Learning a Living

First Results of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey

image of Learning a Living

Based on the Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey conducted in Bermuda, Canada, Italy, Mexico (Nuevo Leon), Norway, and the United States of America in 2003 and 2004, this book presents an initial set of findings that shed new light on the twin processes of skill gain and loss. The book opens with an explanation of the goals and conceptual approach of the survey and comparative profiles of adult skills in participating countries. It then looks at the relationship between education and skills and adult learning and skills. Additional chapters compare the employability of younger and older populations in participating countries, skills and economic outcomes, skills and information and communications technologies, skills and immigration, the effects of parental education on skills, and the effect of skills on health.

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Skills and Adult Learning

This chapter embraces an expanded understanding of adult learning by examining participation in organised forms of adult education and training as well as engagement in informal learning. Findings on adult education and training participation for ALL are presented and compared, where possible, to the results from IALS. Thus one can assess whether the increased importance given to adult learning by policy makers, the business community and other sectors of society has translated into increased readiness by adults to actively engage in various forms of learning. This is followed by an analysis of some key characteristics of participating adults, and whether these have changed in the intervening years. This permits an assessment of whether inequalities in adult learning patterns are shifting. Next, patterns of informal learning are compared, and in particular, an analysis of active versus passive modes of informal learning is presented. Finally, the role of employers, governments and individuals in financially supporting adult learning is considered.

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