This Statistical First Release updates key statistics on the level of highest qualification held by people of working age in England, published on 5 February 2004. Attainment figures are broken down by gender, age, geography, ethnicity, disability and economic activity. It also contains statistics on specific subsets of the population used to measure progress towards post-16 attainment targets within the Department and the Learning and Skills Council. The figures are calculated from the autumn 2004 Labour Force Survey (carried out by the Office for National Statistics) using the detailed information collected about qualifications gained by individuals.
The methodology used to the estimate the numbers at different qualification levels have been modified in this SFR to take account of changes to the LFS questionnaire introduced in Spring 2004. The revised methodology gives estimates that are consistent with those produced for earlier years. For more details see below.
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) will not be used to assess progress on attainment of 19 year olds from 2004 as the Department has moved to a new and more precise administrative measure for the 2004 to 2006 PSA target. Provisional estimates produced under this measure are presented in SFR05/2005 "Level 2 and 3 Attainment by Young People in England measured using Matched Administrative Data: Attainment by Age 19 in 2004".
The LFS respondents will have given details of their Vocational Qualifications in completing the survey. A proportion of the total number of Vocational Qualification awarded in 2003/04 will represent new attainment at a higher level than achieved previously and will have been taken account in calculating the highest level of qualification recorded in this SFR. Total numbers of Vocational Qualifications awarded are detailed in SFR07/2005 "Vocational Qualifications in the UK: 2003/04".
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