Microdata: Work-Related Training and Adult Learning, Australia

Enables analysis of data about formal study and non-formal learning, with a focus on work-related training

Accessing the data

The Work-Related Training and Adult Learning (WRTAL) survey provides annual statistics about formal study and non-formal learning, with a focus on work-related training and personal interest learning. It was conducted throughout Australia from July 2020 to June 2021 as a self-contained topic on the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). See Work-Related Training and Adult Learning, Australia for summary results, methodology and other information. 

The data can be accessed using the following microdata products: 

  • TableBuilder - produce your own tables and graphs. TableBuilder is available for the following survey years: 2013, 2016-17 and 2020-21. 

Compare access options to see what's right for you or Apply for access.

Data and file structure

Data items include:  

  • Demographics, such as age, sex and country of birth
  • Geography
  • Labour force, income and education characteristics
  • Formal study
  • Non-formal learning including Work-related training and Personal interest learning
  • Cost of and time spent on work-related training
  • Barriers to formal study and non-formal learning
  • Population data items

Refer to data item lists for each microdata product for detailed information on items available. Use the data item list to confirm whether the dataset includes what you need for your research before purchasing your subscription.

The WRTAL is structured as a single level person file.

Using TableBuilder

TableBuilder User Guide

The TableBuilder User Guide provides you with information about how to create basic tables, custom groups, graphs and large tables. It also includes practical examples and video tutorials.


When tabulating data in TableBuilder, person weights are automatically applied to the underlying sample counts. Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each sample unit. The weight is the value that indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit.

Not applicable categories

Most data items included in the TableBuilder file include a 'Not applicable' category. The classification values of these 'Not applicable' categories, where relevant, are shown in the TableBuilder data item list. The 'Not applicable' category generally represents the number of people who were not asked a particular question or the number of people excluded from the population for a data item when that data was derived (e.g. Year of Arrival in Australia is not applicable for people born in Australia).

Table populations

The population relevant to each data item is identified in the data item list and should be kept in mind when extracting and analysing data. The actual population estimate for each data item is equal to the total cumulative frequency minus the 'Not applicable' category.

In addition, the WRTAL TableBuilder includes 'Population data items' that can be used in a table to 'filter' for a specific population of interest. For example, the population data item 'Persons who participated in work-related training in last 12 months while employed' can be used to filter for this population.

The purpose of the population data item 'Non-Indigenous flag' is to assist users in producing non-indigenous data only. It should not be used to estimate for the Indigenous population through differencing, as the scope of the WRTAL excludes persons living in Indigenous communities.

Continuous data items

The WRTAL TableBuilder includes several continuous variables: 

  • They can have a response value at any point along a continuum.
  • Some continuous data items are allocated special codes for certain responses (e.g. 000 = 'Not applicable').
  • When creating ranges in TableBuilder for such continuous items, special codes will automatically be excluded. Therefore the total will show only 'valid responses' rather than all responses (including special codes). These codes are shown in the data item list.
  • Continuous items with special codes have a corresponding categorical item on the Person level that provides the ability to display data for the special code. Refer to the data item list.

Multi-response data items

A number of questions included in the WRTAL survey allowed respondents to provide one or more responses. These data items can be identified in the data item list from the Data downloads section by the <MR>. The sum of individual multi-response categories will be greater than the population or number of people applicable to the particular data item as respondents are able to select more than one response.


A confidentiality process called perturbation is applied to the data in TableBuilder to avoid releasing information that may lead to the identification of individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses. See Confidentiality in the TableBuilder User Guide.

Data downloads

TableBuilder data item lists

Data files


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Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4234.0.30.001.

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