Adult Skills in the Nordic Region

Key Information-Processing Skills Among Adults in the Nordic Region

image of Adult Skills in the Nordic Region

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Sweden participated in the first round of the International Survey of Adults’ Skills. The survey is a product of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey assessed the proficiency in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments of adults aged 16–65. This publication is the product of the Nordic PIAAC Network, consisting of members from all five countries. It concentrates on the comparative results from four Nordic countries and Estonia, forming a Nordic region with many common features. It supplements the series of national and international PIAAC reports by comparing the results from five countries, as well as comparing an aggregate of these countries to other country aggregates. The results published in this book draw on a unique Nordic database, which the Nordic PIAAC Network has produced. The database consists of PIAAC assessment data and background information, supplemented by social, educational, and labour market register data from the five countries.



Skills of Employed, Unemployed and Inactive Individuals in the Nordic Region

The most direct benefits from better skills for individuals come from the labour market, as according to the human capital theory, better skills reflect higher productivity and should, therefore, be rewarded with higher chances of employment and higher salary. Driven by this knowledge, this chapter takes a descriptive look at the distribution of information-processing skills in the Nordic labour market, to understand the similarities and differences of the Nordic workforce in terms of the skills. The skills of the unemployed, among others unemployed with different lengths of unemployment and the unemployed in different age groups, are analysed, such as skills of people out of the labour force. To place the Nordic results into an international perspective, comparison with other country aggregates is presented in the beginning of the chapter. The results confirm the competitive advantage of the Nordic workforce in terms of skills, but demonstrate some moderate differences of the skills inside the Nordic area as well.


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