OECD Skills Outlook - Key findings from the survey of adult skills

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  • I would like to thank Nick Chambers and Employers&Education for putting this event together, and for the BOA to host it. This is a great venue for the launch of our Survey of Adult Skills.The significance of our Survey of Adult Skills lies in telling us for the first time about the skills that people actually have, rather than just looking at the formal qualifications they attained in the past. Its like a ‘PISA for adults’But let me emphasisethat the results are still under embargo until Tuesday 8 October. Its an experiment to launch this survey under embargo one day in advance and I have full confidence in you to keep to the embargo, so that we can do this again next year.
  • We have got data from a good group of countries in this first report…
  • …and there are more to follow in just a couple of years, among them Turkey.
  • A couple of facts about the survey itself…We have interviewed 166 thousand adults, who were randomly selected from the 24 countries that participated so far.They took an internationally agreed testIn literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skillsAnd we also surveyed their generic skills such as collaborating with others and organising their time; and we looked at adults actually use their skills.
  • We chose to focus the survey on the ability of people to understand, use and engage with written information; On their ability to use, interpret and communicate mathematical ideasAnd their capacity to use digital technologies and resources to get and evaluate knowledge.
  • The survey covered everyone from 16 to 65 years, so when you look for example at the 25-34-year-olds, they did their high school degree in the early 2000s, and their college degree in the mid 2000sAnd by looking at the skills of older adults, we are also getting an impression of education from the late 60s onwards.
  • If there is one central message from the Skills Survey, it is that what people know and what they do with what they know has a major impact on their life chances, much greater than what we would anticipate from looking at peoples qualifications alone.
  • You see that highly skilled adults are twice as likely to report good health, or to be employed, than poorly skilled. You also see they are more likely to trust others or to participate in volunteering activities. They are also seeing themselves as actors rather than as objects of political process, and they are getting much higher wages. Numeracy tends to have an even higher predictive power on economic outcomes.To look at it the other way round, poor skills severely limit people’s access to better-paying and more-rewarding jobs. It seems we also can’t develop fair and inclusive policies and engage with all citizens if a lack of proficiency in basic skills prevents them from fully participating in society. DefinitionsIncreased likelihood (odds ratio) of adults scoring at Level 4/5 in literacy reporting high earnings, high levels of trust and political efficacy, good health, participating in volunteer activities and being employed, compared with adults scoring at or below Level 1 in literacy (adjusted) Odds ratios adjusted for age, gender, educational attainment and immigrant and language backgroundTrust “There are only a few people you can trust completely”Political efficacy “People like don’t have any say about what the government does”High wage “workers hourly earnings above the country’s mean”Volunteering “In the last 12 months, how often, if at all, did you dovoluntary work, including unpaid work for a charity,political party, trade union or other non-profit organisation?
  • You see that highly skilled adults are twice as likely to report good health, or to be employed, than poorly skilled. You also see they are more likely to trust others or to participate in volunteering activities. They are also seeing themselves as actors rather than as objects of political process, and they are getting much higher wages. To look at it the other way round, poor skills severely limit people’s access to better-paying and more-rewarding jobs. It seems we also can’t develop fair and inclusive policies and engage with all citizens if a lack of proficiency in basic skills prevents them from fully participating in society. DefinitionsIncreased likelihood (odds ratio) of adults scoring at Level 4/5 in literacy reporting high earnings, high levels of trust and political efficacy, good health, participating in volunteer activities and being employed, compared with adults scoring at or below Level 1 in literacy (adjusted) Odds ratios adjusted for age, gender, educational attainment and immigrant and language backgroundTrust “There are only a few people you can trust completely”Political efficacy “People like don’t have any say about what the government does”High wage “workers hourly earnings above the country’s mean”Volunteering “In the last 12 months, how often, if at all, did you dovoluntary work, including unpaid work for a charity,political party, trade union or other non-profit organisation?
  • You see that highly skilled adults are twice as likely to report good health, or to be employed, than poorly skilled. You also see they are more likely to trust others or to participate in volunteering activities. They are also seeing themselves as actors rather than as objects of political process, and they are getting much higher wages. To look at it the other way round, poor skills severely limit people’s access to better-paying and more-rewarding jobs. It seems we also can’t develop fair and inclusive policies and engage with all citizens if a lack of proficiency in basic skills prevents them from fully participating in society. DefinitionsIncreased likelihood (odds ratio) of adults scoring at Level 4/5 in literacy reporting high earnings, high levels of trust and political efficacy, good health, participating in volunteer activities and being employed, compared with adults scoring at or below Level 1 in literacy (adjusted) Odds ratios adjusted for age, gender, educational attainment and immigrant and language backgroundTrust “There are only a few people you can trust completely”Political efficacy “People like don’t have any say about what the government does”High wage “workers hourly earnings above the country’s mean”Volunteering “In the last 12 months, how often, if at all, did you dovoluntary work, including unpaid work for a charity,political party, trade union or other non-profit organisation?
  • It works the same way for nations. The Skills Survey shows that the distribution of skills has significant implications for how the benefits of economic growth are shared within societies.
