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E-mail: Education@cso.ie Helen McGrath (+353) 21 453 5108
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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Adult Education Survey

2017

Over half of adults participated in lifelong learning in 2017

Figure 1 Participation in education by type of education, 2017
go to full release

Over half of adults (53.9%) reported participating in lifelong learning (formal and/or non-formal education). Just over one in twelve adults (8.6%) participated in formal education in the last 12 months. Those who were unemployed were over three times more likely to participate in formal education than those in employment (28.2% versus 7.6%). Almost half of adults aged 25-64 (49.7%) received non-formal education. Employed persons were more likely to have participated in non-formal education than those who were unemployed (59.3% versus 38.3%). See Table 1a and Figure 1.

Younger persons are more likely to participate in lifelong learning than older persons. Over six in ten adults (63.4%) aged 25-34 participated in lifelong learning compared with only four in ten (40.5%) aged 55-64. As the highest level of education attained increased so did the participation rates in lifelong learning; only a quarter (24.7%) of those who had attained primary level or below were participating in lifelong learning while the corresponding figure for those who had attained third level honours degree or above was 71.7%. A higher proportion of persons in employment participated in lifelong learning than those who were unemployed (62.6% versus 52.9%).

Fewer than six in ten adults in employment (59.3%) participated in non-formal education while 63.9% received some form of informal education. Professionals were most likely to have participated in lifelong learning with four out of every five adults (81.4%) engaging in formal and/or non-formal education. In contrast, those in the skilled trades were the least likely to participate in lifelong learning with only two out of five adults (41.0%) participating in lifelong learning in the last 12 months. Those working in the Administrative and support services sector were most likely to be in receipt of formal education (14.1%) while those in Transportation and storage sector were the least likely to have participated (2.8%).  Those in the Education sector were most likely to be in receipt of non-formal education (76.9%) while those working in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector were the least likely (30.6%). See Table 1b.

Third level courses are the most common formal courses

Over half (55.1%) of those participating in formal education were pursuing third level courses with 17.6% pursuing non-honours degree courses and 37.5% pursuing honours degree or above courses. See Table 2a.

Business, administration and law was the most common field of education for those participating in formal education (27.1%) followed by Health and welfare (18.0%). The most popular reason for participation in formal education was to Improve my career prospects, reported by just over six in ten adults (61.8%), followed by Increase my possibilities of getting/changing a job (41.2%). Almost a third of adults (32.1%) reported that the outcome from their participation in formal education was Better performance in their present job. See Table 2b, Table 2c, Table 2d, Table 2e, Figure 2, Figure 3a and Figure 3b.

MaleFemale
Business, administration
and law
22.730.1
Health and welfare12.322.1
Other13.211.5
Education3.611.4
Engineering, manufacturing
and construction
13.32.8
Information and communication
technologies
7.66.2
Generic programmes
and qualifications
10.32.5
Art and humanities2.66.2
Natural sciences, mathematics
and statistics
6.81.6
Agriculture, forestry,
fisheries and veterinary
4.71.5
Services2.32.1
Social sciences, journalism
and information
0.82
X-axis labelMaleFemale
To improve my career prospects62.461.4
To increase my possibilities of
getting/changing a job
36.544.6
To do my job better30.131.1
X-axis labelMaleFemale
To increase knowledge/ skills
in a subject of interest
38.738.3
To obtain certification32.630.1
To get knowledge/skills
useful in everyday life
27.425.9

Better performance in present job is the most popular outcome for non-formal education

Health and Welfare was by far the most common field of education for those participating in non-formal education (34.5%) while Business, administration and law was the next most common field of education (15.7%). The most popular reason for participation in non-formal education was a job-related reason, To do my job better, with six in ten adults (60.2%) reporting it. Interestingly, the most popular outcome for non-formal education was Better performance in present job with 61.2% choosing it. It was three times higher than the next popular outcome which was Personal related reasons at 16.8%. See Table 3a, Table 3b, Table 3c, Table 3d, Table 3e and Figure 4.

MaleFemale
Health and welfare26.342
Business, administration
and law
16.415.1
Information and communication
technologies
12.77.9
Education4.711.6
Services9.66
Engineering, manufacturing
and construction
12.51.8
Generic programmes
and qualifications
6.55.8
Art and humanities44.2
Other3.22.7
Agriculture, forestry,
fisheries and veterinary
2.80.8
Natural sciences, mathematics
and statistics
0.80.9
Social sciences, journalism
and information
0.51.2

Demand for lifelong learning was not satisfied for one in three adults in 2017

Examining the demand for lifelong learning, we can see that 32.4% of adults had some form of unmet demand, where they either participated in lifelong learning and wanted to participate more (18.9%) or wanted to but did not participate (13.5%). Females are more likely to report some form of unmet demand with 35.8% of females reporting this compared with 29.0% of males. See Table 5a and Figure 5.

DemandMaleFemale
Met demand36.233.7
Partially met demand17.420.4
Unmet demand11.615.4
No demand34.630.2

Nationally, the most common difficulty to accessing education was Did not have time due to family responsibilities (43.7%). The most popular difficulty to accessing lifelong learning for those aged 25-34 was Training was too expensive or the cost was difficult to afford which was reported by almost one in four (38.9%). Over one in ten adults (11.0%) who were unemployed said that there was No suitable education or training activity availableSee Table 5c.

When asked about the main difficulty to accessing lifelong learning, four in ten females (39.9%) reported Did not have time due to family responsibilities as the main difficulty compared to one in five males (21.6%). The main difficulty for males was Training conflicted with work schedule/was organised at inconvenient time reported by over a fifth of men (26.1%). It was only reported as the main difficulty by one in eight females (12.5%). See Table 5d and Figure 6.

MaleFemale
Did not have time due
to family responsibilities
21.639.9
Training conflicted with work schedule and/or
was organised at inconvenient time
26.112.5
Training was too expensive or the
cost was difficult to afford
19.317.2
Respondent's health
or age
5.97.5
None of the
reasons given
7.55.4

Informal learning is a more popular choice than formal or non-formal educational activities

Over six in ten (62.1%) of all persons aged 25-64 reported participating in informal education. Learning using computers (online or offline) was the most popular approach for informal education participation with over four fifths of adults (82.2%) who engaged in informal education reported it. Younger persons are more likely than older persons to learn using a computer with 88.2% of those aged 25-34 selecting this compared to 74.7% of those aged 55-64. Almost one in four (23.5%) of those with a third level honours degree or higher reported to learn using guided tours in museums, historical or natural or industrial sites. This is almost three times more than those with a primary education or below where only 7.9% reported this type of informal learning. See Table 6 and Figure 7.

X-axis labelMale Female
Using computers 82.981.4
Using printed
materials
51.955.4
From a family member,
friend or colleague
36.836.4
Using televison/
radio/video
3435.1
Visiting learning
centres
15.821.6
From a guided tour16.120

Over half of adults know at least one language other than their mother tongue

English was reported as the most popular mother tongue language (87.1%) with Polish (2.5%) and Irish (1.2%) coming second and third respectively. While overall 51.0% of adults reported knowing at least one other language (other than their mother tongue), there is a stark difference when looking at citizenship of the respondent. Over 86% of those who are non-Irish report knowing at least one other language compared to 44.2% of adults with Irish citizenship. See Table 7a, Table 7b and Figure 8.

The most popular other language is Irish where four in ten adults (41.6%) reported it as their best-known second language. This was followed by French and English (20.0% and 16.0% respectively). Even though Irish was reported as the best-known second language, almost two thirds of adults (62.6%) only claim a basic level of skill in the language. In contrast, almost two thirds of adults (63.3%) who claimed English was their best-known second language reported that they were proficient in it. See Table 7c and 7d.

X-axis labelMaleFemale
No other language52.845.3
One language28.531.1
Two languages13.217.8
Three languages or more5.55.8

Ireland is ranked 6th in the EU28 for participation in lifelong learning

Participation in lifelong learning among adults in Ireland (53.9%) was higher the EU-28 average of 45.1% and Ireland ranked 6th among the 28 countries. The Netherlands reported the highest participation rate in lifelong learning in 2016 (64.1%) while Romania reported the lowest (7.0%). Participation rates in Ireland were nearly similar for males (53.6%) and females (54.1%). Sweden had the highest rate of female participation in lifelong learning (68.2%) while the Netherlands had the highest male participation at 64.7%. See Table 8a and Figure 9.

Lifelong learning participation over the last 12 monthsEU-28 Average
Netherlands64.145.1
Sweden63.845.1
Austria59.945.1
Hungary55.745.1
Finland54.145.1
Ireland53.945.1
United Kingdom52.145.1
Germany5245.1
France51.345.1
Denmark50.445.1
Cyprus48.145.1
Luxembourg48.145.1
Latvia47.545.1
Czech Republic46.145.1
Portugal46.145.1
Slovakia46.145.1
Slovenia46.145.1
Belgium45.245.1
Estonia4445.1
Spain43.445.1
Italy41.545.1
Malta36.345.1
Croatia31.845.1
Lithuania27.945.1
Poland25.545.1
Bulgaria24.645.1
Greece16.745.1
Romania745.1

Participation in formal education among adults in Ireland (8.6%) was higher than the EU-28 average of 5.8% and Ireland ranked 7th among the 28 countries. Participation rates in formal education in Ireland were higher for females (9.9%) than males (7.2%). Finland reported the highest participation rate in formal education (14.2%) while Slovakia reported the lowest (1.5%). See Table 8b.

Participation in non-formal education among adults in Ireland (49.7%) was higher than the EU-28 average of 42.6% and Ireland ranked 7th among the 28 countries.  Participation rates in non-formal education in Ireland were slightly lower for females (49.4%) than males (50.0%). Participation in informal education among adults in Ireland (62.1%) was greater than the EU-28 average of 60.5% and Ireland ranked 20th among the 28 countries. See Table 8c, Table 8d and Figure 10.

