UK faces a shrinking pool of skills

A major international comparison of adult literacy and numeracy skills by the OECD shows the UK (England and Northern Ireland) performing significantly below average in numeracy – with particular problems among the 16-24 age group where the UK came 21st out of 24 industrialised countries.the Survey of Adult Skills was carried out as part of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). OECD says the survey measures the key cognitive and workplace skills needed for individuals to participate in society and for economies to prosper.the survey showed that almost one in four adults in England and Northern Ireland scored at the very lowest level, compared with the OECD average of fewer than one in five.the OECD says that the UK faces a shrinking pool of skills, with England the only country where the skills of young people are below those of older people.the UK’s poor results show the urgency of the need to improve everyday english and maths skills in this country.the last time Britain took part in an OECD survey of adult skills – the International Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Survey published in 1997 – it came 11th out of 13 developed countries for both numeracy and edudo, learning is, first and always, about improving life-chances. It’s what people do when they want to make sense of the world!

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