  • This chart shows you that greater inequality in skills proficiency – here on the horizontal axis - goes together with greater inequality in the distribution of income, on the vertical axis. Put simply, where large shares of adults have poor skills, it becomes difficult to introduce productivity-enhancing technologies and new ways of working. And that can stall improvements in living standards
  • Relationship between GDP per capita and percentage of adults aged 16-65 at or below Level 2 and at Level 4 or higher in numeracy proficiency
  • Relationship between GDP per capita and percentage of adults aged 16-65 at or below Level 2 and at Level 4 or higher in numeracy proficiency
  • Relationship between GDP per capita and percentage of adults aged 16-65 at or below Level 2 and at Level 4 or higher in numeracy proficiency
  • So lets see where countries stands on this test.DefinitionsThe data from the Russian Federation are preliminary and may be subject to change. Readers should note that the sample for the Russian Federation does not include the population of the Moscow municipal area. The data published, therefore, do not represent the entire resident population aged 16-65 in Russia but rather the population of Russia excluding the population residing in the Moscow municipal area. More detailed information regarding the data from the Russian Federation as well as that of other countries can be found in the Technical Report of the Survey of Adult Skills (OECD, 2013, forthcoming).
  • Here is the picture for the results in numeracy. On the horizontal axis you see the score of countries, and 7 points on this scale are roughly equivalent to one year of education.
  • 3. The data from the Russian Federation are preliminary and may be subject to change. Readers should note that the sample for the Russian Federation does not include the population of the Moscow municipal area. The data published, therefore, do not represent the entire resident population aged 16-65 in Russia but rather the population of Russia excluding the population residing in the Moscow municipal area. More detailed information regarding the data from the Russian Federation as well as that of other countries can be found in the Technical Report of the Survey of Adult Skills (OECD, 2013, forthcoming).
  • Percentage of 16-65 year-olds scoring at each proficiency level in numeracy3. The data from the Russian Federation are preliminary and may be subject to change. Readers should note that the sample for the Russian Federation does not include the population of the Moscow municipal area. The data published, therefore, do not represent the entire resident population aged 16-65 in Russia but rather the population of Russia excluding the population residing in the Moscow municipal area. More detailed information regarding the data from the Russian Federation as well as that of other countries can be found in the Technical Report of the Survey of Adult Skills (OECD, 2013, forthcoming).
  • Percentage of 16-65 year-olds scoring at each proficiency level in numeracy
  • And here is the same picture for literacy, you see there is some movement, some countries do better in literacy than in numeracy, but overall the picture is rather similar, again, you you can see Japanese and Finnish adults around 6 years ahead of Italian and Spanish adults.But I want to bring a second dimension into the picture……and to do that, I am now going to compress the scale…
  • And then I am adding the distribution of proficiency in every country. What you see here is that even highly literate nations have significant shallow areas in their talent pools. In all countries except Japan, at least one in ten adults doesn’t make it beyond our baseline level in literacy or numeracy.
  • And then I am adding the distribution of proficiency in every country. What you see here is that even highly literate nations have significant shallow areas in their talent pools. In all countries except Japan, at least one in ten adults doesn’t make it beyond our baseline level in literacy or numeracy.
  • Percentage of adults scoring at each proficiency level in literacy 3. The data from the Russian Federation are preliminary and may be subject to change. Readers should note that the sample for the Russian Federation does not include the population of the Moscow municipal area. The data published, therefore, do not represent the entire resident population aged 16-65 in Russia but rather the population of Russia excluding the population residing in the Moscow municipal area. More detailed information regarding the data from the Russian Federation as well as that of other countries can be found in the Technical Report of the Survey of Adult Skills (OECD, 2013, forthcoming).
  • We can look at the skills of nations in more refined ways, looking not just at how countries do relative to each other, but at what exactly adults can and cannot do.
  • Why are these distributions so important? Look at how employment has evolved for different skill categories. Strong growth isevident in the share of employment in occupations associated with the highest average levels of key information processingskills. Employment in occupations corresponding to the lowest average levels of information-processing skills has been rather stable. In between, the results are more mixed. Occupations corresponding to the next-highest average levels of literacy and numeracy have been stable, but those corresponding to the next-lowest average levels have experienced a sharp decline in employment share between 1998 and 2008. The country-by-country patterns, in most cases, are similar to the overall trend.Of course, there are many policy devices through which you can enhance equity, tax policies, for example, can give money from the rich to the poor. But that’s all about dealing with the symptoms. Here you see the source of inequalities. Our labour-markets show as significant level of skills polarisation that will drive an every deeper wedge between those who are highly skills and those who are not.
  • Another way of looking at the evolution of demand for skills is provided by Autor, Levy and Murnane (2003), whoclassify jobs into routine and non-routine tasks. They argue that the share of non-routine analytic and interactive jobtasks (tasks that involve expert thinking and complex communication skills) performed by American workers hasincreased steadily since 1960. The share of routine cognitive and manual tasks began to decline in theearly 1970s and 1980s, respectively – coinciding with the introduction of computers and computerised productionprocesses. These are tasks that are more readily automated and put into formal algorithms. The share of non-routinemanual tasks also declined, but stabilised in the 1990s, possibly due to the fact that they cannot be easily computerisedor outsourced.
  • Competitive pressures and technological change mean that the modern workplace is in a state of constant change. Workis regularly re-organised either to support the introduction of technology or to reduce costs or improve productivity. Asubstantial proportion of workers are in workplaces that have introduced new technologies and/or undergone significantrestructuring. Irrespective of their origin, changes to the way work is organised contributeto a changing demand for skills and require that individuals adapt and learn new things (e.g. Green, 2012; Caroli andvan Reenen, 2001).