Informal education participation over the last 12 monthsEU-28 Average
Cyprus96.160.5
Croatia91.960.5
Portugal88.560.5
Latvia82.160.5
Estonia79.660.5
Austria79.360.5
Sweden78.660.5
Slovakia75.160.5
Italy74.460.5
Netherlands73.260.5
Denmark70.860.5
Czech Republic70.260.5
Finland68.760.5
Luxembourg68.760.5
France68.560.5
United Kingdom66.260.5
Slovenia6660.5
Romania64.260.5
Belgium62.760.5
Ireland62.160.5
Spain58.760.5
Bulgaria50.860.5
Greece47.260.5
Germany 43.560.5
Malta4260.5
Hungary40.660.5
Poland3160.5
Lithuania22.460.5
Table 1a Persons aged 25-64, classified by those who participated in an educational activity in the last 12 months, 20171
    % of persons
Demographic profileFormalNon-formalLifelong learningInformal Unweighted Sample
State 8.649.753.962.14,863
Sex
 Male7.250.053.661.62,213
 Female9.949.454.162.72,650
Age group
 25-34 year olds14.756.363.469.4828
 35-44 year olds9.653.758.362.01,391
 45-54 year olds5.947.350.060.91,371
 55-64 year olds2.938.940.554.91,273
Region
 Border5.437.741.554.9480
 Dublin11.956.862.672.11,251
 Mid-East5.446.649.751.9615
 Midland5.451.854.645.7252
 Mid-West9.550.354.177.8584
 South-East8.344.948.557.0426
South-West7.747.450.658.0756
 West8.248.652.757.3499
Highest level of educational attainment
 Primary or below2.023.124.743.6341
 Lower secondary2.028.029.647.9654
 Higher secondary4.339.041.355.0941
 Post Leaving Certificate7.348.352.663.9799
 Third Level non honours degree11.755.862.864.2531
 Third Level honours degree or higher13.966.271.772.51,597
Principal economic status
 At work7.659.362.663.93,469
 Unemployed28.238.352.965.6299
 Student5.130.033.660.6201
 Home duties2.68.510.947.2270
 Other4.817.721.555.3623
Citizenship
Irish7.950.554.161.44,320
Non-Irish12.045.752.565.7543
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area12.655.761.472.21,629
Intermediate area6.947.450.749.7969
Thinly-populated area5.945.748.958.92,265
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged11.149.055.163.5925
 Second Quintile - Disadvantaged6.844.347.761.1983
Third Quintile7.146.849.559.9928
Fourth Quintile8.149.654.454.6946
 Fifth Quintile (least deprived)9.758.362.071.21,081
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population and lifelong learning.
Table 1b Persons aged 25-64 in employment, classified by those who participated in an educational activity in the last 12 months, 20171
    % of persons
Employment characteristicsFormalNon-formalLifelong learningInformal Unweighted Sample
State7.659.362.663.93,469
Professional status of job
Self-employed without employees2.536.337.362.0433
Self-employed with employees3.947.449.361.8183
Employee8.563.366.964.42,840
Family worker*2***11
NACE Principal Activity
AAgriculture, Forestry and Fishing4.230.631.056.5165
B-EIndustry7.258.161.058.5387
FConstruction2.845.647.660.3221
GWholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles5.544.847.960.2427
HTransportation and storage2.660.560.953.5153
IAccommodation and food services6.838.344.458.3184
JInformation and communication7.772.275.465.3179
K-LFinancial, insurance and real estate13.868.474.366.6176
MProfessional, scientific and technical activities12.162.767.771.8202
NAdministrative and support services 14.149.758.564.8159
OPublic administration and defence7.872.675.366.9213
PEducation9.576.979.574.9342
QHuman health and social work8.076.077.567.8488
R-SArts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities5.052.855.761.9162
Broad occupational group
1.Managers, directors and senior officials5.354.357.162.5273
2.Professionals10.478.681.473.1772
3.Associate professional and technical9.566.369.969.3472
4.Administrative and secretarial8.056.460.865.2375
5.Skilled trades3.039.541.056.5514
6.Caring, leisure and other services9.068.772.062.5303
7.Sales and customer service8.549.552.862.0208
8.Process, plant and machine operatives4.853.957.352.2271
9.Elementary7.142.448.055.7272
Is the job full or part time
Full-time7.361.163.864.52,816
Part-time9.250.856.460.7653
Length of service in current job
0 to 1 years14.063.369.868.2609
2 to 4 years9.458.563.667.7631
5 to 9 years6.458.060.062.4511
10 to 14 years5.763.164.763.0598
 Over 15 years3.156.557.460.51,085
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population and lifelong learning.
2 Asterisks * in cells indicate percentages are based on a very small unweighted sample [under 30 observations] and are, therefore, subject to disclosure control.
Table 2a Persons aged 25-64 who participated in formal education, classified by the level of education participation, 20171
    % of persons
Demographic ProfileHigher secondary or belowPost Leaving CertificateThird Level non honours degreeThird Level honours degree or higherUnweighted sample
State14.630.317.637.5334
Sex
 Male17.323.425.034.3122
 Female12.735.212.439.7212
Age group
 25-3415.120.422.542.1106
 35-4415.136.712.235.9113
 45-545.038.521.834.779
 55-64[32.8]2[40.6][3.6][23.1]36
Highest level of educational attainment
 Higher secondary or below22.358.68.810.350
 Post Leaving Certificate15.455.116.912.555
 Third Level non honours degree[15.8][34.7][35.4][14.1]46
 Third Level honours degree or higher12.216.015.456.4183
Principal economic status
 At work12.326.421.539.8228
 Unemployed19.531.110.239.161
 Other[17.0][55.4][11.2][16.4]45
Citizenship
Irish13.831.817.537.0285
Non-Irish[17.4][25.4][18.2][39.0]49
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area14.522.719.143.7156
Intermediate area10.440.723.924.955
Thinly-populated area17.038.711.732.6123
Deprivation Index - by quintile
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged15.737.119.427.869
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged14.622.917.944.652
Third Quintile - Average11.241.818.928.159
Fourth Quintile - Affluent17.124.517.341.061
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent13.724.715.046.793
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in the formal education occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.
2 Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages are based on a small unweighted sample [between 30 and 50] and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Table 2b Persons aged 25-64 who participated in formal education, classified by the field of education participation, 20171
    % of persons
Demographic ProfileGeneric programmes and qualificationsEducationArt and humanitiesSocial sciences, journalism and informationBusiness, administration and lawNatural sciences, mathematics and statisticsInformation and communication technologiesEngineering, manufacturing and constructionAgriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinaryHealth and welfareServicesOther2Unweighted sample
State5.78.24.71.527.13.76.77.12.818.02.212.2334
Sex
 Male10.33.62.60.822.76.87.613.34.712.32.313.2122
 Female2.511.46.22.030.11.66.22.81.522.12.111.5212
Age group
 25-346.68.11.70.630.05.910.48.91.815.21.49.3106
 35-446.88.47.80.628.61.52.96.55.515.20.915.3113
 45-542.29.93.52.220.54.16.45.40.027.16.412.379
 55-64[3.3]3[2.8][11.2][9.4][17.7][0.0][3.8][3.4][3.5][26.8][2.8][15.3]36
Highest level of educational attainment
 Higher secondary or below6.813.45.20.011.23.62.612.73.717.55.218.150
 Post Leaving Certificate3.47.44.71.525.74.06.98.94.417.52.812.955
 Third Level non honours degree[0.0][3.2][7.5][2.8][30.4][2.3][10.0][6.4][0.8][19.8][1.0][15.8]46
 Third Level honours degree or higher7.48.43.81.530.54.16.95.52.817.81.69.7183
Principal economic status
 At work4.67.83.11.830.12.36.79.43.018.22.011.0228
 Unemployed7.38.69.81.219.68.66.53.12.517.11.614.361
 Other[8.5][9.6][2.0][0.0][26.4][0.0][7.8][2.6][2.6][20.0][5.1][15.4]45
Citizenship
Irish4.59.14.61.927.02.83.77.63.722.01.911.2285
Non-Irish[9.5][4.9][5.0][0.0][27.2][6.8][17.1][5.5][0.0][4.9][3.1][15.9]49
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area7.66.67.31.332.45.09.55.00.010.62.712.1156
Intermediate area0.818.31.20.017.75.75.67.97.724.01.99.255
Thinly-populated area4.75.91.82.722.10.52.410.65.528.41.414.0123
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged5.68.68.40.825.62.910.30.05.517.01.613.669
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged3.85.62.11.718.60.08.713.73.927.41.712.652
Third Quintile - Average6.311.50.52.821.02.010.114.03.116.01.910.759
Fourth Quintile - Affluent2.69.42.31.730.54.82.48.50.318.14.414.961
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent9.06.17.11.035.37.42.84.91.214.41.49.493
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Field of education refers to post secondary courses only.
2 Other includes formal educational courses unable to code and not stated.
3 Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages are based on a small unweighted sample [between 30 and 50] and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Table 2c Persons aged 25-64 who participated in formal education, classified by the reason for education participation, 20171,2
        % of persons
Demographic ProfileTo do my job betterTo improve my career prospectsTo be less likely to lose my jobTo increase my possibilities of getting a job, or changing a job/professionTo start my own businessI was obliged to participateTo get knowledge/skills useful in my everyday lifeTo increase my knowledge/skills on a subject that interests meTo obtain certificationTo meet people/for funOther3Unweighted sample
State30.761.83.741.23.84.326.538.531.16.22.2334
Sex
 Male30.162.43.936.54.35.127.438.732.65.10.0122
 Female31.161.43.544.63.63.725.938.330.17.03.8212
Age group
 25-3434.163.04.740.03.35.024.035.734.02.63.4106
 35-4426.771.81.542.82.63.025.036.225.15.71.1113
 45-5434.052.56.646.47.25.030.746.242.712.12.179
 55-64[20.5]4[29.5][0.0][28.4][4.6][4.4][39.2][47.5][13.0][16.3][0.9]36
Highest level of educational attainment
 Higher secondary or below24.356.53.237.76.10.623.031.931.213.10.750
 Post Leaving Certificate21.262.43.348.23.77.720.837.524.47.10.055
 Third Level non honours degree[31.7][63.1][0.5][45.2][1.8][3.2][26.2][48.9][41.1][8.3][0.0]46
 Third Level honours degree or higher34.362.64.739.43.94.728.937.630.23.73.7183
Principal economic status
 At work41.664.44.134.11.86.423.037.130.94.30.7228
 Unemployed12.759.33.858.78.10.039.548.438.08.46.661
 Other[3.4][50.2][0.0][43.2][6.6][1.3][15.0][20.3][13.5][13.3][0.7]45
Citizenship
Irish30.161.42.539.44.15.622.637.331.27.81.2285
Non-Irish[32.7][63.3][7.6][47.5][2.9][0.0][39.7][42.5][30.8][0.8][5.8]49
