England’s young adults are trailing behind the industrialised world for literacy and numeracy skills, a major study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed last year. In the first Survey of Adult Skills, which measured the performance of adults in 24 countries, the UK’s 16 to 24-year-olds were ranked 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy.
Projections drawn from the results of the study indicate that there may be more than eight million adults in England and Northern Ireland who have the numeracy skills of a ten-year-old. The OECD mentioned in its report that, for all countries, boosting these essential skills must form a key part of tackling unemployment and improving well-being overall.
With these rather worrying results in mind, Oxford Open Learning set out to discover how people view their own and their colleagues’ levels of literacy and numeracy – particularly as they relate to their ability to do their job effectively. The YouGov survey of 927 UK office workers also took people’s opinions on whether they feel a lack of skills had held them back in their careers, as well as their employers’ contributions – if any – to helping them improve.
The full report can be downloaded here