  • Percentage of 16-65 year-olds scoring at each proficiency level in problem solving in technology-rich environments
  • Percentage of 16-65 year-olds scoring at each proficiency level in problem solving in technology-rich environments
  • Competitive pressures and technological change mean that the modern workplace is in a state of constant change. Workis regularly re-organised either to support the introduction of technology or to reduce costs or improve productivity. Asubstantial proportion of workers are in workplaces that have introduced new technologies and/or undergone significantrestructuring. Irrespective of their origin, changes to the way work is organised contributeto a changing demand for skills and require that individuals adapt and learn new things (e.g. Green, 2012; Caroli andvan Reenen, 2001).
  • Lets look at young people with different types of educational pathways come out, who have upper secondary level as their highest level of attainment. Lets put the average of academic qualifications also on the left side. And now I add the distribution of literacy skills among vocational graduates. What you see clearly is that, in all countries, there is a significant gap in foundation skills between people with academic and vocational qualifications. Minister Hancock asked whether this chart destroys the myth that in Austria and Germany, vocational education attracts the best and brightest. And yes, it does. But you can turn that argument around and say that vocational programmes in these countries start with a lower transversal skill base, but get people highly labour-market relevant qualifications with a good chance to succeed in the labour market, which makes them all the more impressive.
  • Mean literacy proficiency and distribution of literacy scores for adults aged 16 to 29 whose highest level of education is upper secondary, by orientation of education
  • The Skills Survey also shows that, in some countries, social or migrationbackgrounds also have a major impact on skills, which means that we are not yet good enough at leveraging all of our potential, particularly that of immigrants.
  • Socio-economic gradient, 16-24 year-olds
  • Adjusted odds ratio of scoring at or below Level 2 in literacy, by respondent’s and parents’ level of education
  • The Skills Survey also shows that, in some countries, migrationbackgrounds also have a major impact on skills, which means that we are not yet good enough at leveraging all of our potential, particularly that of immigrants.
  • Lets look at the performance of adults without an immigrant background first. You can see them here doing quite well in most countries, largely at level 3, in some countries at level 2.
  • If you compare that with the performance of recent immigrants, you can see a big gap in some countries.
  • What is more surprising is that, in countries like Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands or the US even immigrants who have spent 5 or more years in the country don’t do much better, which tells you that time alone does not make the challenges go away.But look at Finland or Sweden here. If you are more than 5 years in these countries as an immigrant, you have a fair chance of moving forward.
  • Adjusted odds ratios of scoring at or below Level 2 in literacy, by immigrant, language and socio-economic background
  • But lets get to some positive aspects, the Skills Survey also shows that some countries have made amazing progress in equipping more people with better skills.
  • Young Koreans, for example, are outperformed only by their Japanese counterparts, while Korea’s 55 to 64 year-olds are among the three lowest-performing groups of this age across all participating countries. Every decade, Korea has been the equivalent of two years in quality, wihtout raising quantity.The results from Finland tell a similar story.  But progress has been uneven. Young Brits and Americans are entering a much more demanding job market with similar literacy and numeracy skills as their compatriots who are retiring. The talent pool in these countries could shrink significantly over the next decades unless urgent action is taken both to improve schooling and to provide adults with better opportunities to develop and maintain their skills
  • These changes have had major implications on the composition of the global talent pool. Among those nearing retirement, more than 40% of adults are Americans. Among those entering the workforce, it is less than 30%. Korea was not on the map two generations ago. Young Koreans make up 6% of the highly skills talent pool. So the future workforce in the OECD area is going to look very differently than in the past.
  • As you would expect, formal education is one of the main mechanisms through which proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving is developed and maintained.
  • Percentage of low- and high-educated adults scoring at Level 2 or 3 in problem solving in technology-rich environmentsEven among tertiary graduates, you just have about half of the population you can consider reasonably comfortable with new technologies. Not talking about developing countries here, these are the most advanced economies.
  • Adjusted odds ratios of 16-24 year-olds scoring at or below proficiency Level 2 on the literacy scale, by education and work status
  • Adjusted odds ratios of 16-24 year-olds scoring at or below proficiency Level 2 on the literacy scale, by education and work status
  • Mean score differences on the literacy scale between low- and high- educated adults
  • Percentage of adults who have not attained upper secondary education and of those who have attained tertiary education, by literacy proficiency score
  • Percentage of adults who have not attained upper secondary education and of those who have attained tertiary education, by literacy proficiency score
  • But our data also show that more education does not automatically translate into better skills, better jobs and better lives. Actual literacy levels often differ markedly from what formal education qualifications suggest. For example, Italy, Spain and the United States rank much higher internationally in the share of young people with tertiary degrees than in the level of literacy or numeracy proficiency among people that age.
  • Look at this chart, where you see the middle half of the skill distribution of Italian graduates at different levels. You can see that Italians who did not complete school are not all low skilled. Significant overlap.It is also striking that, on average, young Japanese and Dutch high school graduates easily outperform university graduates in some other countries. In fact, in most countries at least a quarter of university graduates do not score higher than Level 2 on our literacy test, and are thus insufficiently equipped for what their jobs demand of them. Conversely, in Australia, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway, more than one in four adults without a high school degree have made it to Level 3 in literacy, which shows that people can, indeed, recover from poor initial schooling. Surely there are many reasons why skills and qualifications differ; but these data suggest that we may need to update and re-define our education qualifications. Countries like Italy or Spain also need to think whether their universities are telling their students the truth when they are certifying their skills.
  • Beyond formal education, learning occurs in a range of other settings, including within the family, at the workplace and through self-directed individual activity. For skills to retain their value, they must be continuously developed throughout life.