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area30.167.24.145.43.33.530.444.333.74.93.1156
Intermediate area27.343.13.432.910.41.517.929.627.58.53.055
Thinly-populated area33.461.62.937.91.57.123.932.528.47.40.2123
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged29.255.71.729.84.41.520.126.525.22.92.969
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged23.756.30.040.00.05.921.527.216.03.68.752
Third Quintile - Average41.668.96.740.11.18.622.835.033.43.90.059
Fourth Quintile - Affluent35.069.64.843.39.44.633.247.338.213.00.861
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent26.060.85.253.43.13.133.953.940.07.30.093
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in formal education occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.
2 Note that more than one reason may have been selected by respondents.
3 Other includes reasons not listed and not stated.
4 Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages are based on a small unweighted sample [between 30 and 50] and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Table 2d Persons aged 25-64 who participated in formal education, classified by outcomes from the education participation, 20171,2
        % of persons
Demographic ProfileGetting a (new) jobHigher salary/wagesPromotion in the jobNew tasksBetter performance in present jobPersonal-related reasonsNo outcome yetOther3Unweighted sample
State22.113.211.016.532.123.429.46.9334
Sex
 Male17.512.410.918.729.514.632.28.1122
 Female25.313.711.215.033.929.527.46.0212
Age group
 25-3428.621.314.918.835.523.123.25.2106
 35-4418.66.58.19.426.919.435.49.7113
 45-5416.410.810.624.638.031.633.43.279
 55-64[12.9]4[1.2][2.5][16.4][21.4][24.4][28.5][13.1]36
Highest level of educational attainment
 Higher secondary or below15.30.01.515.823.412.939.46.250
 Post Leaving Certificate27.712.310.615.727.717.137.81.755
 Third Level non honours degree[14.6][16.5][15.9][14.1][30.3][28.8][21.7][12.4]46
 Third Level honours degree or higher24.415.812.217.535.826.226.86.8183
Principal economic status
 At work24.419.116.923.846.424.818.24.6228
 Unemployed19.42.40.01.77.222.749.29.061
 Other[13.7][1.2][0.0][6.0][0.0][15.0][53.3][17.1]45
Citizenship
Irish19.59.811.115.832.022.732.65.6285
Non-Irish[30.7][24.5][10.7][18.7][32.5][25.9][18.4][11.1]49
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area28.316.511.314.626.725.828.38.7156
Intermediate area16.28.79.618.830.613.240.01.055
Thinly-populated area13.99.411.318.642.624.325.86.6123
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged37.420.111.921.431.719.223.75.669
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged11.37.78.315.330.223.134.013.752
Third Quintile - Average16.012.113.522.943.228.226.32.759
Fourth Quintile - Affluent12.813.914.912.935.019.330.812.761
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent24.39.47.110.423.828.133.32.093
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in formal education occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.
2 Note that more than one outcome may have been selected by respondents.
3 Other includes outcomes not listed and not stated.
4 Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages are based on a small unweighted sample [between 30 and 50] and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Table 2e Persons aged 25-64 who participated in formal education, classified by details about the formal educational activity, 20171
Participation in formal activity in the last 12 months% of persons
Number of formal education activities participated in during the last 12 months
One activity88.3
Two activities or more11.7
Method of the most recent formal education activity
Traditional teaching method (e.g. classroom)77.0
Distance learning23.0
Who paid for the most recent formal education activity
Fully paid by yourself45.1
Partly paid by yourself and partly paid by somebody else11.7
Fully paid by somebody else32.5
Free actvity10.4
Not stated0.2
Current use of the skills or knowledge acquired from the most recent formal education activity
A lot48.0
A fair amount19.2
Very little12.5
Not at all20.2
Not stated0.1
Expected use of the skills or knowledge acquired from the most recent formal education activity
A lot79.0
 A fair amount15.4
 Very little3.3
 Not at all1.6
 Not stated0.6
Unweighted sample334
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
Table 3a Persons aged 25-64 who participated in non-formal education, classified by the type of non-formal activity, 20171
Non-formal activity participated in the last 12 months% of persons
Course 61.7
Workshop/seminar31.9
On the job training32.4
Private lessons9.4
Unweighted sample2,315
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in the non-formal education occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview. Respondents may have selected more than one type of non-formal activity.
Table 3b Persons aged 25-64 who participated in non-formal education, classified by the field of the activity, 20171
    % of persons
Demographic ProfileGeneric programmes and qualificationsEducationArt and humanitiesSocial sciences, journalism and informationBusiness, administration and lawNatural sciences, mathematics and statisticsInformation and communication technologiesEngineering, manufacturing and constructionAgriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinaryHealth and welfareServicesOther2Unweighted sample
State6.28.24.10.815.70.910.27.01.734.57.73.03,585
Sex
 Male6.54.74.00.516.40.812.712.52.826.39.63.21,660
 Female5.811.64.21.215.10.97.91.80.842.06.02.71,925
Age group
 25-347.09.44.51.214.70.112.86.11.129.79.83.5698
 35-444.67.62.91.019.31.09.59.11.034.47.12.51,163
 45-546.78.24.30.414.21.110.46.61.637.55.83.11,014
 55-647.07.45.60.612.21.46.34.54.839.28.12.7710
Region
 Border3.16.65.40.05.60.09.05.81.848.311.43.0247
 Dublin8.66.95.01.424.60.213.86.40.725.35.41.91,100
 Mid-East6.97.92.80.015.11.211.67.91.831.98.94.1427
 Midland0.712.11.70.06.00.03.96.23.556.78.21.1185
 Mid-West2.16.62.60.59.90.47.28.82.143.710.45.6445
 South-East2.39.33.60.111.71.26.16.41.543.39.25.3304
 South-West6.29.34.70.910.22.07.78.13.433.310.43.8506
 West8.212.34.01.69.72.88.55.92.537.35.81.4371
Highest level of educational attainment
 Higher secondary or below8.22.03.40.27.81.510.18.02.637.415.13.5844
 Post Leaving Certificate5.53.91.90.710.50.05.610.64.641.110.74.8554
 Third Level non honours degree5.54.22.90.213.01.610.53.61.146.27.14.1481
 Third Level honours degree or higher5.712.95.21.320.90.611.46.40.828.44.21.91,706
Principal economic status
 At work6.28.33.50.916.00.810.07.41.735.27.52.63,213
 Unemployed6.910.16.00.017.62.317.82.51.716.310.58.2129
 Other4.35.215.01.37.00.97.31.43.337.89.76.8243
Citizenship
Irish6.28.73.71.014.61.09.47.41.835.67.72.93,242
Non-Irish5.75.36.90.022.70.215.63.81.227.08.23.3343
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area7.96.85.41.521.70.513.46.10.528.35.92.11,377
Intermediate area4.411.62.50.711.80.79.57.23.735.09.13.8685
Thinly-populated area4.98.53.20.110.31.46.77.92.341.79.33.71,523
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged2.87.15.70.611.40.310.76.03.241.77.33.1682
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged5.712.43.10.711.00.68.78.72.134.310.91.9645
Third Quintile - Average8.27.52.90.114.21.98.58.11.536.07.43.7648
Fourth Quintile - Affluent4.09.73.90.213.20.711.66.80.935.69.63.8677
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent9.05.94.52.124.70.711.05.81.227.64.92.6933
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Field of education refers to post secondary activities only.
2 Other includes non-formal educational activities which were unable to code and not stated.
Table 3c Persons aged 25-64 who participated in non-formal education, classified by the reason for the non-formal activity, 20171,2
    % of persons
Demographic ProfileTo do my job betterTo improve my career prospectsTo be less likely to lose my jobTo increase my possibilities of getting or changing a jobTo start own businessBecause of organisational/ technological changes at workRequired by the employer/lawTo get knowledge/ skills useful in everyday lifeTo increase knowledge/ skills in a subject of interestTo obtain certificationTo meet people/for funFor health reasonsTo do voluntary work betterOther3Unweighted sample
State60.225.64.712.82.410.836.927.225.214.14.96.01.71.13,585
Sex
 Male62.029.05.814.63.312.638.826.623.116.04.24.81.80.81,660
 Female58.522.63.711.21.59.235.227.727.112.35.57.01.51.41,925
Age group
 25-3461.837.46.920.04.211.433.529.729.014.66.55.40.60.6698
 35-4463.026.25.011.52.19.936.623.823.312.53.55.51.50.91,163
 45-5459.618.53.110.01.213.239.327.323.015.94.46.43.01.81,014
 55-6452.012.82.46.21.28.040.329.525.513.85.57.72.21.4710
Region
 Border47.321.66.314.70.25.642.227.520.523.37.66.40.40.0247
 Dublin61.832.94.318.44.315.334.031.635.214.36.25.21.51.01,100
 Mid-East66.922.64.59.10.53.929.019.115.210.82.95.41.62.7427
 Midland46.914.85.87.50.78.447.928.524.419.22.012.52.70.6185
 Mid-West59.526.46.110.42.25.942.424.518.815.92.86.02.00.4445
 South-East58.217.83.67.92.810.638.024.214.36.64.15.61.72.0304
 South-West59.817.94.89.61.412.332.023.118.713.14.03.01.51.1506
 West63.424.84.28.50.610.347.729.725.313.86.49.52.60.3371
Highest level of educational attainment
 Higher secondary or below55.228.66.416.75.66.842.325.719.216.76.46.21.51.2844
 Post Leaving Certificate58.123.95.814.32.09.044.825.717.817.62.47.91.30.5554
 Third Level non honours degree59.721.13.69.70.66.642.829.723.816.52.97.62.21.1481
 Third Level honours degree or higher62.926.24.111.81.714.031.127.529.911.45.54.91.71.21,706
Principal economic status
 At work64.225.25.111.11.411.739.926.223.614.43.55.61.30.73,213
 Unemployed26.449.61.248.821.11.36.641.344.011.018.54.62.32.3129
 Other11.310.30.013.02.91.46.533.639.69.919.116.19.57.8243
Citizenship
Irish59.623.44.111.32.310.638.127.324.314.04.65.81.81.23,242
Non-Irish64.040.08.722.72.612.329.226.531.114.86.67.50.80.5343
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area59.631.14.416.93.614.635.831.333.313.36.05.41.41.01,377
Intermediate area62.319.95.49.61.06.933.824.318.713.12.85.71.82.4685
Thinly-populated area60.021.74.89.41.58.039.623.518.415.44.56.91.90.61,523
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged55.621.74.69.81.97.735.628.121.314.04.36.51.91.4682
