Highly Skilled Workforce

Last Updated: 
2011
Update Frequency: 
Census every 5 years

Indicator Rationale 

The quantum and types of skills available within an area will delineate its capacity to support particular industries and consequently its outlook for economic growth. Areas where the requisite skills base and knowledge capacity are in place are more likely to attract particular industries, which will lead to more dynamic economic outcomes. 

A knowledge-based economy is synonymous with an information society. It is defined as an economy which is 'directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information' (ABS 2002). Successful modern economies are more knowledge-intensive than ever as jobs for process and manufacturing workers become automated (ABS 2002). Although high-tech industries are traditionally associated with knowledge economies, all industries can be knowledge intensive, including extractive industries and agricultural products (ABS 2002).

Data Source

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 Census

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 Census, data available on request.

Measure

People Employed in Highly Skilled Occupations: expressed as a percentage of people who are working in the area.

A highly skilled occupation has been defined as one with a skill level of 1, 2 or 3 as assigned in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), First Edition. The skill levels are defined as follows:

Skill Level 1: Commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification. At least five years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

Skill Level 2: Commensurate with an AQF Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma. At least three years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

Skill Level 3: Commensurate with an AQF Certificate IV, or AQF Certificate III including at least two years of on-the-job training. At least three years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualifications listed above. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

In the 2006 Census, information sufficient to determine occupation was not obtained from 1.1% of employed Victorians ('inadequately described' and 'not stated' categories). These people were excluded from the population prior to the calculation of proportions.  Rates of non-response across LGAs ranged from 0.5% to 1.5%.  In addition, some employed people did not provide their workplace address, and some people did not provide a response enabling the determination of labour force status, and both of these groups have been excluded.

Census Questions

The data have been derived from the following census variables: Occupation and Labour Force Status.

These variables were derived from responses to a number of questions on the 2006 Census form:

Question 34: Last week, did the person have a full-time or part-time job of any kind?
Question 35: In the main job held last week, was the person working for an employer or working in own business?
Question 38: In the main job held last week, what was the person's occupation?
Question 39: What are the main tasks that the person usually performs in the occupation reported at Question 38?
Question 44: Last week, how many hours did the person work in all jobs?
Question 46: Did the person actively look for work at any time in the last four weeks?
Question 47: If the person had found a job, could the person have started work last week?

The census form instructed respondents that a job was any type of work, including casual, temporary or part-time work, if it was for one hour or more.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Discussion Paper: Measuring a Knowledge-based Economy and Society - An Australian Framework, 2002.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006 Census of Population and Housing - Reference and Information.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006.