  • Average trend scores by age, adjusted for educational attainment and language background, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Average trend scores by age, adjusted for educational attainment and language background, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Average trend scores by age, adjusted for educational attainment and language background, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Trend scores in literacy, by age, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Trend scores on the literacy scale, by age, adjusted for educational attainment and language background, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Trend scores on the literacy scale, by age (ageing effect), for selected countries, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Trend scores on the literacy scale, by age (ageing effect), for selected countries, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Trend scores on the literacy scale, by age (ageing effect), for selected countries, foreign-born adults excluded
  • Percentage of adults who participated in adult education and training during year prior to the survey, by level of proficiency in literacy
  • Percentage of adults who participated in adult education and training during year prior to the survey, by level of proficiency in literacy
  • Adjusted odds ratios of adults participating in adult education and training during year prior to the survey, by level of proficiency in literacy
  • So what can we learn form the most successful skills systems. We are at the very beginning with understanding the results from the survey, but some things are apparent.
  • Fig 6.5 Odds ratios showing the effect of education and proficiency in literacy on the likelihood of participating in the labour market among adults not in formal education. Results are adjusted for gender, age, marital and foreign-born status. The odds ratios correspond to a one-standard-deviation increase in proficiency/years of education. Statistically significant values are shown in darker tones. Years of education have a standard deviation of 3.05, literacy has a standard deviation of 45.76.
  • Fig. 6.6. Adjusted odds ratios showing the effect of education and literacy on the likelihood of being employed among adults not in formal education. Results are adjusted for gender, age, marital and foreign-born status. The odds ratios correspond to a one-standard-deviation increase in literacy/years of education. Statistically significant values are shown in darker tones. Years of education have a standard deviation of 3.05, literacy has a standard deviation of 45.76.
  • Fig. 6.7. Percentage change in wages associated with a one-standard-deviation change in years of education and proficiency in literacy.Coefficients from the OLS regression of log hourly wages on years of education and proficiency, directly interpreted as percentage effects on wages. Coefficients adjusted for age, gender, foreign-born status and tenure. The wage distribution was trimmed to eliminate the 1st and 99th percentiles. All values are statistically significant. The regression sample includes only employees. Years of education have a standard deviation of 3.05, literacy has a standard deviation of 45.76.
  • All this said, skills are only valuable when they are used effectively, and the Skills Survey shows that some countries are far better than others in making good use of their talent. While the US and England have a limited skills base, they are extracting good value from it. The reverse is true for Japan, where rigid labour-market arrangements prevent many high-skilled individuals, most notably women, from reaping the rewards that should accrue to them. At times, over-reliance on qualifications also makes it harder for those who have the right skills, but who did not have the same access to education as others, to gain entry into jobs where those skills can be put to full use. The data show that this is particularly true among migrant workers.
  • Percentage of workers in jobs requiring primary education (ISCED-1) or less and in jobs requiring tertiary education (ISCED-5 or higher)
  • For instance SME enterprises tend to use skills less frequently than larger establishments (e.g. reason for low use in countries like Italy).
  • The sample includes only workers.
  • Definitions Overqualification: A worker is classified as over-qualified when the difference between his or her qualification leveland the qualification level required in his or her job is positive.Underqualification: A worker is classified as under-qualified when the difference between his or her qualificationlevel and the qualification level required in his or her job is negative.Required qualification: Based on respondents’ answers to the question “If applying today, what would be the usualqualifications, if any, that someone would need to get this type of job?”Over-skilling in literacy, numeracy or problem solving: When a worker’s proficiency is above the maximum required by his or her job.Under-skilling: When a worker’s proficiency is below the minimum required by his or her job.Skill requirements: The minimum and maximum skill levels required correspond to the minimum and maximumobserved proficiency of workers who answer negatively to the questions: “Do you feel that youhave the skills to cope with more demanding duties than those you are required to perform inyour current job?”; and “Do you feel that you need further training in order to cope well withyour present duties?”
  • Does skill match matter? This chart shows that it does. You see that people who use their skills more, produce more per hour worked. In fact, differences in the average use of reading skills explain around 30% of the variation in labour productivity across countries. Interestingly, our data show that some less-proficient workers use their skills even more intensively than more proficient workers do. Under-use of skills is particularly common among young and foreign-born workers and among those employed in small enterprises, in part-time jobs or on fixed-term contracts. And it shows in their wages.
  • Effects of qualification mismatch controlling for skills mismatch.From OLS regressions including controls for years of education, age groups, gender, marital status, working experience, tenure, foreign-born status, establishment size, contract type, hours worked, public sector dummy, proficiency in numeracy and use of skills at work. The sample includes only employees. Statistically (at the 10% level) significant values are shown in darker tones. Hourly wages. The wage distribution was trimmed to eliminate the 1st and 99th percentiles. Over-/under-qualification is defined relative to the qualification needed to get the job, as reported by the respondents.
  • Effects of skills mismatch controlling for qualification mismatch.From OLS regressions including controls for years of education, age groups, gender, marital status, working experience, tenure, foreign-born status, establishment size, contract type, hours worked, public sector dummy, proficiency in numeracy and use of skills at work. The sample includes only employees. Statistically (at the 10% level) significant values are shown in darker tones. Hourly wages. The wage distribution was trimmed to eliminate the 1st and 99th percentiles.
  • Effects of skills mismatch controlling for qualification mismatch.Effects of qualification mismatch controlling for skills mismatch.From OLS regressions including controls for years of education, age groups, gender, marital status, working experience, tenure, foreign-born status, establishment size, contract type, hours worked, public sector dummy, proficiency in numeracy and use of skills at work. The sample includes only employees. Statistically (at the 10% level) significant values are shown in darker tones. Hourly wages. The wage distribution was trimmed to eliminate the 1st and 99th percentiles. Over-/under-qualification is defined relative to the qualification needed to get the job, as reported by the respondents.
