Participation in education and training (based on EU-LFS)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Unit F3: Labour market and lifelong learning

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 08/06/2021
2.2. Metadata last posted 08/06/2021
2.3. Metadata last update 08/06/2021


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Lifelong learning encompasses all learning activities undertaken throughout life with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences, within personal, civic, social or employment-related perspectives. The intention or aim to learn is the critical point that distinguishes these activities from non-learning activities, such as cultural or sporting activities.

Participation in education and training is a measure of lifelong learning. The participation rate in education and training covers participation in formal and non-formal education and training. The reference period for the participation in education and training is the four weeks prior to the interview. Participation rates in education and training for various age groups and by different breakdowns are presented.

The data shown are calculated as annual averages of quarterly EU Labour Force Survey data (EU-LFS).

The strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training set a benchmark on adult participation in lifelong learning to be achieved by 2020, namely that an average of at least 15 % of adults aged 25 to 64 years old should participate in lifelong learning. Accordingly, the indicator 'adult participation in learning' (previously named 'lifelong learning') refers to persons aged 25 to 64 who stated that they received education or training in the four weeks preceding the survey (numerator). The denominator consists of the total population of the same age group, excluding those who did not answer to the question 'participation in education and training'. For data see online table trng_lfse_01 and sdg_04_60.

For data published in the folder 'Main indicators on adult participation in learning - LFS data from 1992 onwards (trng_lfs_4w0)' the data source (EU-LFS) is – where necessary – adjusted and enriched in various ways up to the reference year 2008, in accordance with the specificities of an indicator, including the following:

  • correction of the main breaks in the LFS series,
  • estimation of the missing values, i.e. in case of missing quarters, annual results and EU aggregates are estimated using adjusted quarterly national labour force survey data or interpolations of the EU-LFS data with reference to the available quarter(s).

Details on the adjustments are available in CIRCABC.

Tables shown in the following folders are not adjusted and therefore the results in these tables might differ.

  • Participation in education and training (last 4 weeks) - population aged 18+ (trng_lfs_4w1)
  • Participation in education and training (last 4 weeks) - employed persons aged 18+ (trng_lfs_4w2)
  • Participation in education and training (last 4 weeks) - population aged 15+, by type of education (trng_lfs_4w3)
3.2. Classification system

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED): ISCED 1997 until 2013 and ISCED 2011 as from 2014;

Classification of Learning Activities (CLA);

Classification of economic activities (NACE): NACE Rev. 1.1 until 2008 and NACE Rev. 2 as from 2008;

Classifications of Occupations (ISCO): ISCO-COM 88 until 2010 and ISCO 08 as from 2011;

Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics: NUTS.

For other classifications used in the EU-LFS, please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

3.3. Coverage - sector

As a general rule the EU-LFS covers all economic sectors.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Lifelong learning encompasses all learning activities undertaken throughout life with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences, within personal, civic, social or employment-related perspectives. The intention or aim to learn is the critical point that distinguishes these activities from non-learning activities, such as cultural or sporting activities.

Adult learning refers to the participation of adults in lifelong learning. Adult learning usually refers to learning activities after the end of initial education. The policy indicator on adult participation in learning refers to the age group 25-64.

Learning activities: any activities of an individual organised with the intention to improve his/her knowledge, skills, and competences. Intentional learning (as opposed to random learning) is defined as a deliberate search for knowledge, skills or competences. Organised learning is defined as learning planned in a pattern or sequence with explicit or implicit aims.

Formal education and training according to the International Standard Classification of Education 2011 (ISCED 2011) is defined as “education that is institutionalised, intentional and planned through public organisations and recognised private bodies and – in their totality – constitute the formal education system of a country. Formal education programmes are thus recognised as such by the relevant national education authorities or equivalent authorities, e.g. any other institution in cooperation with the national or sub-national education authorities. Formal education consists mostly of initial education. Vocational education, special needs education and some parts of adult education are often recognised as being part of the formal education system.”

Non-formal education and training is defined as any institutionalised, intentional and organised/planned learning activities outside the formal education system. According to the classification of learning activities (CLA 2016), non-formal education and training comprises courses, seminars and workshops, private lessons or instructions and guided on-the-job training. However, non-formal education as measured in the EU-LFS excludes guided on-the-job training. The information collected covers both job-related (professional) and non-job-related (personal, social, 'leisure') education and training activities.

For further information on these concepts see the classification of learning activities (CLA).

The participation rate in education and training covers participation in formal and non-formal education and training.

