This first OECD Skills Outlook presents the initial results of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), which evaluates the skills of adults in 24 countries. It provides insights into the availability of some of the key skills and how they are used at work and at home. A major component is the direct assessment of key information-processing skills: literacy, numeracy and problem solving in the context of technology-rich environments.
> Download the key findings: Skilled for Life? Key Findings from the Survey of Adult Skills | FR | GER
|Chapter 1.||The Skills Needed for the 21st Century
This chapter introduces the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). It gives a brief overview of how and why the demand for skills has been changing over the past decades. It discusses the advent and widespread adoption of information and communication technologies. The chapter describes how the survey – the first international survey to directly measure skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments – can assist policy makers.
|Chapter 2.||Proficiency in Key Information-Processing Skills among Working-Age AdultsThis chapter reveals the level and distribution of proficiency in key information-processing skills among adults in the countries that participated in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). Results are presented separately for literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. To help readers interpret the findings, the results are linked to descriptions of what adults with particular scores can do.|
|Chapter 3.||The Socio-Demographic Distribution of Key Information-Processing SkillsThis chapter examines how proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments is distributed among individuals according to various socio-demographic characteristics. These include socio-economic background, educational attainment, immigrant and/or foreign-language background, age, gender and type of occupation.|
|Chapter 4.||How Skills Are Used in the WorkplaceThis chapter discusses how information-processing and generic skills are used in the workplace. It also reveals the extent of “mismatch” between the qualifications held by workers or their skills proficiency and the qualifications or skills required in their jobs. Qualification and skills mismatch are compared, and their effect on wages and the use of skills at work is assessed.|
|Chapter 5.||Developing and Maintaining Key Information-Processing SkillsThis chapter examines the processes and practices that help to develop and maintain skills – and the factors that can lead to a loss of skills. It discusses how age, educational attainment, participation in adult learning activities and engagement in skills-related activities outside of work affect skills proficiency.|
|Chapter 6.||Key Skills and Economic and Social Well-BeingThis chapter details how proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills is positively associated with other aspects of well-being. These include labour-market participation, employment, earnings, health, participation in associative or volunteer activities, and the belief that an individual can have an impact on the political process.|
> Download Annex A: Tables of results