Survey of Adult Skills

Publication Details

New Zealand participated in the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills in 2014. This is part of the OECD's Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Internationally, it is the most comprehensive survey of adult skills ever undertaken. Through interviews with a representative sample of respondents aged 16-65 in each participating country, PIAAC assesses literacy and numeracy skills, and ability to solve problems in technology-rich environments. It builds on previous international surveys of adult skills, allowing literacy levels to be compared over a 20 year period for some countries.

Author(s): Ministry of Education and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Date Published: Varies

Contact Us

Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)
For queries about the Survey of Adult Skills please contact:

Paul Satherley
Senior Research Analyst
Tertiary
Ministry of Education
P O Box 1666, Thorndon
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

  • Comparing literacy and numeracy scales in the Assessment Tool and Survey of Adult Skills

    This report is intended to help educators and researchers using the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool understand the extent to which results from the Assessment Tool can be compared with the results from the Survey of Adult Skills.

    Author(s): Ministry of Education

    Date Published: March 2019

  • Survey of Adult Skills: How are skills related to social and economic participation?

    New Zealand participated in the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) in 2014. The survey is part of the OECD's Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

    This A3 looks at how skill levels relate to social and economic participation in New Zealand.

    Author(s): Paul Satherley, Tertiary, Ministry of Education.

    Date Published: December 2018

  • Survey of Adult Skills: What are some characteristics of people with strong skills?

    New Zealand participated in the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) in 2014. The survey is part of the OECD's Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

    This A3 looks at some of the characteristics people with strong skills have.

    Author(s): Paul Satherley, Tertiary, Ministry of Education

    Date Published: December 2018

  • What can the Survey of Adult Skills tell us about how skills and education relate to social well-being?

    This paper presents some key results on how skills relate to health, social participation and social trust. People with higher skills and higher education have higher levels of self-reported health, volunteer more often, trust others more, and feel they have more political voice. This relationship holds almost without exception across education and literacy levels. It is stronger for health and say in government and less strong for trust and volunteering. Across the OECD, New Zealand has high levels of self-reported health, volunteering, interpersonal trust, and say in government.

    Author(s): David Scott, Tertiary, Ministry of Education.

    Date Published: December 2018

  • Survey of Adult Skills: Regional profiles

    We have developed a visual tool that shows regional distributions of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills. The tool also includes information on related variables, namely: qualification levels, use of ICT at work and having English as a first language. The last variable is important as the Survey of Adult Skills only tests skills in English. It shows that the region with the lowest skills is South and East Auckland, while Wellington has the highest skills. The low skill levels in South and East Auckland is largely driven by the high proportion of the population for whom English is not a first language. The higher skills in Wellington are largely related to qualification levels and a higher proportion of jobs requiring ICT use. Wellington is similar to North and Central Auckland on both of these variables. However, North and Central Auckland has a higher proportion of the population for whom English is not a first language.

    Author(s): David Earle, Tertiary, Ministry of Education.

    Date Published: December 2018

  • PIAAC measures of qualification, field of study and skill mismatch

    This technical note looks at the three measures of mismatch in the Survey of Adult Skills: qualification level, field of study and skills. It provides general comment on the strengths and weaknesses of each measure and how robust they are for policy purposes. It concludes that the qualification level mismatch is the most robust measure. The field of study measure has considerable methodological issues and should be used with caution. The skills mismatch measure is not suitable for use in analysis or international comparisons.

    Author(s): Amapola Generosa, MBIE and David Earle and Paul Satherley, Tertiary, Ministry of Education.

    Date Published: December 2018

  • Survey of Adult Skills: Pacific adults' literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills

    This is part of a series of in-depth reports from the Survey of Adult Skills. This report covers how the literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills (measured in English) of Pacific adults relate to their education and work. It also looks at how these skills compare to those of non-Pacific people and how they have changed over time.

    Author(s): Paul Satherley, Senior Research Analyst, Ministry of Education.

    Date Published: October 2018

  • Survey of Adult Skills: Māori adults' literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills

    This is part of a series of in-depth reports from the Survey of Adult Skills. This report covers how the literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills (measured in English) of Māori adults relate to their education, work and speaking to reo Māori.

    Author(s): Matt Jones and Paul Satherley, Senior Analysts, Ministry of Education.

    Date Published: April 2018

  • Survey of Adult Skills: Adults' financial literacy activities

    This is part of a series of in-depth reports from the Survey of Adult Skills. This report covers key findings on how often New Zealand adults (aged 16 to 65) participate in financial literacy activities in both everyday life and for work.

    Author(s): Paul Satherley, Principal Analyst, Ministry of Education.

    Date Published: August 2017

  • Youth Skills: Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC)

    This is part of a series of in-depth reports from the Survey of Adult Skills. This report covers key findings on how New Zealand youth (aged 16 to 24) compare internationally and what factors are associated with higher youth skills.

    Author(s): Matt Jones, Senior Research Analyst, and Paul Satherley, Principal Research Analyst, for the Ministry of Education

    Date Published: July 2017

  • Skills and Education: Survey of Adult Skills

    This report investigates the relationship between education and skills for New Zealand adults, how this relationship has changed over time and how it compares to other countries. Barriers to further education and how the relationship between education and skills varies for different genders and ethnic groups is also explored.

    Author(s): Ministry of Education and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

    Date Published: June 2016

  • Skills in New Zealand and around the world: Survey of Adult Skills

    This report looks at how the skills in of New Zealand adults compare to other countries and how they have changed over time. Also explored is how skills in New Zealand vary by age, ethnicity, gender and migration status.

    Author(s): Ministry of Education and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

    Date Published: June 2016

  • Skills at Work: Survey of Adult Skills

    This report looks at how skills, work-related learning and qualification mismatch varies across different industries and occupations. The report also compares training rates and the prevalence of qualification, skills and field-of-study mismatch in New Zealand to other countries.

    Author(s): Ministry of Education and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

    Date Published: June 2016

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