Census 2021 outputs: content design and release phase proposals

Closes 5 Oct 2021

4a: Education and employment

We’re investigating seven new variables related to education and employment.

These are:

  • route to highest level of education
  • students
  • not in employment, education or training (NEETs)
  • temporarily away from work
  • key or critical worker
  • skills mismatch
  • economic risk created by the coronavirus pandemic

Questions on each proposal are included below.

Please provide as much detail as possible to justify your needs. For example, what policy or planning decisions would the data analysis affect? Decisions will also take into consideration factors such as data quality and statistical disclosure control.

All proposals are at an early stage of development and we aim to further understand user needs through this consultation. There is no guarantee that it will be possible to produce these variables, but we are keen to understand user needs better before we investigate them more fully.

Route to highest level of education

We’re aware that a key user need related to education data is to better understand the qualifications route taken. For example, are the qualifications gained academic, vocational, or a mixture of both?  

In the 2011 Census, we produced a qualification gained variable, however because of the complexity of this variable, its use was limited.  For 2021 we’re investigating producing a consolidated variable that will allow users to interpret the information more easily.

Before developing a proposal for a classification, we need to further understand what information users need about the routes taken through education. 

Would you use a route to highest level of education variable if it were produced?
How do you need a person’s route through education to be classified?

Census 2021 collects data on qualifications achieved and if the person was a student in full-time education on census day.

Please rank the following factors in order of importance in relation to your needs for analysis of residents route to highest level of qualification.

‘1’ is most important, and ‘4’ is least important. If a factor is not important at all, please respond ‘Not important’

Adult Students

In the 2011 Census, we defind students as respondents in full-time education aged four years and over. For 2021, we’ve slightly raised the age limit to those aged five years and over.

We’re also proposing an additional variable that is more specific. This could be all students in full-time education aged 18 years and over. Alternatively, we could include only independent students. We would do this by defining them as students in full-time education aged 18 and over and not living with parents.

Would you use an adult student indicator if it were produced?
Is there a specific definition of student you require?
Please rank the following factors in order of importance in relation to your needs for analysis of students.

‘1’ is most important, and ‘4’ is least important. If a factor is not important at all, please respond ‘Not important’

Not in employment, education, or training (NEETs)

This indicator variable would highlight the population aged 16 to 24 years, who are not in employment, education or training. As the Census 2021 questions are harmonised with the Labour Force Survey (LFS), we would apply the same definitions. 

 
Would you use a NEETS indicator if it were produced?
Please rank the following factors in order of importance in relation to your needs for analysis of NEETs.

‘1’ is most important, and ‘4’ is least important. If a factor is not important at all, please respond ‘Not important'

Temporarily Away from Work

In 2011, the question on activity last week was primarily used to find out if someone was economically active. We’re exploring the creation of ‘Temporarily away from work ill, on holiday or temporarily laid off’ as an indicator variable. This would also include those away from work because of furlough, self-isolation or quarantine. 

We’re also investigating the production of an ‘On maternity or paternity leave’ indicator. 

Would you use either a ‘Temporarily away from work ill, on holiday or temporarily laid off’ or a ‘On maternity or paternity leave’ indicator if they were produced?
Is there a different definition of those ‘temporarily away from work’ that you require?

For example, would an indicator combining information on those ‘temporarily away from work ill, on holiday, or temporarily laid off’ with those ‘on maternity or paternity leave’ meet your needs?

Please rank the following factors in order of importance in relation to your needs for analysis of those temporarily away from work.

‘1’ is most important, and ‘3’ is least important. If a factor is not important at all, please respond ‘Not important’

Key or critical worker

This proposed indicator would show people whose occupation was critical to the response to the coronavirus pandemic, as defined by the UK government. We’d define this in line with our other publications on critical workers.

 
Would you use a key or critical worker variable if it was produced?
Is there a specific definition of key or critical worker you require?
What analysis would you undertake on the key or critical worker population?
Please rank the following factors in order of importance in relation to your needs for analysis of key or critical workers.

‘1’ is most important, and ‘4’ is least important. If a factor is not important at all, please respond ‘Not important’

Skills mismatch

Skills mismatch is where a person’s educational level is significantly different to the average level of qualification within their occupation. For example, a person would be defined as under-employed in their role if both:

  • their highest level of education is degree level or above
  • the average qualification for their occupation is at level 3, for example an NVQ level 3 or one A level.

In 2011, we did not formally output this information, but we did publish reports around the topic. These include reports such as the Graduates’ labour market outcomes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: occupational switches and skill mismatch. Some of these publications use the statistical methodology that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) uses. We’d derive this variable using highest level of qualification and occupation.

Would you use a skills mismatch variable if it were produced?
Is there a specific definition of skills mismatch you require?
Are there specific skills mismatch variable classifications you require?
Please rank the following factors in order of importance in relation to your needs for analysis of skills mismatch.

‘1’ is most important, and ‘4’ is least important. If a factor is not important at all, please respond ‘Not important’

Economic risk created by the coronavirus pandemic

The Business Impacts of COVID Survey (BICS) has identified industries at most risk in the pandemic. The survey identifies different risks, such as risk of unemployment, for those working in different sectors. 

This variable will apply the findings of that survey to census data, to identify populations at financial risk because of the pandemic. For example, a person working in hair dressing could be identified as being at financial risk because of the pandemic. It may be possible to produce a more detailed classification than this binary classification.

Would you use an ‘economic risk created by the coronavirus pandemic’ indicator if it were produced?
Have you used the BICS or Business Insights and Impact on the UK economy surveys?
Please rank the following factors in order of importance in relation to your needs for analysis of economic risk created by the coronavirus pandemic.