For the calculation of the participation rate and the indicator 'adult participation in learning' see 3.1. Data description.

For further information on concepts and definitions used in the EU-LFS please consult the EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Methodology.

3.5. Statistical unit

Persons.

3.6. Statistical population

The EU-LFS results cover the total population usually residing in Member States, except for persons living in collective or institutional households.

For further information, please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

3.7. Reference area

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.


4. Unit of measure Top

Percentages.


5. Reference Period Top

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

LFS educational data are up-dated twice a year:

  • in spring along with the release of data for quarter 4 and averages of quarters 1 to 4,
  • in autumn with the release of LFS quarter 2 data.
8.2. Release calendar access

For LFS releases see here.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the European Union legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Annual.


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Ad-hoc news releases when required.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

The results are published in Statistics explained, in main Eurostat publications and in several social publications of the European Commission.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line or refer to ESTAT-LFS-USER-SUPPORT@ec.europa.eu

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

EU-LFS anonymised microdata are available for research purposes. Please refer to access to microdata.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

See http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

For a detailed description of the methods and concepts used, as well as for other documents related to the EU-LFS, consult the EU-LFS webpage.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

For information on quality documentation please consult the EU-LFS webpage.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

EU-LFS statistics have overall a high quality. For further information please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

In the context of the Strategic framework – Education & Training 2020 an EU benchmark on adult learning has been defined which is monitored by the indicator 'adult participation in learning' (previously named 'lifelong learning'). This indicator is also used to monitor the European pillar of social rights and the sustainable development goals.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

12.3. Completeness

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

13.2. Sampling error

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Annual averages are released approximately 4 months after the end of the reference year.

14.2. Punctuality

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

15.2. Comparability - over time

There had been changes in the EU-LFS variables on participation in education and training in 2003 and 2006 in order to improve the measurement of participation in formal and non-formal education and training. For details see CIRCABC.

An extensive revision of the questionnaire of the French Labour Force Survey (in use from 1 January 2013 onwards) explains the level shift break for France, which had an impact also on the EU aggregates.

For further information on the EU-LFS in general please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Results from the EU-LFS are not directly comparable with variables on adult learning coming from the Adult Education Survey (AES) which collects data on participation in formal and non-formal education and training with a reference period of 12 months for the population aged 25-64. Main differences are the reference period (4 weeks in LFS, 12 months in AES), the coverage of non-formal education (LFS does not cover guided on-the-job training) and the overall design of the surveys (especially the fact that proxies are possible when collecting the LFS data while they are not recommended and almost never used in most countries when collecting the AES data).

In addition to the annual EU-LFS series, an ad-hoc module to the LFS was carried out in 2003 on 'lifelong learning' with similar characteristics as the Adult Education Survey (12-month reference period). Data from this module are displayed in the folder 'Past series (trng_h)' in Eurostat's online database; results are not directly comparable with the AES information because of the survey methodology.

For further information see here.

For further information on coherence of the EU-LFS in general please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Participation rates in education and training (last 4 weeks) are based on EU-LFS data. The data are therefore coherent with the main LFS results on employment and unemployment.

For further information please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.


16. Cost and Burden Top

Not available.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Participation rates in education and training based on EU-LFS are calculated twice a year (spring, autumn: see 8.1. Release calendar). Each new release includes revisions of previous years submitted by countries.

LFS revisions are not expected, unless major errors are identified in the data delivered or in their processing. Exceptional revisions may happen e.g. after new estimates of population from a population census.

17.2. Data revision - practice

For information on EU-LFS data revisions, please consult EU-LFS (Statistics Explained) - Data and publication.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

18.3. Data collection

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

18.4. Data validation

Please refer to the ESMS on 'Employment and unemployment (LFS)'.

18.5. Data compilation

EU and Euro area aggregates in absolute values are calculated by aggregating the estimated values (i.e. weighted population totals) of the respective Member States. For EU and Euro area aggregates expressed as rates or ratios, first EU and Euro area aggregates in absolute values are calculated for both numerator and denominator, and the rates or ratios based on those results.

For further information see here.

18.6. Adjustment

In case of missing quarterly LFS data (before 2005), annual results are estimated by using interpolations of the EU Labour Force Survey data with reference to the available quarter(s). For further information see 3.1 above and here.


19. Comment Top

For further information about LFS data on participation in education and training please consult CIRCABC.


Related metadata Top
employ_esms - Employment and unemployment (Labour force survey)


Annexes Top
Footnotes on LFS based education indicators