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged57.221.84.48.41.311.638.120.222.313.23.43.51.81.2645
Third Quintile - Average61.924.54.910.31.19.037.023.521.812.05.56.11.40.5648
Fourth Quintile - Affluent59.327.96.414.12.013.139.430.325.418.14.07.02.12.1677
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent64.830.13.718.54.512.135.231.231.913.26.56.41.40.5933
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
2 Note that more than one reason may have been selected by respondents.
3 Other includes non-formal educational activities which were unable to code and not stated.
Table 3d Persons aged 25-64 who participated in non-formal education, classified by the outcome of the non-formal activity, 20171,2
        % of persons
Demographic ProfileGetting a (new) jobPromotion in the jobHigher salary/wagesNew tasksBetter performance in present jobPersonal-related reasonsNo outcome yetOther3Unweighted sample
State6.76.65.712.461.216.811.010.13,585
Sex
 Male7.86.26.812.664.214.411.79.71,660
 Female5.77.04.812.358.519.110.410.51,925
Age group
 25-3410.79.211.017.162.917.511.77.9698
 35-447.07.65.613.061.214.39.410.81,163
 45-544.74.32.28.662.916.412.211.61,014
 55-641.53.11.48.355.321.611.510.6710
Region
Border1.23.32.26.846.816.019.916.9247
Dublin9.18.88.415.463.521.112.45.61,100
Mid-East3.54.44.411.361.411.57.114.4427
Midland1.94.12.511.954.116.09.122.9185
Mid-West5.35.52.810.563.318.78.211.0445
South-East10.010.04.78.760.413.18.812.1304
South-West7.86.66.010.460.612.611.68.5506
 West4.83.04.713.363.414.110.710.2371
Highest level of educational attainment
 Higher secondary or below10.94.66.813.758.414.812.612.4844
 Post Leaving Certificate6.77.96.09.659.312.312.513.0554
 Third Level non honours degree2.84.44.79.161.714.18.112.9481
 Third Level honours degree or higher6.17.65.513.662.719.610.87.71,706
Principal economic status
 At work5.36.95.212.265.013.910.110.03,213
 Unemployed35.96.221.222.430.943.126.64.0129
 Other5.10.41.48.113.750.113.718.8243
Citizenship
Irish5.96.04.911.960.916.811.110.83,242
Non-Irish11.810.711.516.063.016.910.75.5343
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area9.38.98.314.461.420.412.07.11,377
Intermediate area5.34.23.714.362.013.58.311.6685
Thinly-populated area4.25.03.69.360.614.211.113.01,523
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged8.35.53.412.058.915.09.010.8682
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged5.25.93.711.757.918.712.510.9645
Third Quintile - Average3.84.34.07.859.814.314.89.8648
Fourth Quintile - Affluent5.85.76.615.659.913.810.413.2677
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent9.210.09.214.166.820.89.47.1933
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in the non-formal education occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.
2 Note that more than one outcome may have been selected by respondents.
3 Other includes non-formal educational activities which were unable to coded and not stated.
Table 3e Persons aged 25-64 who participated in non-formal education, classified by details about the activity, 20171
Participation in non-formal activity in the last 12 months% of persons
The count of all the non formal events entered
One activity19.7
Two activities23.7
Three activities18.3
Four activities13.0
Five activities or more25.3
Method of the randomly chosen non-formal education activity
Traditional teaching method (e.g. classroom)87.1
Distance learning12.7
Not stated0.2
Current use of the skills or knowledge acquired from the randomly chosen non-formal education activity
A lot57.5
A fair amount24.8
Very little12.3
Not at all5.3
Not stated0.1
Expected use of the skills or knowledge acquired from the randomly chosen non-formal education activity
A lot65.0
A fair amount23.9
Very little8.2
Not at all2.6
Not stated0.3
Unweighted sample3,585
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
Table 4 Persons aged 25-64, classified by whether they received guidance on educational possibilities, 20171
Details on the guidance received in the last 12 months% of persons
Did you receive information on learning activities?
  Yes29.4
  No70.5
Was the information received free?
  Yes28.3
  No1.1
  No information received70.6
Unweighted sample4,863
Of those who received free information on learning activities:
The type of free information received on learning activities2
  Information/advice on learning possibilities85.1
  Assessment of skills and competences12.9
  Information on recognition for skills or competencies for prior learning12.8
  Other type of information12.0
The source of free information received on learning activities2
  Education or training institutions67.8
  Employment services10.5
  Employer or employer organisations17.9
  Trade unions or work council1.9
  Other institutions/organisations24.5
The mode of delivery of the free information received on learning activities2
  Face to face interaction30.3
  Interaction with a person through internet, phone, e-mail or any other media55.6
  Interaction with a computer based application for information or advice/help (including online self-assessment tools)23.1
  No interaction, only information through dedicated material (e.g. books, posters, websites, leaflet, TV programme)16.6
None of the above but other1.3
Unweighted sample1,319
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
2 Note that more than one category may have been selected by the respondent.
Table 5a Persons aged 25-64, classified by their demand for lifelong learning and sex, 20171
   % of persons
DemandMaleFemaleAll persons
Met demand36.233.734.9
Partially met demand17.420.418.9
Unmet demand11.615.413.5
No demand34.630.232.4
Not stated0.20.30.3
Unweighted sample2,2132,6504,863
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population and demand.
Table 5b Persons aged 25-64 who stated that they wanted to participate more in lifelong learning, classified by the number of difficulties identified, 20171
Number of difficulties identified% of persons
One difficulty63.2
Two difficulties24.6
Three difficulties8.5
Four difficulties or more3.6
Total100.0
Unweighted sample 1,558
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in lifelong learning occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.
Table 5c Persons aged 25-64 who stated that they wanted to participate more in lifelong learning, classified by difficulties identified, 20171,2
   % of persons
Demographic profileDid not have the prerequisites (e.g. entry qualifications)Training was too expensive or the cost was difficult to affordLack of employer's support or lack of public services supportTraining conflicted with work schedule/was organised at inconvenient timeTraining took place at a distance hard to reachNo access to a computer or internet for distance learningDid not have time due to family responsibilitiesRespondent's health or ageOther personal reasonsNo suitable education or training activity availableReluctant to commit due to previous negative learning experiencesOther3Unweighted Sample
State3.828.26.828.88.31.243.78.79.36.81.76.31,558
Sex
 Male4.330.18.736.37.41.434.67.37.68.02.57.5631
 Female3.526.75.222.89.01.150.89.810.65.91.05.4927
Age group
 25-344.138.97.028.17.30.635.84.58.18.21.04.8281
 35-443.726.77.430.77.60.952.76.89.74.81.55.0512
 45-543.625.47.428.710.22.546.010.17.86.72.58.4463
 55-643.917.23.825.68.61.033.018.013.39.01.98.5302
Region
 Border10.827.65.217.319.63.034.616.711.211.01.04.2109
 Dublin4.731.48.034.43.20.444.87.29.35.93.35.4472
 Mid-East1.523.65.219.96.51.045.86.48.83.10.08.6178
 Midland1.424.05.820.96.20.035.18.36.013.51.819.164
 Mid-West4.928.06.922.813.91.547.112.711.97.50.73.1204
 South-East2.732.38.229.07.11.434.78.612.78.72.22.5152
 South-West3.723.93.834.012.62.140.65.46.65.60.37.9211
 West0.827.68.330.511.82.354.211.77.98.00.87.1168
Highest level of educational attainment
 Primary or below18.915.22.014.97.22.332.125.226.312.36.76.575
 Lower secondary8.331.95.718.77.71.937.416.48.96.54.15.3193
 Higher secondary3.125.04.622.14.61.241.213.07.77.21.010.1258
 Post Leaving Certificate2.633.77.626.513.81.944.79.59.97.03.22.7275
 Third Level non honours degree3.834.77.732.013.00.550.95.310.05.11.07.1190
 Third Level honours degree or higher1.925.57.835.76.30.944.83.77.96.60.46.3567
Principal economic status
 At work3.328.48.838.97.80.945.13.36.96.71.46.01,064
 Unemployed7.952.83.26.112.72.024.53.511.711.04.011.1111
 Student[0.0]4[9.9][0.0][2.4][8.8][0.7][34.9][24.9][22.0][7.4][0.0][12.6]49
 Home duties5.917.02.60.88.15.44.074.717.53.46.25.8100
 Other3.719.20.94.48.10.869.57.415.05.90.03.8234
Citizenship
 Irish3.326.77.328.88.71.343.59.19.46.81.76.61,354
 Non-Irish6.234.84.628.56.71.244.27.08.86.71.75.1204
Degree of Urbanisation
 Densely-populated area4.532.98.431.93.40.644.58.49.55.93.15.4603
 Intermediate area1.624.55.729.59.60.838.85.710.17.20.37.9261
 Thinly-populated area4.024.75.525.213.02.044.510.08.87.60.76.7694
Deprivation Index
 First Quintile - Very disadvantaged6.430.48.321.48.62.038.011.410.78.93.96.0304
 Second Quintile - Disadvantaged4.923.35.525.210.82.245.49.011.39.10.46.9292
 Third Quintile - Average5.026.15.328.210.20.944.37.77.75.61.25.5291
 Fourth Quintile - Affluent2.131.79.131.67.50.147.97.27.85.71.68.3298
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent1.428.95.535.85.41.143.08.29.25.11.35.0373
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
2 Note that more than one difficulty may have been selected by respondents.
3 Other includes difficulties unable to code and not stated.
4 Figures in parentheses [ ] indicate percentages are based on a small unweighted sample [between 30 and 50] and are, therefore, subject to a wide margin of error.
Table 5d Persons aged 25-64 who stated that they wanted to participate more in educational activities, classified by the main difficulty identified and sex, 20171
   % of persons
Main difficultyMaleFemaleAll persons
Did not have the prerequisites (e.g. entry qualifications)2.22.12.1
Training was too expensive or the cost was difficult to afford19.317.218.1
Lack of employer s support or lack of public services support3.72.32.9
Training conflicted with work schedule and/or was organised at inconvenient time26.112.518.5
Training took place at a distance hard to reach2.33.22.8
No access to a computer or internet for distance learning0.90.10.4
Did not have time due to family responsibilities21.639.931.8