  • The bottom axes correspond to the unadjusted series and the top axes to the adjusted series. The tertiary wage premium is computed as the percentage difference between the average hourly wages, including bonuses, of tertiary-educated (ISCED 5 or more) and less-educated (from less than ISCED 1 to ISCED 4) workers. The wage distribution was trimmed to eliminate the 1st and 99th percentiles. Adjusted estimates are based on OLS regressions including controls for average literacy and numeracy proficiency scores, dummies for occupations (9) and industry (10). Lines are best linear predictions. The sample includes full-time employees only. Standard errors in parentheses.
  • Gender differences in the use of literacy and numeracy skills are partly due to the fact that men appear to be slightly more proficient but also that they are more commonly employed in full-time jobs, where skills are used more intensively.
  • Notes : The gender gap in wages is computed as the percentage difference between men's and women's average hourly wages, including bonuses. The wage distribution was trimmed to eliminate the 1st and 99th percentiles. Adjusted estimates are based on OLS regressions including controls for average literacy and numeracy scores, dummies for highest qualification (4), occupations (9) and industry (10). Lines are best linear predictions. The sample includes only full-time employees. Standard errors in parentheses.
  • So what can we do to ensure that the skills we develop match those most in need? Again, there are a couple of policy lessons we can learn from countries with strong skills systems.
  • Odds ratio showing the likelihood of adults reporting low levels of trust, by level of proficiency in literacy (adjusted)
  • Odds ratio showing the likelihood of adults participating in volunteer activities, by level of proficiency in literacy (adjusted)
  • Odds ratio showing the likelihood of adults reporting low levels of political efficacy, by level of proficiency in literacy (adjusted)
  • Odds ratio showing the likelihood of adults reporting fair or poor health, by level of proficiency in literacy (adjusted)
  • OECD Skills Outlook - Key findings from the survey of adult skills

    1. 1. ANDREAS SCHLEICHER Special advisor to the Secretary-General on Education Policy Deputy Director for Education and Skills Skilled for Life? KEY FINDINGS FROM THE SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS 0 Brussels, 8 October 2013
    2. 2. Survey of Adult Skills Participating countries 1 2013 (**see notes A and B in the Reader’s Guide).
    3. 3. 2016 Survey of Adult Skills Participating countries 2 (**see notes A and B in the Reader’s Guide).
    4. 4. Survey of Adult Skills in brief 4 (**see notes A and B in the Reader’s Guide). 4 in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. 166 thousand adults… Representing 724 million 16-65 year- olds in 24 countries/economies Took an internationally agreed assessment… Also surveyed were generic skills such as collaborating with others and organising one’s time, and how adults use their skills
    5. 5. Literacy The ability to... Understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts. In order to.. Achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential. Literacy encompasses a range of skills from.. The decoding of written words and sentences The comprehension, interpretation and evaluation of complex texts. Numeracy The ability to… Access, use, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas In order to.. Engage in and manage the mathematical demands of a range of situations in adults. Numeracy involves Managing a situation or solving a problem in a real context, by responding to mathematical content/information/ideas represented in multiple ways. Technology Rich Problem Solving The ability to… Use digital technology communication tools and networks to acquire and evaluate information, communicate with others and perform practical tasks. The assessment focuses on the abilities to… Solve problems for personal, work and civic purposes by setting up appropriate goals and plans, and accessing and making use of information through computers and computer networks. “Key information-processing skills” 5 Survey of Adult Skills Skills assessed
    6. 6. 1968-1977 1978-1987 1998-2007 2008-20161988-1997 1972-1980 1981-1990 2001-2010 2011-20201991-2000 55-65 45-54 35-44 25-34 16-24 Age distribution of the Survey of Adult Skills 6 Age range: University graduation year High-School graduation year
    7. 7. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Skills Transform Lives and Drive Economies What people know and what they can do with what they know has a major impact on their life chances 7
    8. 8. Likelihood of positive social and economic outcomes among highly proficient adults 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Good to excellent health Being Employed High levels of trust Participation in volunteer activities High levels of political efficacy High wages Literacy Numeracy 8 (scoring at Level 4/5 compared with those scoring at Level 1 or below) Odds ratio
    9. 9. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Inequality in skills relates to how wealth is shared in nations 11
    10. 10. Inequality in the distribution of income and literacy skills 12 Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan KoreaNetherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden United States Flanders (Belgium) England/N. Ireland (UK) 0.2 0.22 0.24 0.26 0.28 0.3 0.32 0.34 0.36 0.38 0.4 1.41.451.51.551.61.651.7 Literacy skills inequality (9th/1st decile) Income inequality (Gini coefficient) Low income inequality Low skills inequality Low income inequality High skills inequality High income inequality High skills inequality High income inequality Low skills inequality Average Average
