Adult language, literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills in the workplace
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 2012, 52 (1), pp. 173 - 182
- Issue Date:
This paper examines the performance of the eight major occupational categories across the four skill areas of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey. The results indicated that some 38-64% of employed Australians were below minimal competence (at Level 1 or Level 2) in one of the four skill areas of prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy or problem-solving skills. A pattern of greatest need was identified amongst two occupational groups, namely, machinery operators/drivers and labourers. There was also a clear occupational hierarchy in the area of problem-solving skills that was considered to reflect a social bias since it was inconsistent with the three other skill areas. The findings also highlight pockets of social disadvantage and inequality with many labourers outperforming managers and professionals. It was concluded that the pattern of performance across occupations and skill levels was statistically and significantly different than chance.
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