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 the Labour Force

This chapter focuses on the skills of labour force participants. First, the difference in workers’ skills between the top and bottom 25 per cent of performers is compared. This allows for a comparative assessment of the skills supplied in the labour market. Second, the employability of working-age adults is studied. This is done by comparing the likelihood of experiencing labour force inactivity and unemployment over the cycle of one year for persons who are at low and medium to high levels of skill. Finally, the employability analysis is extended to also include younger and older workers.

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