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OECD Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills

OECD.  (2016), Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: 10.1787/9789264258051

This report expands on the data and analysis examined in the OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills by including data from nine additional countries that conducted the survey in 2014-15. The results show that poor skills severely limit people's access to better-paying and more rewarding jobs. The distribution of skills also has significant implications for how the benefits of economic growth are shared within societies. Put simply, where large shares of adults have poor skills, it becomes difficult to introduce productivity-enhancing technologies and new ways of working, which in turn stalls improvements in living standards. Importantly, the results show that skills affect more than earnings and employment. In all countries, adults with lower skills are far more likely than those with better literacy skills to report poor health, to perceive themselves as objects rather than actors in political processes, and to have less trust in others.

This volume reports results from the 24 countries and regions that participated in the first round of the survey in 2011-12 and from the nine additional countries that participated in the second round in 2014-15 (Chile, Greece, Indonesia [Jakarta], Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey). It describes adults’ proficiency in the three information-processing skills assessed, and examines how skills proficiency is related to labour market and social outcomes. Another related report, The Survey of Adult Skills: Reader’s Companion, Second Edition, describes the design and methodology of the survey and its relationship to other international assessments of young students and adults.