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Latest Research - PIAAC 2012

Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies PIAAC 2012

In 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted an International Survey of 157,000 people ages 16-65. 24 countries were involved and 4500 to 27,300 people were surveyed per country and 929 people in PEI. The survey was called Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

PIAAC assessed Literacy, Numeracy and Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments.

Literacy - The ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts to participate in society, achieve one’s goals and develop one’s knowledge and potential

—Numeracy - The ability to access, use, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas

—Problem Solving in a Technology Rich Environment - The ability to use digital technology, communication tools and networks to acquire and evaluate information, communicate with others and perform practical tasks

PIAAC assessed:

  • —How adults develop skills?
  • —How they use them?
  • —What benefits they gain from using them?
  • —If their skills are maintained over a lifetime?
  • —How do they relate to the labour market & life?

PIAAC Results in PEI
PEI was the only Atlantic Province to rank at the OECD average level in all three areas: Literacy, Numeracy and in Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments.

PIAAC Results in Canada—
  • Overall Canada performance is comparable to most OECD countries
  • —Canada performs at OECD Average in literacy (—PEI Performs at OECD Average in literacy)
  • —Canada Performs below OECD Average in Math (—PEI Performs at the OECD Average in Math)
—Education has a strong positive influence on proficiency. —Canadians with post-secondary have a significant and enduring advantage. —There is a clear relationship between participation in adult learning and proficiency.

Higher literacy and education =higher economic outcomes
—Increased likelihood among highly literate adults to have:

  • High wages
  • —High levels political efficacy
  • —More volunteer activities
  • —High levels of trust
  • —Increased employment
  • Experience good to excellent health

 Who is at Level 1 - the lowest level?

—43% - Age 45-65 years old
—15% - Have less than high school
—20% - Not in labour force
—26% - Service and support occupations
—26% - Immigrants
3% - Off reserve Aboriginals

Policy Implications for Education:

  • Make lifelong learning opportunities accessible to all
  • Make sure all children have a strong start in education
  • Provide high-quality initial education and lifelong learning opportunities

Policy Implications for Labour:
  • —Collect timely information about demand for and supply of skills
  • —Create flexible labour market arrangements
  • —Provide quality career guidance
  • —Ensure that qualifications are coherent and easy to interpret


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My name is Terry Affleck and I learned to read at the age of 63 and today at 65 I am enrolled at Holland College to prepare for my GED. More...

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