Respondent's health or age5.97.56.8
Other personal reasons3.15.34.4
No suitable education or training activity available5.74.45.0
You were reluctant to commit due to previous negative learning experiences1.70.10.8
Other27.55.46.3
Total100.0100.0100.0
Unweighted sample6319271,558
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in lifelong learning occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.
2 Other includes difficulties unable to code and not stated.
Table 6 Persons aged 25-64 who participated in informal learning, classified by the type of informal learning, 20171,2
   % of persons
Demographic profileVisiting learning centresUsing printed materialFrom a family member, friend or colleagueUsing televison/ radio/videoUsing computers (online or offline)From a guided tourUnweighted Sample
State18.753.736.634.682.218.12,938
Sex
 Male15.851.936.834.082.916.11,328
 Female21.655.436.435.181.420.01,610
Age group
 25-3418.252.141.236.988.217.2553
 35-4419.556.336.833.683.617.2857
 45-5417.951.332.433.179.018.0843
 55-6419.655.234.934.674.721.0685
Region
 Border12.048.927.727.980.08.5247
 Dublin24.258.938.737.286.522.8884
 Mid-East18.737.126.334.881.024.4307
 Midland17.144.725.120.874.911.9118
 Mid-West19.962.548.650.280.017.9441
 South-East16.863.049.441.885.818.4247
South-West12.449.430.221.277.59.9419
 West13.550.136.928.579.114.5275
Highest level of educational attainment
 Primary or below12.537.246.440.160.77.9139
 Lower secondary9.841.234.733.472.09.7317
 Higher secondary11.342.534.536.079.415.3504
 Post Leaving Certificate16.651.537.732.082.214.1494
 Third Level non honours degree19.154.138.434.284.519.0334
 Third Level honours degree or higher25.363.736.034.887.023.51,150
Principal economic status
 At work17.754.637.533.983.518.02,170
 Unemployed24.253.638.235.585.516.5180
 Student21.854.829.132.276.126.3117
 Home duties18.744.933.145.366.514.2132
 Other21.150.731.334.877.319.7338
Citizenship
Irish18.653.336.934.480.917.42,585
Non-Irish19.655.635.335.288.021.2353
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area22.859.141.038.886.022.71,153
Intermediate area17.046.633.231.976.819.1474
Thinly-populated area15.150.633.331.280.112.91,311
Deprivation Index
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged19.458.642.437.281.816.2569
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged17.550.830.030.580.114.0592
Third Quintile - Average16.750.735.933.179.521.2547
Fourth Quintile - Affluent17.253.432.431.882.815.8517
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent21.954.540.738.885.722.1713
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population. Participation in informal learning occurred in the 12 months prior to the interview.
2 Note that more than one type of informal learning may have been selected by respondents.
Table 7a The top five mother tongues as reported, 20171
RankLanguage% who reported it as their mother tongue
1English87.1
2Polish2.5
3Irish1.2
4Russian0.7
5Lithuanian0.7
 All other languages7.6
1 See Background Notes for definition of mother tongue.
Table 7b The number of languages other than mother tongue known, 20171
     % of persons
Demographic ProfileNo other languageOne languageTwo languagesThree languages or moreUnweighted sample
State49.029.915.65.64,863
Sex
 Male52.828.513.25.52,213
 Female45.331.117.85.82,650
Age group
 25-3441.633.018.76.7828
 35-4446.029.317.37.41,391
 45-5453.229.213.24.51,371
 55-6457.127.612.23.11,273
Region
 Border60.830.07.22.0480
 Midland38.131.421.49.11,251
 West52.329.014.54.2615
 Dublin50.334.211.93.6252
 Mid-East49.428.017.05.6584
 Mid-West53.628.014.14.3426
South-East60.525.510.73.3756
 South-West44.933.515.56.1499
Highest level of educational attainment
 Primary or below78.317.93.10.7341
 Lower secondary76.118.14.61.2654
 Higher secondary53.433.010.72.9941
 Post Leaving Certificate53.228.613.74.4799
 Third Level non honours degree41.134.717.66.6531
 Third Level honours degree or higher33.133.024.29.71,597
Principal economic status
 At work47.930.016.25.93,469
 Unemployed48.928.414.77.9299
 Student39.540.714.75.1201
 Home duties62.925.79.42.0270
 Other51.628.915.54.0623
Citizenship
Irish55.827.213.03.94,320
Non-Irish13.943.328.414.4543
Of which:
United Kingdom53.732.18.65.7102
EU-15 excl. Ire & UK0.039.441.319.377
EU-15 to EU-284.041.637.816.6236
Other11.556.218.214.0126
Degree of Urbanisation
Densely-populated area40.530.620.48.51,629
Intermediate area56.427.312.04.2969
Thinly-populated area52.930.313.03.82,265
Deprivation Index - by quintile
First Quintile - Very disadvantaged47.731.514.95.9925
Second Quintile - Disadvantaged47.833.913.35.0983
Third Quintile - Average53.727.813.65.0928
Fourth Quintile - Affluent49.129.515.95.6946
 Fifth Quintile - Very affluent46.826.919.76.61,081
1 See Background Notes for definition of mother tongue.
Table 7c The top five best known language other than mother tongue, 20171
RankLanguage% who reported it as their best known second language
1Irish41.6
2French20.0
3English16.0
4German7.3
5Spanish5.9
 All other languages9.2
1 See Background Notes for definition of mother tongue.
Table 7d The best known language other than mother tongue, classified by skill level, 20171
  % of persons
RankLanguageBasicGoodProficientTotal
1Irish62.624.013.4100.0
2French54.626.618.8100.0
3English20.216.463.3100.0
4German44.127.628.2100.0
5Spanish51.123.425.5100.0
1 See Background Notes for a definition of language skill level.
Table 8a Percentage of persons aged 25-64 who participated in lifelong learning in the last 12 months, classified by sex, 20161,2
% of persons
Country MalesFemalesTotal
EU-28344.945.445.1
Austria61.158.859.9
Belgium44.246.245.2
Bulgaria24.524.724.6
Croatia32.531.131.8
Cyprus56.640.448.1
Czech Republic49.542.646.1
Denmark48.352.650.4
Estonia37.050.744.0
Finland48.060.254.1
France48.753.851.3
Germany51.852.252.0
Greece15.917.516.7
Hungary58.752.755.7
Ireland53.654.153.9
Italy44.039.141.5
Latvia42.751.947.5
Lithuania23.531.927.9
Luxembourg48.148.148.1
Malta36.735.736.3
Netherlands64.763.564.1
Poland25.225.725.5
Portugal47.644.746.1
Romania6.47.57.0
Slovakia46.845.346.1
Slovenia44.148.346.1
Spain44.042.943.4
Sweden59.568.263.8
United Kingdom50.253.952.1
Source: Eurostat, CSO. Data accessed from the Eurostat database in August 2018.
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
2 The AES was conducted from July 2016 to December 2017 over Europe. Further details on the time covered for each individual country can be found on the Eurostat website.
3 The EU28 figure was based on 27 countries excluding Ireland. A revised figure will be calculated incorporating the Irish dataset and be available on the Eurostat website shortly.
Table 8b Percentage of persons aged 25-64 who participated in formal education in the last 12 months, classified by sex, 20161,2
% of persons
Country MalesFemalesTotal
EU-2835.26.35.8
Austria5.96.56.2
Belgium6.17.56.8
Bulgaria2.63.22.9
Croatia3.54.44.0
Cyprus3.12.93.0
Czech Republic2.42.62.5
Denmark11.815.213.5
Estonia5.37.06.2
Finland12.416.114.2
France2.54.23.4
Germany3.83.23.5
Greece3.14.33.7
Hungary6.87.97.3
Ireland7.29.98.6
Italy2.73.23.0
Latvia3.55.34.4
Lithuania2.02.82.4
Luxembourg8.38.88.6
Malta5.88.67.2
Netherlands7.810.29.0
Poland3.55.24.4
Portugal4.33.84.0
Romania1.32.11.7
Slovakia:42.01.5
Slovenia5.46.76.0
Spain9.510.29.8
Sweden10.217.613.8
United Kingdom10.413.311.9
Source: Eurostat, CSO. Data accessed from the Eurostat database in August 2018.
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
2 The AES was conducted from July 2016 to December 2017 over Europe. Further details on the time covered for each individual country can be found on the Eurostat website.
3 The EU28 figure was based on 27 countries excluding Ireland. A revised figure will be calculated incorporating the Irish dataset and be available on the Eurostat website shortly.
4 Value is not available
Table 8c Percentage of persons aged 25-64 who participated in non-formal education in the last 12 months, classified by sex, 20161,2
% of persons
Country MalesFemalesTotal
EU-28342.542.742.6
Austria59.657.358.4
Belgium40.642.241.4
Bulgaria22.622.322.5
Croatia30.928.729.8
Cyprus55.639.447.2
Czech Republic48.041.244.6
Denmark42.345.243.8
Estonia34.647.641.2
Finland42.852.847.7
France47.752.150.0
Germany49.650.850.2
Greece13.314.714.0
Hungary55.949.252.5
Ireland50.049.449.7
Italy43.038.140.6
Latvia41.449.645.7
Lithuania22.330.426.5
Luxembourg45.145.645.3
Malta34.732.933.8
Netherlands62.160.861.5
Poland23.122.822.9
Portugal45.743.244.4
Romania5.45.75.6
Slovakia46.143.945.0
Slovenia42.245.243.6
Spain39.838.439.1
Sweden54.758.356.5
United Kingdom46.348.747.5
Source: Eurostat, CSO. Data accessed from the Eurostat database in August 2018.
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
2 The AES was conducted from July 2016 to December 2017 over Europe. Further details on the time covered for each individual country can be found on the Eurostat website.
3 The EU28 figure was based on 27 countries excluding Ireland. A revised figure will be calculated incorporating the Irish dataset and be available on the Eurostat website shortly.
Table 8d Percentage of persons aged 25-64 who participated in informal education in the last 12 months, classified by sex, 20161,2
% of persons
Country MalesFemalesTotal
EU-28360.560.560.5
Austria78.680.079.3
Belgium63.162.462.7
Bulgaria49.152.550.8
Croatia90.993.091.9
Cyprus94.997.196.1
Czech Republic69.970.570.2
Denmark68.473.370.8
Estonia77.281.979.6
Finland67.270.268.7
France68.069.068.5
Germany 44.742.243.5
Greece47.147.347.2
Hungary39.441.740.6
Ireland61.662.762.1
Italy73.575.274.4
Latvia79.085.082.1
Lithuania19.025.522.4
Luxembourg69.667.768.7
Malta39.944.242.0
Netherlands72.973.473.2
Poland30.031.931.0
Portugal87.189.888.5
Romania64.963.664.2
Slovakia73.476.875.1
Slovenia63.468.766.0
Spain58.758.758.7
Sweden78.878.378.6
United Kingdom68.863.766.2
Source: Eurostat, CSO. Data accessed from the Eurostat database in August 2018.
1 See Background Notes for definition of survey population.
2 The AES was conducted from July 2016 to December 2017 over Europe. Further details on the time covered for each individual country can be found on the Eurostat website.
3 The EU28 figure was based on 27 countries excluding Ireland. A revised figure will be calculated incorporating the Irish dataset and be available on the Eurostat website shortly.

