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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 Information and Communications Technologies

This chapter explores the relationship between skills and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) use and familiarity. The ALL survey collected information on the use of, and familiarity with ICTs, at the individual level, including a series of self-assessment questions on ICT use, perceptions of experience, and degree of comfort with ICTs. First, access rates to computers and the Internet are considered. Second, the relationship between ICT use and literacy skills is studied. This is important because it demonstrates the fundamental relationship between ICT use and other skill sets. Third, the determinants of ICT use are examined, including income, age, gender, educational attainment and occupation. Finally, outcomes associated with the use of ICTs in combination with literacy skills are explored.

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