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Skilled for Life? Key findings from the survey of adult skills

A new OECD report released today states that what people know, and what they do with what they know, impacts significantly on their life chances.

The ‘Skilled for Life? Key findings from the survey of adults skill’ report is a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC).

The report details results from the Survey of Adults Skills, which focused on adults’ proficiency in the key information-processing skills required in 21st century economies: literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, communication, time management, and teamwork.

Findings include:

  • Skills have a major impact on each individual’s life chances
  • Low-skilled individuals are increasingly likely to be left behind
  • Countries with lower skill levels risk losing in competitiveness as the world economy becomes more dependent on skills, and
  • Those with lower skills proficiency also tend to report poorer health, lower civic engagement, and less trust.


Governments need a clear picture not only of how labour markets and economies are changing, but of the extent to which their citizens are equipping themselves with the skills demanded in the 21st century, since people with low skills proficiency face a much greater risk of economic disadvantage, a higher likelihood of unemployment, and poor health. Our new publication series, the OECD Skills Outlook , aims to provide that picture. It will offer an annual overview of how skills are being developed, activated and used across OECD and partner countries, and highlight the kinds of education, employment, tax and other social policies that encourage and allow people to make the most of their potential.

– Mr Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General


Read more: 2013 OECD Skilled For Life Report Key Findings or visit the OECD website.


Posted 9 October 2013 Posted in General, Low SES