Background Notes

Purpose of survey

The main purpose of the Adult Education Survey (AES) is to produce reliable participation rates in further education for the adult population. Data is published on those aged 25 to 64 years old.

The survey produces figures on those who participated in further education broken down by gender, region, level of education, age, economic status and sectors and so on. It also explores how people access guidance on educational possibilities. It is also a source of information on the difficulties experienced by the adult population who wish to participate in education.

The basic legal act for the AES is the Regulation (EC) No 452/2008[1] of 23 April 2008. It concerns the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning. The implementing regulation (EU) No 1175/2014[2] details the exact requirements for the specific AES for 2016. Ireland received a derogation to delay implementation until 2017 (2014/773/EU)[3].

The 2017 AES survey is a follow up to a lifelong learning module which was delivered as part of the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in Q3 2011. Other modules on lifelong learning were asked as part of the QNHS in Q2 2003 and Q3 2008.

The Central Statistics Office wishes to thank the participating households for their co-operation in agreeing to take part in the Adult Education Survey and for facilitating the collection of the relevant data.

Methodology

Questionnaire Design

The Irish AES was heavily based on based on the EU regulation[2] and the model questionnaire provided by Eurostat[4].

 Overall the AES can be broken down into these sections:

  • Background information
    • Information on household
    • Information on individual
    • Participation in education and training
      • Seeking information on educational possibilities
      • Formal education
      • Non-formal education - basic details
      • Non-formal education - detailed questions about two randomly chosen non-formal activities
      • Difficulties in participation in formal and/or non-formal education
      • Informal education
    • Knowledge of languages

The flow of the questionnaire is shown in the diagram below:

Figure A1: AES survey structure

AES survey structureSurvey coverage

The AES data was collected directly from private households. Institutional households, (e.g. nursing homes, barracks, boarding schools, hotels etc.) were not covered by the survey. A household was defined as a single person or group of people who usually reside together in the same accommodation and who share the same catering arrangements. The household members were not necessarily related by blood or marriage.

A person is defined as a "Usual Resident" of a private household if he or she:

(i) Lives regularly at the dwelling in question, and

(ii) Shares the main living accommodation (i.e. kitchen, living room or bathroom) with the other members of the household.

"Living regularly" means usually spending 4 nights a week in the dwelling.  However, a member of a couple should be regarded as living regularly with the household if he/she regularly returns to his/her partner in the household for at least one night each week.  However, if the person has (another) family (de-facto or otherwise) with which he/she spends the rest of the time then that person should not be included.  Persons paying for both board (at least one meal a day) and lodging should be regarded as usual residents of the household. 

See the survey manual for a more detailed breakdown of who is and is not included in the household definition: https://www.cso.ie/en/methods/education/adulteducationsurvey/

Sample design

The sample was derived for the General Household Survey (GHS)[5]. It is a multi-stage cluster sample resulting in all households in Ireland having an equal probability of selection. The sample is stratified using administrative county and the Pobal HP (Haase and Pratschke) Deprivation Index (quintile).

A two-stage sample design is used. Firstly, 1,200 blocks are selected using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) sampling. All occupied households on Census night 2016 within each block were eligible for selection in the Social Statistics Sample.

Secondly, households within blocks were selected using simple random sampling (SRS) without replacement for inclusion in the survey sample. This ensures each household in the sample frame has an equal probability of selection. A sample size of 11 households per block was allocated for the AES, giving a total sample size of 13,200 households.

Eligible persons

One eligible individual within the household was randomly select to participate in the AES. Eligibility for AES participation is based on:

  • age - only those between 18 and 64 in the household are included in the random person generator
  • educational status - only those who are not in continuous fulltime education are included.

Data collection

A pilot of the AES was done in May 2017 on a few selected areas around the country to validate the questionnaire, the training delivered and field systems. The full-scale survey started in July 2017 and field work continued until mid-January 2018. The AES is the first survey to be delivered using the General Household Survey (GHS).

The data was collected by a team of 100 Field Interviewers and 10 Field coordinators (each with a team of 10 interviewers). Interviewers were provided with a map of each of their interview areas as well as a listing of the address of each of the selected households. Interviewers were trained in May 2017 on the main concepts (formal, non-formal and informal education definitions) of the AES. In June 2017, a full training session including a thorough review of the questionnaire as it appeared on the laptop as well as a detailed examination of the more complex elements of the questionnaire. Additionally, the interviewers were experienced, as they were currently working on CSO surveys such as the Survey on Income and Living Conditions and the Quarterly National Household Survey (now named the Labour Force Survey). Interviewers received a manual with information such as detailed explanations about the questionnaire, definitions of the concepts involved and examples.

The survey field work was conducted using a team of face-to-face interviewers using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). This enabled the use of extensive checks in the BLAISE interviewing software to make sure correct and coherent data was collected. It also ensured that respondents were only asked relevant questions, all applicable questions were answered (although it was possible for many questions to accept a “Don’t know” or “Refused to answer” reply) and specific answers were within valid ranges.

One person from each household selected was randomly chosen to continue with the AES. Information was collected directly from respondents - proxy responses from other members of the household were not accepted. 

Reference period

The AES was conducted nationwide during Q3 2017 and Q4 2017 i.e. from July to December 2017. Respondents were asked about different types of educational activities in the twelve months prior to interview.

Survey response

The number of valid responses for the AES was 4,863 responses. The final status of the survey is detailed in Table A1.

Table A1 AES breakdown of survey response 

Household status Nos. of Households % of full sample
Full sample of households 13,200 100.0%
Dropped households[6] 1,740 13.2%
Surveyed households 11,460 86.8%
% of surveyed households
Vacant  846 7.4%
Not a housing unit 59 0.5%
Attempted to contact 10,555 92.1%
                                                           % of attempted to contact households
Refusal 1,247 11.8%
Uncontactable  1,866 17.7%
Other[7] 214 2.0%
Interviewed households  7,228 68.5%
of which:  
Partial interviews 129 1.2%
Completed interviews  7,099 67.3%
of which:  
Ineligible households[8] 2,236 21.2%
Eligible households[9] 4,863 46.1%

Further processing

Once the data was back in the CSO it was checked and if necessary queried with the field force. After the data collection phase was complete the field data was aggregated together. In certain cases, text strings (used as an “other” category for some questions) were re-coded to the proper category while further validation checks were done.

