A picture of skill: OECD's adult skills survey
Literacy levels vary across countries and between vocational education and training (VET) and general education graduates at upper-secondary levels, according to first findings from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) published in October. The findings also show that, unsurprisingly, the young are more literate, but that proficiency in literacy peaks at around 30 years of age.
Literacy skills of VET graduates differ significantly across countries
Across all the 24 countries (and sub-national regions) participating in the survey the mean literacy score for young adults aged 16-29 whose highest level is vocationally oriented upper-secondary education is 273 out of a possible 500 (see Table). In some European countries such as Finland, or the Netherlands literacy scores are significantly above the OECD mean for this group, while in Spain, Poland are Ireland they are below (see Figure). These differences matter. In Finland, for instance, literacy skills of young graduates from general upper secondary programmes are as good as those of university graduates in Italy. More...