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ERIC Number: ED527111
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9219-5552-5
Differing Skill Requirements across Countries and over Time. Research Report
Ryan, Chris; Sinning, Mathias
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
This report comes from a three-year program of research, "Securing Their Future: Older Workers and the Role of VET." Previous work from the program looked at how well workers were matched to their jobs, based on their literacy and numeracy skills and the use of these skills in the workplace. In a continuation of that work, the research reported here investigates the relationship between skills and skills use at work in four Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries: Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada. This research takes advantage of two international surveys coordinated by Statistics Canada and the OECD: the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALLS) survey. These two surveys, conducted ten years apart, contain unique information about the literacy skills of workers and the frequency with which they undertake a range of literacy- and numeracy-related tasks. These data allow the authors to investigate skill matches to job requirements for workers in the four countries noted above. Key findings include: (1) While it might be expected that factors such as economic growth, technological innovation and structural change in the labour markets of these different countries have led to differences in the use of skills over time, the broad match of workers to jobs that use their skills was quite similar across the four countries; (2) The relationship between individual skills and skill requirements at work was positive for all four countries. High-skilled workers indicated that they use their skills more often at work than less-skilled workers; and (3) Despite the fact that these countries have probably experienced similar developments and adoption of new technology, they do not exhibit the same patterns of change in skill use over time. (Contains 10 tables, 5 figures and 6 footnotes.)
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; New Zealand; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International Adult Literacy Survey