Derivation of results

To provide national results, the survey results were weighted to represent the entire population. The process used was as follows:

  • Firstly, design weights were calculated for all units selected in the initial sample and are computed as the inverse of the selection probability of the unit. The purpose of design weights is to eliminate the bias induced by unequal selection probabilities.
  • Next, these design weights were then adjusted for non-response. This eliminated the bias induced by discrepancies caused by non-response between the initial sample and the achieved sample, particularly critical when the non-responding households are different from the responding ones in respect to some survey variables as this may create substantial bias in the estimates. Design weights are adjusted for non-response by dividing the design weights of each responding unit in the final/achieved sample by the (weighted) response probability of the corresponding group or strata.
  • To obtain the final weights for the results, after the previous steps were carried out, the distribution of households by deprivation, NUTS3 region, home ownership, household size, highest level of educational attainment, sex and age was calibrated to the population of households in Q4 2017 (as derived from the Quarterly National Household Survey). The CALMAR2-macro, developed by INSEE, was used for this purpose and both household and individual external information was used in a single-shot calibration at household level.

Disclosure control

Estimates for number of persons where there are less than 30 persons in a cell are too small to be considered reliable. These estimates are presented with an asterisk (*) in the relevant tables.

Where there are 30-49 persons in a cell, estimates are considered to have a wider margin of error and should be treated with caution. These cells are presented with parentheses [ ].

Note on tables

Percentage breakdowns exclude cases where the interviewee did not respond.

The sum of row or column percentages in the tables in this report may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Reliability of estimates presented

Always be aware, data are subject to sampling and other survey errors, which are relatively greater in respect of smaller values.

Definitions

Education in the AES

In the AES, information is collected on participation in three types of education, namely formal education, non-formal education and informal education.

All three share the common attribute that the learning must be intentional.

Figure A1 is a useful graphic which gives an overall breakdown of educational activities. This graphic along with further information on the three main types of education can be found in the 2016 Classification of Learning Activities (CLA) report[11].

Figure A2 Classification of learning activities based on the three broad categories

Classification of learning activities based on the three broad categories

The following are the definitions of each of the three education types:

Formal Education

Formal education is defined as “education provided in the system of schools, colleges, universities and other formal educational institutions that normally constitutes a continuous ‘ladder’ of full-time education for children and young people, generally beginning at age five to seven and continuing up to 20 or 25 years old”.  A learning activity is considered to be formal when:

  • It is provided by an institution e.g. a system of schools, colleges, universities and other formal educational institutions. They are responsible for setting at least the:
    • teaching/learning method (predetermined).
    • learning schedule.
    • location in which the learning/teaching will take place.
  • The programme of study must be recognised by the national authority.
  • It has a theoretical duration of at least one semester/6 months.
  • It generally is hierarchical in nature - a ladder style approach where one level must be completed before progressing to the next.
  • It generally has admission requirements or have a registration process.

Non-formal Education

Non-formal education refers to all organised learning activities outside regular or formal education which you participate in with the intention of improving your knowledge or skills in any area (including hobbies). A learning activity is considered to be non-formal when:

  • It is provided by an institution e.g. a system of schools, colleges, universities and other formal educational institutions. They are responsible for setting at least the:
    • teaching/learning method (predetermined).
    • learning schedule.
    • location in which the learning/teaching will take place.
  • The programme of study is does not lead to a nationally recognised qualification.
  • It has a theoretical duration of under one semester/6 months.
  • It is generally not hierarchical in nature - a ladder style approach where one level must be completed before progressing to the next.
  • It may have admission requirements or have a registration process.

There are 4 distinct types included in the AES:

1. Courses at the workplace or in your free time.

Examples: language courses, computer courses, driving courses, management courses, cooking courses, gardening courses or painting courses.

2. Workshops or seminars at the workplace or in your free time.

Examples: Data workshop, inspiration day, study day, inspirational workshop, work information seminar, health seminar.

3. Planned periods of education, instruction or training directly at the workplace, organised by the employer with the aid of an instructor.

Examples: Training to operate a new machine or to learn new software (for one or two persons).

4. Private lessons with the aid of a teacher or tutor for whom this is a paid activity.

Examples: mathematics or piano lessons. A lesson should be included if provided by a professional teacher and excluded if provided by a friend, family member or colleague.

Lifelong learning

Those who participate in lifelong learning are defined as those who participate in either formal or non-formal education and training. It is an important measure for European policy. A key aim of EU2020 is by 2020, an average of at least 15% of adults should participate in lifelong learning[10].

Informal Education

It refers to activities that you have undertaken deliberately either at work or in your free time to improve your knowledge or skills. It can occur in the family, in the work place, and in the daily life of every person, on a self-directed, family-directed or socially directed basis. A learning activity is considered to be informal when:

  • It is not provided by an institution. The individual determines what they will learn, when they will do it and where.
  • The programme of study is generally does not lead to a nationally recognised qualification.
  • It is generally not hierarchical in nature.
  • There are no admission requirements or registration processes.

It generally refers to activities different from those compulsory activities (including self-study and homework) reported previously under formal and non-formal education.

Field of Education

For those who reported that they had participated in formal education in the 12 months prior to interview were asked what subject(s) they studied. From this the field of education for formal education was derived.

Those who reported that they had participated in non-formal education and training in the 12 months prior to interview were asked to select the field of education for their most recent taught activity.

The fields of education are as follows:

  • Generic programmes and qualifications
  • Education
  • Arts and humanities
  • Social sciences, journalism and information
  • Business administration and law
  • Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT's)
  • Engineering, manufacturing and construction
  • Agriculture, forestries, fisheries and veterinary
  • Health and welfare
  • Services

These are based on the ISCED-F 2013 classification. Further information on the ISCED classification can be found here: http://uis.unesco.org/en/topic/international-standard-classification-education-isced

Demand for lifelong learning

The four categories of demand are defined as:

  • No demand - adults who did not participate in lifelong learning in the last 12 months and did not want to participate
  • Unmet demand - adults who did not participate in lifelong learning in the last 12 months but did want to participate but did not because of difficulties
  • Partially met demand - adults who participated in lifelong learning in the last 12 months and wanted to participate more but did not because of difficulties 
  • Met demand - adults who participated in lifelong learning in the last 12 months and did not want to participate more

Mother tongue

Mother tongue is defined as the language or languages learned as a child. However, the respondent must still be reasonably fluent in any mother language selected. Reasonably fluent means that the respondent would agree with this statement:

"I can understand a wide range of demanding texts and use the language fluently. I have mastered the language almost completely.”

Language skills

The ability to speak another language is categorised as follows:

1. I understand and can use a few words and phrases.

2. I can understand and use common everyday expressions. I can also understand and use basic sentences about me, my family or direct surroundings.

3. I can understand the gist if it is clearly spoken, and I can create a simple text. I can describe experience and events. I can communicate quite well.

4. I can understand a wide range of demanding texts and use the language fluently. I have mastered the language almost completely.

In the published tables, option 1 and 2 are recoded to “basic” in the skill level breakdown. Option 3 is reported as “good” and option 4 is considered “proficient”.

Classifications

Highest level of education attained

This classification is derived from a single question and refers to educational standards that have been attained and can be compared in some measurable way. The question is included in the AES is phrased as follows: “What is the highest level of education or training you have ever successfully completed?”

There are two methods of presenting results for educational attainment; the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

ISCED:

UNESCO developed the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to facilitate comparisons of education statistics and indicators across countries on the basis of uniform and internationally agreed definitions. The current revision of ISCED used in this release is ISCED 2011 (ISCED11).

For information on the ISCED11 classification, see: http://uis.unesco.org/en/topic/international-standard-classification-education-isced

NFQ:

The NFQ was launched in 2003 and it is now the single structure mechanism for recognising all education and training in Ireland. All framework awards now have an NFQ Level, numbered from 1 to 10, which tells you about the standard of learning and an NFQ Award-Type which tells you about the purpose, volume and progression opportunities associated with a particular award. Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has responsibility to develop, promote and maintain the Irish NFQ.

In this release educational attainment results are presented using a descriptive name and the corresponding NFQ levels.

