The datasets for the 1999-2002 Learning and Training at Work surveys primarily consist of employers' answers to a telephone questionnaire, plus a small number of variables from a screening questionnaire which was completed before the main questionnaire. The Learning and Training at Work surveys were initiated in 1999 as an annual sample survey of employers in England, conducted by IFF Research Ltd on behalf of the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and its successor, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). These surveys gathered information on on-the-job and off-the-job training, learning opportunities, employers' awareness of and participation in training initiatives, the training of young employees, and the costs of training.
The 2000 dataset includes data from a supplementary questionnaire (referred to as a 'datasheet') on training costs. This was posted to all respondents who indicated, in the main questionnaire, that they had provided some form of training to employees during the previous 12 months. While most of the fields in the datasets relate directly to questions asked in the survey (and usually have descriptions which link the field to the original question), the datasets also include a certain number of derived fields, and fields with administrative functions. For example, the 2000 dataset includes a number of fields which indicate whether values in fields relating to training costs have been 'simulated'.
With a few exceptions, the questions in the 1999-2002 surveys asked respondents to supply information relating to the sampled location. The datasets do not cover employing organisations as a whole, unless the organisation was based on a single site. Each dataset consists of one record per respondent. The records are anonymised: identifying details of employers are not included, and were not passed to the DfEE/DfES by the survey contractor.
In order to support comparative analysis of the data, the questions asked in the main questionnaire in the 2000-2002 surveys were based, as far as possible, on those used in previous sweeps of the Learning and Training at Work surveys. Consequently, the datasets cover the same general subject areas, though there are differences in the extent of coverage of certain areas and in the individual questions which were asked. The main subject areas are summarised below:
(1) General characteristics of the sampled establishment: e.g. the establishment's industry sector, region, number of employees, types of staff employed, and whether the establishment was part of a larger organisation.
(2) Staff turnover and recruitment difficulties: the 1999 survey included questions on the number of new recruits in the past 12 months, the numbers of staff who had left in the same period, and the size of the establishment 12 months previously. Both the 1999 and 2000 surveys asked whether the respondent currently had any hard-to-fill vacancies. Questions in these areas were not included in the later surveys.
(3) Young employees (aged 16-24): questions such as whether the establishment had employees aged 16-24; the number of young employees recruited in the past 12 months; whether recent recruits were participating in national training initiatives; what factors were taken into account when recruiting young employees; the methods used to recruit 16-24 year olds; and the proportions of young employees who had obtained or were working towards different levels of qualifications.
(4) Skills needs: questions such as whether the need for skills was increasing, decreasing or static; the proportion of existing staff regarded as fully proficient in their jobs; and whether the establishment had built links with outside organisations to help meet long term skills needs.
(5) Management and delivery of training: questions such as whether the establishment had a business plan, a human resources plan, a training plan and a budget for training; whether the organisation as a whole had a senior manager responsible for training, and a separate training facility; whether the organisation employed training staff; the numbers of training staff employed in the overall organisation.
(6) Learning opportunities: questions such as the types of learning opportunities offered to staff; whether the establishment had a trade union or staff association, and whether it was involved with learning and training; whether the establishment had an equal opportunities policy.
(7) Provision of off-the-job training: questions such as whether off-the-job training had been funded or arranged over the past year; the numbers and types of staff who had been provided with off-the-job training; the average numbers of days of training which had been funded for each person receiving training; where training took place; the types of training provided; the methods used; whether the employer was satisfied with the training providers.
(8) Provision of on-the-job training: whether the employer had carried out on-the-job training in the past 12 months, and if so, the methods used.
(9) Awareness of and involvement with training initiatives: questions such as the employer's awareness of national learning and training initiatives; whether the employer was involved with training initiatives; whether NVQs or Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) were offered to employees: the extent of take-up of NVQs/SVQs among staff; whether the employer was satisfied or dissatisfied with NVQs/SVQs, and the reasons for this.
(10) Training costs: the datasheet on training costs used in the 2000 survey asked for information about the costs of off-the-job training over the past 12 months, and costs of on-the-job training in 'a typical month, preferably the last calendar month'. Questions on off-the-job training were broken down into the costs of training courses, training centres, training staff and equipment, training organisations, and non-course based training.
The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.