TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD) has released the findings from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) - the most comprehensive survey of skills ever undertaken
amongst OECD countries. The survey shows that while Canada is well
positioned to take advantage of a new digital and more
technologically-advanced economy, we fall below the average compared to
other OECD countries in numeracy scores.
In Canada, over 27,000 adults aged 16 to 65 participated in the survey.
In literacy scores, these adults scored around the average of the 33
participating countries, yet scored significantly below the average
numeracy score. Furthermore, the survey indicates that Canada has a
high skills divide with significant populations falling at either the
lowest or the highest levels in literacy and numeracy scores.
The survey also found a higher proportion of Canadians engage with
information and computer technologies than the OECD average. Canadian
adults, in particular, are adept at problem solving in technology-rich
environments (PS-TRE): 37% of the adult population scored at the
highest level in PS-TRE, above the average of participating countries.
PS-TRE measures the abilities of adults to use digital technology and
communications tools to acquire and evaluate information, communicate
with others and perform practical tasks. Overall, Canada had the
second-largest proportion of adults aged 16-65 who performed at the
highest level in PS-TRE.
In Ontario specifically, adults scored above average in all the PIAAC
domains compared to other provinces, including numeracy, literacy and
However, younger Canadian adult populations between the ages of 16-24
scored significantly below the average in literacy and numeracy domains
when compared to other OECD countries. The survey also highlighted
youth who are neither in employment nor in education and training
(NEETS) and the negative effects on skills. This group of young people
in Canada are six times more likely to score low literacy levels than
those in education or work.
"PIAAC provides insights into what skills Canadians have and how they
are being used at work and home," says Lesley Brown, Executive Director
of Essential Skills Ontario. "Today Canadians must have solid problem
solving and generic skills to help them adapt to a labour market being
driven by emerging technology. The data emanating from the survey will
help inform future policy and practice to ensure Canadians are equipped
for the future."
Essential Skills Ontario will continue to analyze PIAAC survey results
over the course of the coming months to fully understand the results
and their implications for education and training in Canada.
Essential Skills Ontario works to find the most innovative, efficient
and effective solutions to provide low-skilled adults with the skills
they need to thrive in a rapidly-changing world. Visit www.essentialskillsontario.ca
SOURCE: Essential Skills Ontario
For further information:
Allison Mullin, Manager of Communications and Marketing
Essential Skills Ontario
(416) 963-5787 Ext. 28