    11. 11. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS The level and distribution of skills differs markedly across countries Much of the variation in skills proficiency is observed within countries, so most countries have significant shares of struggling adults 16
    12. 12. 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 Spain Italy United States France Ireland Northern Ireland (UK) Poland England/N. Ireland (UK) England (UK) Korea Cyprus** Canada Australia Average Russian Federation³ Germany Estonia Austria Czech Republic Slovak Republic Denmark Norway Sweden Netherlands Flanders (Belgium) Finland Japan 25th Mean and .95 confidence interval for mean 75th 95th5th Score Skills of adults Numeracy 7 points are roughly equal to one year of education
    13. 13. 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 Italy Spain France Ireland Poland Northern Ireland (UK) Cyprus** Austria United States Germany Denmark England/N. Ireland (UK) Korea England (UK) Average Canada Slovak Republic Czech Republic Russian Federation³ Flanders (Belgium) Estonia Norway Sweden Australia Netherlands Finland Japan 25th Mean and .95 confidence interval for mean 75th 95th5th Score Skills of adults Literacy 7 points are roughly equal to one year of education
    14. 14. 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 Italy Spain France Ireland Poland Northern Ireland (UK) Cyprus** Austria United States Germany Denmark England/N. Ireland (UK) Korea England (UK) Average Canada Slovak Republic Czech Republic Russian Federation³ Flanders (Belgium) Estonia Norway Sweden Australia Netherlands Finland Japan 25th Mean and .95 confidence interval for mean 75th 95th5th Score Skills of adults Literacy
    15. 15. 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 Italy Spain France Ireland Poland Northern Ireland (UK) Cyprus** Austria United States Germany Denmark England/N. Ireland (UK) Korea England (UK) Average Canada Slovak Republic Czech Republic Russian Federation³ Flanders (Belgium) Estonia Norway Sweden Australia Netherlands Finland Japan 25th Mean and .95 confidence interval for mean 75th 95th5th Score Skills of adults Literacy
    16. 16. 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.5 0.0 1.8 4.2 1.5 0.4 1.4 0.3 1.2 0.9 0.3 0.6 0.0 5.2 0.4 2.2 0.0 1.9 2.3 0.0 1.2 80 60 40 20 0 20 40 60 80 Italy Spain France Ireland Poland Austria United States Germany Denmark England/N. Ireland (UK) Korea Average Canada Slovak Republic Czech Republic Russian Federation³ Flanders (Belgium) Estonia Norway Sweden Australia Netherlands Finland Japan Level 2 Level 1 Below Level 1 Level 3 Level 4/5 No information % Adults at Level 4/5 can • Perform multiple-step operations to integrate, interpret, or synthesise information from complex or lengthy texts that involve conditional and/or competing information. • Make complex inferences and appropriately apply background knowledge as well as interpret or evaluate subtle truth claims or arguments. Adults at Level 3 can • Understand and respond appropriately to dense or lengthy texts. • Understand text structures and rhetorical devices. • Identify, interpret, or evaluate one or more pieces of information and make appropriate inferences. • Perform multi-step operations and select relevant data from competing information in order to identify and formulate responses. •Technicians, Professionals Adults at Level 2 can • Integrate two or more pieces of information based on criteria • Compare and contrast or reason about information and make low-level inferences. • Navigate digital texts to access and identify information from various parts of a document. •Shop assistants, machine operators Adults at Level 1 can • Read relatively short digital or print continuous, non-continuous, or mixed texts to locate a single piece of information. • Complete simple forms, understand basic vocabulary, determine the meaning of sentences, and read continuous texts with a degree of fluency. 29 What adults can do Literacy
    17. 17. Evolution of employment in occupational groups defined by level of skills proficiency 31 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 Occupations with scores in or near upper half of Level 3 Occupations with scores in or near lower half of Level 3 Occupations with scores in or near upper half of Level 2 Occupations with scores in or near lower half of Level 2 Percent
    18. 18. 100 80 60 40 20 0 20 40 60 80 100 Poland Ireland Slovak Republic Estonia Korea United States Austria Czech Republic Average Flanders (Belgium) Japan England/N. Ireland (UK) Germany Canada Australia Denmark Norway Netherlands Finland Sweden Level 2 Level 3 Young adults (16-24 year-olds) All adults (16-65 year-olds) Proficiency in problem solving in technology-rich environments % 35 Adults at Level 3 can • Complete tasks involving multiple applications, a large number of steps, impasses, and the discovery and use of ad hoc commands in a novel environment. • Establish a plan to arrive at a solution and monitor its implementation as they deal with unexpected outcomes and impasses. Adults at Level 2 can complete problems that have explicit criteria for success, a small number of applications, and several steps and operators. They can monitor progress towards a solution and handle unexpected outcomes or impasses.
