in sparsely settled areas (now generally excluded from ABS surveys);

    Non-Australians (other than those above) working in Australia, or in Australia as students or settlers, and their dependents, are included in the scope of the survey if they had lived, or intended to live in Australia for a period of 12 months or more.

    NOTE: Defence force personnel in Private Dwellings are included in this survey.


    Conceptual framework

    Development of a framework for education and training statistics is a long term ABS project on the National Centre for Education and Training Statistics work program. The broad aims of the framework are to promote informed decision making by:

    • integrating education and training data across the different jurisdictions and sectors, so that valid interstate and intersectoral comparisons can be made, and meaningful national statistics derived;
    • increasing comparability of statistics by providing a mechanism that identifies inconsistencies, gaps and duplication;
    • promoting increased and consistent use of classifications and standards; and
    • relating education and training data to other social and economic data, through links to other statistical frameworks, thereby showing how education and training interacts with other aspects of the social and economic environment.

    In conjunction with the development of the broader framework, particular attention is being given to the following high priority areas:

    • the comparability of definitions and standards between different sectors;
    • data about outcomes and destinations;
    • data about pathways of lifelong learning; and
    • financial data on education and training.

    Main outputs

    The main outputs from the survey are:

    • a publication - release May 2002;
    • a confidentialised unit record file (CURF); and
    • other data available on request.

    The content of these products is based on information collected on the following characteristics:

    For each person aged 15-64:

    Demographic information:

    Age, sex, family details, State or Territory of usual residence, country of birth, ancestry

    Current labour force and previous 12 month work history:

    Current labour force and employment status, occupation and industry, size and sector of employer/business, hours worked, full-time/part-time status, whether looking for work, duration of employment/unemployment, trade union membership, current/previous 12 months apprenticeship/trainee status, details of any vocational training provided as part of current job/business


    Whether still at secondary school, highest level of schooling completed, details of up to 4 non-school qualifications obtained, details of any qualifications abandoned in the past 5 years, future intentions in relation to non-school qualifications, details of any current study for a non-school qualification, and reasons for not completing secondary school, not completing a non-school qualification, not doing or not wanting to do any (more) study.


    Details of up to 4 training courses attended in last 12 months, including things like hours involved, costs incurred, method of delivery, internal or external, employer support, plus reasons for not doing or not wanting to do any (more) training.

    In addition to the above person level estimates, some information is provided in the form of estimates or proportions at the training course level.


    The main classifications used in the Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology are:

    Industry: Australia and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

    Occupation: Australian Standard Classification of Occupations Second Edition (ASCO SE).

    Country of Birth: The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC).

    Educational attainment and qualifications: The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).

    Note: Data are also available with Educational qualifications classified by the previous classification - The Australian Bureau of Statistics Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ).

    Other concepts (summary)

    Not applicable

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan
    Other (specify below)

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Some data may also be available classified according to the proposed ABS classification of remoteness.

    4 Yearly

    Frequency comments
    Training and Education Special Supplementary Surveys have been conducted in 1989 (How Workers Get Their Training), 1993 (Survey of Training and Education), and 1997 (Survey of Education and Training). The next one is due to be conducted in 2005. Earlier collections on this general topic were in 1979 (Survey of Education Experience and Intentions) and 1982 (Survey of Reasons for Completion or Non-completion of Secondary Education).


    • 1989 - How Workers Get Their Training (HWGTT)
    • 1993 - Survey of Training and Education (STE)
    • 1997 - Survey of Education and Training (SET)
    • 2001 - Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology (SETIT) (current cycle)

    The Education and Training surveys listed above allow the measurement of changes in levels of participation, achievement and access between 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2001, linked to characteristics of individuals. In the 1997 Survey the scope was extended to encompass those aged 15-64 years undertaking full-time or part-time education. In 2001 this was further extended so that all persons aged 15-64 were in scope for the survey.

    Additional Information

    How Workers Get Their Training 1989

    Persons aged 15-64, who had worked as wage and salary earners in the last 12 months.

    • educational attainment
    • work history
    • qualifications need to obtain job
    • training courses and on-the-job training undertaken in last 12 months
    • demographic and labour force characteristics

    Training and Education Experience 1993

    Persons aged 15-64, who had worked as wage and salary earners in the last 12 months, as well as those who, at the time of the survey, were employers, self-employed, unemployed marginally attached to the labour force.

    • educational attainment
    • work history
    • qualifications needed to obtain job
    • recent study for educational qualifications
    • training courses and on-the-job training undertaken in the last 12 months
    • access to training
    • computer proficiency
    • demographic and labour force characteristics

    Survey of Education and Training 1997

    Persons aged 15-64, who had worked as wage and salary earners in the previous 12 months, as well as those who, at the time of the survey, were employees, employers, self-employed, unemployed or marginally attached to the labour force, and persons aged 15-20 and still at secondary school, and persons studying either part-time or full-time.

    • educational attainment
    • work history
    • whether involved in the provision of education and training in current job
    • study for an educational qualification (full details of study in current (1997) year)
    • if enrolled for study in previous year (1996), full details of such study
    • training courses completed in Australia in the last 12 months
    • outcomes of training courses
    • access to education/training
    • intentions to complete school, for 15-20 year olds
    • intended future study for an educational qualification
    • unstructured training
    • demographic characteristics and labour force characteristics.


    Data availability comments

    Publication available May 2002.
    A Confidentialised unit record file (CURF) available July 2002.

    12/12/2003 03:59 PM