For information on the NFQ see: http://www.qqi.ie/Articles/Pages/National-Framework-of-Qualifications-(NFQ).aspx

Table A2 Educational qualifications and corresponding ISCED 11 level, NFQ level and Educational attainment level

Education Qualification ISCED11 Level NFQ Level Educational Attainment Level
No formal education or training 0   Primary or below
Pre-primary education/Primary education (or FETAC Certificate at NFQ level 1 or 2) 100 1/2 Primary or below
Lower Secondary Junior Certificate 200 3 Lower secondary
Intermediate Certificate 200 3
Group Certificate 200 3
FÁS Introductory Skills Certificate 200 3
NCVA Foundation Certificate 200 3
FETAC Certificate at NFQ level 3 200 3
Equivalent Qualification at NFQ level 3 200 3
Transition Year 200   Lower secondary
Higher Secondary Leaving Certificate (Traditional) 304 4/5 Higher secondary
Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) 303 4/5
Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) 303 4/5
Equivalent Qualification at NFQ level 4/5 300 4/5
Technical or Vocational Secretarial 400 4/5 Post leaving cert 
Certificate in Hotel Operations  400 4/5
PLC (Post Leaving Certificate Course) 400 4/5
FÁS National Skills Certificate 400 4/5
FÁS Specific Skills Certificate 400 4/5
FETAC level Certificate at NFQ level 4 400 4
FETAC level Certificate at NFQ level 5 400 5
Equivalent qualification at NFQ level 4/5 400 4/5
Advance Certificate Completed apprenticeships 400 6 Post leaving cert 
Teagasc farming or horticulture Certificate/Diploma 400 6
National Craft Certificate 400 6
FETAC advanced Certificate at NFQ level 6 400 6
Equivalent Qualification at NFQ level 6 400 6
Higher Certificate National Certificate (NCEA/DIT/IOT) 500 6 Higher certificate and equivalent
Cadetship (army, air corps or naval service) 500 6
HETAC/DIT Higher Certificate at NFQ level 6 500 6
Equivalent qualification at NFQ level 6 500 6
Diploma National Diploma (HETAC/NCEA e.g. 3 year diploma) 500 7 Ordinary degree or equivalent
Bachelor Degree (DIT) 500 7
Equivalent qualification at NFQ level 7 600 7
Ordinary Bachelor Degree at NFQ level 7 600 7 Ordinary degree or equivalent
Honours Bachelor Degree, Graduate Diploma or Higher Diploma at NFQ level 8 600 8 Honours bachelor degree or equivalent
Professional (Honours Bachelor Degree equivalent or higher) 600 8 Honours bachelor degree or equivalent
Post-Graduate (e.g. Post Graduate Diploma or Masters degree at NFQ level 9) 700 9 Postgraduate qualification
Doctorate or higher (e.g. Doctoral Degree/higher Doctorate at NFQ level 10) 800 10 Postgraduate qualification

Region

The regional classifications in this release are based on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification used by Eurostat. Until Q4 2017, the NUTS3 regions corresponded to the eight Regional Authorities established under the Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993, which came into operation on 1 January 1994 while the NUTS2 regions, which were proposed by Government and agreed by Eurostat in 1999, were groupings of those historic NUTS3 regions.

However, the NUTS3 boundaries were amended on 21st of November 2016 under Regulation (EC) No. 2066/2016 and have come into force from Q1 2018. These new groupings are reflected in the CSO publications from Q1 2018 onwards. The changes resulting from the amendment are that County Louth has moved from the Border to the Mid-East and what was formerly South Tipperary has moved from the South-East to the Mid-West, resulting in the new NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions:

Northern & Western NUTS2 Region Southern NUTS2 Region Eastern & Midland NUTS2 Region
Border Cavan Mid-West Clare Dublin Dublin City   
  Donegal   Limerick City & County   Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
  Leitrim   Tipperary   Fingal
  Monaghan       South Dublin
  Sligo        
    South-East Carlow Mid-East Kildare 
West Galway City   Kilkenny   Meath
  Galway County   Waterford City & County   Wicklow
  Mayo   Wexford   Louth
  Roscommon        
        Midland Laois  
    South-West Cork City   Longford 
      Cork County   Offaly
      Kerry   Westmeath

Principal economic status classification

The Principal Economic Status (PES) classification is based on a single question in which respondents are asked what is their usual situation regarding employment and given the following response categories:

  • At work
  • Unemployed
  • Student
  • Engaged on home duties
  • Retired
  • Other

Degree of Urbanisation

This classification is created from an aggregation of population density estimates derived from the Census of Population. The categories included in each aggregate are explained below:

  • Thinly populated area refers to rural areas
  • Intermediate density area refers to towns and suburbs
  • Densely populated area refers to cities, urban centres and urban areas

Deprivation Index

The Pobal Haase-Pratschke Deprivation Index is used to create the underlying sample and is used to analyse the data. The Index uses Census data to measure levels of disadvantage or affluence in a geographical area. More detailed information on the index can be found here:  https://www.pobal.ie/research-analysis/

The results are presented by quintiles, five equal-sized groups of households, with the first quintile representing the least deprived/most affluent area and the fifth quintile representing the most disadvantaged areas. 

NACE Industrial Classification

The industry in which a person is engaged is determined (regardless of their occupation) by the main economic activity carried out in the local unit in which he or she works. The basis of the industrial classification is, in the case of employees, the business or profession of their employer and in the case of self-employed persons, the nature of their own business or profession.

In the AES, industry is coded using NACE – the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities. The current version, NACE Rev. 2, is a 4-digit activity classification as defined in Council Regulation (EC) no 1893/2006. Fourteen NACE sub-categories are distinguished in this release.

NACE code description
 Total  All Sectors  K-L  Financial, insurance and real estate activities
 B-E  Industry  M  Professional, scientific and technical activities
 F  Construction  N  Administrative and support service activities
 G  Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles  O  Public Administration and defence; compulsory social security
 H  Transportation and storage  P  Education
 I  Accommodation and food service activities  Q  Human health and social work activities
 J  Information and communication  R-S  Arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities

Occupation Classification

The structured classification for occupations allows for jobs to be grouped together based on their similarity in terms of the skill level and skill specialization required. The CSO uses the UK SOC2010 as the primary classification used in collecting the data. ISCO-08 is then derived from UK SOC2010 for publication.

Further information regarding SOC 2010 is available at the following link: http://www.cso.ie/shorturl.aspx/104

Additional information

Historical comparison    

The CSO has published lifelong learning data for 2003 and 2008[12]. Care needs to be taken when comparing the results from 2003, 2008 and 2017:

  • Timing

The timing of the surveys is different. The 2003 survey was completed in Q2 (March-May), the 2008 survey was completed in Q3 (June-August) and the 2017 survey was conducted between July and December 2017. This may have an effect on the results.

  • Respondents

The surveys are also not directly comparable because of the definition used of the person selected for the survey. In the 2003 survey, proxy responses were allowed while only direct responses to the questionnaire were allowed in the 2008 and 2017 survey.
In the 2008 survey all persons aged 25-64 were selected however in the 2017 survey only those who were not in continuous full-time education were surveyed.

  • Different questions/question categories

The categories for some questions are different over the years.

For example, the question on informal learning only had four categories in 2003 (Professional books and magazines, Online internet based education, Educational broadcasting and offline computer material and Libraries and other information centres). In the 2008 survey there was an additional category added to the list (Other learning based on experience). In 2017, the informal education question was revised and had six categories to choose from:

    • Learning from a family member, a friend or colleague.
    • Learning by using printed material (books, professional magazines etc.).
    • Learning by computers, tablets or smartphones (online or offline).
    • Learning through television/radio/video's/DVD's.
    • Learning by guided tours of museums or natural or industrial sites.
    • Learning by visiting learning centres (including libraries).

International comparison         

Care must also be taken when comparing the Irish data to the European data. The time coverage of the survey was different for some countries as the AES was conducted over an 18-month time period (July 2016 to December 2017) over Europe. The data may also not be directly comparable because of the definition used for the person selected for the survey as Ireland selected those who were not in continuous full-time education. The method of delivery of the survey also varied between countries e.g. Sweden conducted the survey through telephone, Luxembourg conducted it through a web questionnaire and Latvia conducted a mix of web, telephone and face to face. Further details can be found on the Eurostat website[13].

European documentation on the AES - Circa BC

The European Commission hosts a document database which is called Circa BC. It can be found here: https://circabc.europa.eu. Sign in registration is not necessary to access the public documentation for the AES.  You can find the documentation by selecting browse categories on the left-hand side of the home page for Circa BC. Under the heading of European Commission, select Eurostat. Select the Education and Training Statistics option under the public access title. On the education and training statistics page select Library and then

→        Public

→        5. Adult learning statistics

→       1. Adult Education Survey (AES)

→        AES 2016

In this folder you can find national reports on quality, the manuals for delivery of the AES, model questionnaires and other documentation. 

European data from the AES

The AES data can be found at the link below (along with a screenshot to show where to find the data under the navigation tree structure – red boxes mark the relevant folders - see Figure A3):

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/education-and-training/data/database

Figure A3 Location of the AES datasets on the Eurostat website

Figure on Eurostat website 

Social modules to date

Some of the latest social modules published by the CSO are:

  • 2017 Educational Attainment Thematic Report
  • Q2 2017 QNHS Households and Family Units
  • 2017 Information Society Statistics - Households
  • Q3 2016 QNHS Childcare Module
  • Q2 2016 QNHS Union Membership

More historical social modules published are available at:

https://www.cso.ie/en/qnhs/releasesandpublications/qnhs-specialmodules/
http://www.cso.ie/en/qnhs/releasesandpublications/qnhs-specialmodules/qnhs-specialmodulesarchive/

References


[1] Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2008/452/oj
[2] Commission Regulation (EU) No 1175/2014 of 30 October 2014 implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning, as regards statistics on the participation of adults in lifelong learning and repealing Commission Regulation (EU) No 823/2010: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2014/1175/oj
[3] 2014/773/EU: Commission Implementing Decision of 30 October 2014 on granting derogations for implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning with regard to Belgium, Ireland, France, Malta and Finland: http://data.europa.eu/eli/dec_impl/2014/773/oj
[5] The General Household Survey (GHS) is a national survey that place takes place three or four times each year. The survey usually has a core of common demographic questions that are always asked (e.g. age, sex, education, etc.) plus one or more specific sets of survey questions that will change each year. You can find more information here: https://www.cso.ie/en/aboutus/takingpartinasurvey/surveysofhouseholdsindividuals/generalhouseholdsurvey/
[6] Households are sometimes dropped due to staffing shortages and unforeseen local circumstances.
[7] Other includes cases where the dwelling was inaccessible, or respondent difficulty with understanding the questionnaire.
[8] Due to the sample and questionnaire design there were situations where some initial detail was collected but they were not eligible to continue with the full AES. This would include student households or households with only older persons resident.
[9] Eligible households were those households with individuals between the ages 25-64 who are not in continuous full-time education
[13] You can find more information about the quality reports at this link:http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/education-and-training/quality/quality-reports 
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