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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 the Nature of the Workplace

This chapter explores the relationship between different types of jobs, job tasks, and skills. First, the skill distributions of the workforce in technology- and knowledge-intensive industries are compared to other sectors. Similarly, the skills of workers in knowledge-intensive occupations are compared to those in other types of occupations. Second, the relationships between literacy and numeracy engagement at work and the skills measured by ALL are considered. Third, it is shown that the extent of engagement in literacy and numeracy activities is strongly linked to the types of occupations in which adults are employed. The last section looks at the match and mismatch between the skills of workers and the extent to which they engage in job tasks that require those skills.

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