    19. 19. New technologies Percentage of workers who reported the introduction of new process or technologies in their current workplace during the previous three years that affected their work 39 Source: European Working Conditions Survey, 2010. See Tables A1.7a and A1.7b. 20 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Sweden Finland Norway Denmark UnitedKingdom Netherlands Malta Luxembourg Cyprus1 Ireland Belgium Germany Korea Latvia Austria Average Estonia Croatia SlovakRepublic France Portugal Lithuania Italy Spain Slovenia CzechRepublic Hungary Greece Montenegro Macedonia Turkey Poland Romania Bulgaria Albania Low-skilled clerical High-skilled clerical Low-skilled manual High-skilled manual Total Percent
    20. 20. 225 275 325 Italy Flanders (Belgium) Spain Ireland Northern Ireland… Poland Slovak Republic England/N.… England (UK) Denmark United States Norway Average Estonia Germany Canada Australia Czech Republic Austria Korea Sweden Netherlands Finland Japan Score General (secondary) 225 275 325 Score Vocational (secondary) Literacy skills of youth By programme orientation 25th percentile Mean and .95 confidence interval for mean 75th percentile Average score for general orientation Average score for general orientation Average score for vocational orientation
    21. 21. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Successful integration is not simply a matter of time. In some countries, the time elapsed since immigrants arrived appears to make little difference to their proficiency in literacy and numeracy, suggesting either that the incentives to learn the language of the receiving country are not strong or that policies that encourage learning the language of the receiving country are of limited effectiveness Foreign-language immigrants with low levels of education tend to have low skills 45
    22. 22. 200 220 240 260 280 300 320 Native-born Literacy proficiency by immigration background
    23. 23. 200 220 240 260 280 300 320 Native-born Foreign-born - < 5 years 172 Literacy proficiency by immigration background
    24. 24. 200 220 240 260 280 300 320 Native-born Foreign-born - < 5 years Foreign-born - 5 years and more 172 Literacy proficiency by immigration background
    25. 25. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Some countries have made significant progress in improving skills proficiency 51
    26. 26. 240 245 250 255 260 265 270 275 280 285 290 295 300Score Literacy skills in younger and older generations Average16-24year-olds KOREA Germany Norway Average55-65year-olds Spain Finland France US UK
    27. 27. Adults at Level 4/5 in literacy 12.6 million 16-24 year- olds scoring at Level 4/5 Estonia, 0.2% Flanders (Belgium) , 1% Ireland, 0.2% Korea,1% 7.9 million 55-65 year- olds scoring at Level 4/5 Denmark, 0.5% Those entering the job market Those nearing retirement
    28. 28. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Formal education plays a key role in developing foundation skills… 55
    29. 29. 70 50 30 10 10 30 50 70 Estonia Poland Korea Ireland Canada Slovak Republic Northern Ireland (UK) Japan Austria United States Average Germany England/N. Ireland (UK) England (UK) Denmark Australia Flanders (Belgium) Finland Czech Republic Norway Sweden Netherlands Level 2 Level 3 Below upper secondary Tertiary PercentPercent Problem solving proficiency by educational attainment
    30. 30. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS …but more education does not automatically translate into better skills 62
    31. 31. Mean literacy proficiency and distribution of literacy scores, by educational attainment 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 Lower than upper secondary Upper secondary Tertiary Italy Score 25th percentile Mean 75th percentile Lower than upper secondary Upper secondary Tertiary 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 400 Japan Score 63 Qualifications don’t always equal skills Level 2Level 1 and below
    32. 32. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Success is increasingly about building skills beyond formal education 64
    33. 33. Level 2 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 Literacy skills and age 65 Age Score Literacy unadjusted Numeracy unadjusted Numeracy adjusted Literacy adjusted
    34. 34. Likelihood of participating in adult education and training, by level of literacy proficiency 76 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4/5 Reference group: Below Level 1 Odds Ratio
    35. 35. Lessons from strong performers High quality initial education and lifelong learning • Investing in high quality early childhood education and initial schooling, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds • Financial support targeted at disadvantage • Opportunities and incentives to continued development of proficiency, both outside work and at the workplace.
    36. 36. Lessons from strong performers Make learning everybody’s business • Governments, employers, workers and parents need effective and equitable arrangements as to who does and pays for what, when and how • Recognise that individuals with poor skills are unlikely to engage in education on their own and tend to receive less employer- sponsored training .
    37. 37. Lessons from strong performers Effective links between learning and work • Emphasis on workbased learning allows people to develop hard skills on modern equipment and soft skills through real- world experience • Employer engagement in education and training with assistance to SMEs • Strengthen relevance of learning, both for workplace and workers broader employability .
    38. 38. Lessons from strong performers Allow workers to adapt learning to their lives • Flexibility in content and delivery (part- time, flexible hours, convenient location) • Distance learning and open education resources .
    39. 39. Lessons from strong performers Identify those who can benefit from learning most • Disadvantaged adults need to be offered and encouraged to improve their learning • Foreign-language migrants • Older adults • Show how adults can benefit from improved skills, both economically and socially .
    40. 40. Lessons from strong performers Improve transparency • Easy-to-find information about adult education activities • Combination of easily searchable, up-to-date online information and personal guidance and counselling services • Less educated workers tend to be less aware of the opportunities • Recognise and certify skills proficiency .
    41. 41. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Putting skills to effective use Skills will only translate into better economic and social outcomes if they are used effectively 87
    42. 42. Use of skills at work 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 2.2 2.4 Reading at work Writing at work Numeracy at work ICT at work Problem solving at work Average United States Italy Japan United Kingdom Most frequent use = 4 Least frequent use = 0 Indexofuse
    43. 43. The use of information-processing skills at work, by establishment size 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 Reading at work Writing at work Numeracy at work ICT at work Problem solving 1-10 employees 11-50 employees 51-250 employees 251-1000 employees 1000+ employees Most frequent use = 4 Least frequent use = 0 Indexofuse
    44. 44. 0 10 20 30 40 Austria Spain Czech… Ireland Germany Slovak… Italy Korea Average Japan Cyprus** Australia United States Norway UK Flanders… Denmark Poland Estonia England Northern… Netherlands Canada Finland Sweden Under-skilled Over-skilled % Percentage of workers who are over/under qualified over/under-skilled in literacy 40 30 20 10 0 Under- qualification Over- qualification % %
    45. 45. Labour productivity and the use of reading skills at work Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Korea Netherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden United States England/N. Ireland (UK) 3 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4 4.2 4.4 4.6 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 (log)Labourproductivity Use of reading skills at work Slope = 1.118 (0.407) R2 = 0.296 Adjusted prediction Slope = 1.643 (0.504) R2 = 0.371 98
    46. 46. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Equal skills don’t always imply equal opportunities Gender differences in the use of literacy and numeracy skills are partly due to the fact that men appear to be slightly more proficient but also that they are more commonly employed in full-time jobs, where skills are used more intensively. 103
    47. 47. Gender gap in wages and in the use of problem- solving skills at work 104 Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Korea Netherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden United States Flanders (Belgium) England/N. Ireland (UK)Cyprus1 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Percentagedifferencebetweenmen’sand women’swages(menminuswomen) Percentage difference in the use of problem-solving skills at work (men minus women) Slope 0.840 (0.199) R2 = 0.472 Adjusted prediction Slope 0.068 (0.123) R2 = 0.015
    48. 48. Lessons from strong performers Guidance • Timely data about demand for and supply of skills • Competent personnel who have the latest labour-market information at their fingertips to steer learners • Qualifications that are coherent and easy to interpret .
