Skills at Work: Survey of Adult Skills

Publication Details

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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This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.


  • New Zealand ranks higher than the OECD average for literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills
  • New Zealanders  aged 35 to 44 years have the highest numeracy and literacy scores, while those older than 55 have the lowest scores
  • The proportion of workers with moderate skills is similar across occupations
  • New Zealanders working in the professional, scientific and technical services industry have higher average skills than those working in other industries
  • New Zealand ranks higher than the OECD average for learning and training rates
  • Low-skilled occupations spend fewer hours in training and are more likely to have no training activity
  • The prevalence of qualification mismatch (over-qualified and under-qualified) is higher in New Zealand than in other OECD countries