A new study of adult skills across a range of advanced economies is a wake-up call for UK policy makers and business leaders. It highlights serious shortcomings in the provision of the most important workplace skills – literacy, numeracy, and the ability to use digital technology – and points to an all but inevitable decline in economic competitiveness unless the problems are fixed.
The study, conducted by the OECD, covers adults in England and Northern Ireland, and finds their overall performance in literacy is roughly in line with the average of the 24 countries included. But relative performance is significantly worse when it comes to numeracy, which is seen as the best predictor of economic success. And the really shocking news is the poor showing of young people.