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Almost 1 in 5 Irish Adults at or below OECD Literacy Level 1

Almost 1 in 5 (18%) of Irish adults aged 16-65 are at or below Level 1 on the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC).  Ireland placed 17th out of 24 participating countries on the literacy test.  Ireland placed 19th out of the 24 participating countries on the numeracy test, significantly below the PIAAC study average.

Main findings:

  • 18% of Irish adults 16-65 scored at or below Level 1 on the PIAAC literacy test
  • 26% of Irish adults 16-65 scored at or below Level 1 on the PIAAC numeracy test
  • 42% of Irish adults 16-65 scored at or below Level 1 on the PIAAC problem solving in technology rich environment test

These findings highlight the need to invest in adult education and lifelong learning.  The areas in which Irish adults are not performing well are clearly outlined in the report. In light of this report lifelong learning should be seen as a basic need and vitally important to the well-being and participation of all in Irish society.  As the OECD report shows, labour market activation cannot be the sole factor defining the lifelong learning agenda.  Basic literacy, numeracy and conceptual skills combined with use of technology are just some of the range of generic skills required to operate within society and economy today.

The OECD Report can be downloaded below

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PDF icon OECD Skills outlook Report7.33 MB