    49. 49. Lessons from strong performers Flexible labour- markets • Labour-market arrangements that facilitate effective skill use and address skill mismatches • Encourage mobility to optimise skill match .
    50. 50. Lessons from strong performers Help employers make better use of workers skills • Flexible work arrangements that accommodate workers with care obligations and disabilities • Encourage older workers to remain in the labour market • Encourage employers to hire those who temporarily withdrew from the labour market .
    51. 51. Lessons from strong performers Help economies move up the value chain • Governments can influence both employer competitiveness strategies and product- market strategies, which determine in what markets the company competes • Strengthen 21st century skills • Foster entrepreneurship.
    52. 52. Find Out More at: http://skills.oecd.org/skillsoutlook.htm All national and international publications The complete micro-level database Without data, you are just another person with an opinion …and remember: Email Andreas.Schleicher@OECD.org 109
    53. 53. SURVEY OF ADULT SKILLS Additional Slides 111
    54. 54. Trust and literacy proficiency 112 0 1 2 3 4 5 Level 2 Level 3 Level 1 or below Odds Ratio Statistically significant differences are in a darker tone Reference group: Level 4/5
    55. 55. Volunteering and literacy proficiency 113 0 1 2 3 4 5 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4/5 Odds Ratio Statistically significant differences are in a darker tone Reference group: Level 1 or below
    56. 56. Political efficacy and literacy proficiency 114 0 1 2 3 4 5 Level 2 Level 3 Level 1 or below Odds Ratio Statistically significant differences are in a darker tone Reference group: Level 4/5
    57. 57. Reported health and literacy proficiency 115 0 1 2 3 4 5 Level 2 Level 1 or below Odds Ratio Statistically significant differences are in a darker tone Reference group: Level 4/5
    58. 58. Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Korea Norway Poland Spain Sweden United States 450 470 490 510 530 550 570 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 Averageat26-28 OECD average for PISA 2000 Survey of Adult Skills score Mean literacy proficiency in PISA and in the Survey of Adult Skills (26-28 year-olds) 116 PISA Score + – + + – – – + Mean reading score in PISA 2000 and literacy score in the Survey of Adult Skills 2012
    59. 59. Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland Germany Ireland Japan Korea Netherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden Flanders (Belgium) AverageEngland (UK) Northern Ireland (UK) 450 470 490 510 530 550 570 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 Mean literacy proficiency in PISA and in the Survey of Adult Skills (20-22 year-olds) 117 Averageat20-22 OECD average for PISA 2006 PISA Score Survey of Adult Skills score + – +/– average in PISA 2006 +/– average in Survey of Adult Skills in 2012 + + – – – + Mean reading score in PISA 2006 and literacy score in the Survey of Adult Skills 2012
    60. 60. Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Korea Netherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden United States Flanders (Belgium) Average England (UK) Northern Ireland (UK) 450 470 490 510 530 550 570 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 Mean reading score in PISA 2009 and literacy score in the Survey of Adult Skills 2012 Averageat17-19 OECD average for PISA 2009 PISA Score Survey of Adult Skills score Mean literacy proficiency in PISA and in the Survey of Adult Skills (17-19 year-olds) 118 + – + + – – – +
    61. 61. Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Korea Norway Poland Spain Sweden United States 450 470 490 510 530 550 570 220 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 Mean literacy proficiency in PISA and in the Survey of Adult Skills (26-28 year-olds) 119 Averageat26-28 OECD average for PISA 2000 PISA Score Survey of Adult Skills score + – + + – – – + Mean reading score in PISA 2000 and literacy score in the Survey of Adult Skills 2012
    62. 62. Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Korea Netherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden United States 450 470 490 510 530 550 570 220 240 260 280 300 320 Averageat23-25 OECD average for PISA 2003 PISA Score Survey of Adult Skills score Mean literacy proficiency in PISA and in the Survey of Adult Skills (23-25 year-olds) 120 Mean reading score in PISA 2003 and literacy score in the Survey of Adult Skills 2012 + – + + – – – +
    63. 63. Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland GermanyIreland Italy Japan Korea Netherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden United States Flanders (Belgium) 450 470 490 510 530 550 570 220 240 260 280 300 320 Mean numeracy proficiency in PISA and in the Survey of Adult Skills (20-22 year-olds) 121 Averageat20-22 OECD average for PISA 2006 PISA Score Survey of Adult Skills score + – + + – – – + Mean reading score in PISA 2006 and literacy score in the Survey of Adult Skills 2012
    64. 64. Australia Austria Canada Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Korea Netherlands Norway Poland Slovak Republic Spain Sweden United States Flanders (Belgium) 450 470 490 510 530 550 570 220 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 Mean numeracy proficiency in PISA and in the Survey of Adult Skills (17-19 year-olds) 122 Averageat17-19 OECD average for PISA 2009 PISA Score Survey of Adult Skills score Mean reading score in PISA 2009 and literacy score in the Survey of Adult Skills 2012 + – + + – – – +

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