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Adult Skills in the Nordic Region

Key Information-Processing Skills Among Adults in the Nordic Region

image of Adult Skills in the Nordic Region

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Sweden participated in the first round of the International Survey of Adults’ Skills. The survey is a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey assessed the proficiency in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments of adults aged 16–65. This publication is the product of the Nordic PIAAC Network, consisting of members from all five countries. It concentrates on the comparative results from four Nordic countries and Estonia, forming a Nordic region with many common features. It supplements the series of national and international PIAAC reports by comparing the results from five countries, as well as comparing an aggregate of these countries to other country aggregates. The results published in this book draw on a unique Nordic database, which the Nordic PIAAC Network has produced. The database consists of PIAAC assessment data and background information, supplemented by social, educational, and labour market register data from the five countries.

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Distributions of Key Information-Processing Skills at Work

As it has been shown that skills are not only related to higher chances of employment, but also to the intensity and nature of the jobs, this chapter focuses on the questions which are the skills of part-time and full-time workers and people employed in different sectors, industries, and occupations in the Nordic countries. Skills of people working for companies in different size are also analysed, such as the skills of Nordic entrepreneurs. In the analysis of the skills of entrepreneurs, international comparison is also given in some sections. One of the striking results points to large discrepancies in the Nordic area – the cross-industry differences are larger than 40 points when comparing the Nordic averages of skills in information and communication activities and agriculture, forestry, and fishing. Industries for which some countries seem to own a competitive advantage or disadvantage are also reviewed.

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