Australia bails on adult-skills report

Australia will not participate in the next OECD survey of adult skills.  The decision to withdraw from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies was confirmed last night by informed sources. In contrast, Department of Education and Training secretary Michelle Bruniges chairs its better-known school equivalent, PISA.

The Department of Education and Training did not respond to a request for comment yesterday however a training policy expert describes the decision as, “a complete abrogation of responsibility by the federal government, let alone leadership.”

PIAAC “measures adults’ proficiency in key information-processing skills – literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments – and gathers information and data on how adults use their skills at home, at work and in the wider community.”

The 2017 report found Australia’s performance ranged from “very good” to average, ahead of the US and UK but behind Japan, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Some three million Australians were said to have low literacy or numeracy.


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