Young Adults’ Skills Gain in the International Survey of Adult Skills 2012

Rebecca Wheater, Jack Worth

11 December 2014

This report is available to download from the BIS website

The International Survey of Adult Skills is an international study led by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It assesses adults’ skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments, and collects background information about participants through a questionnaire. In the UK, England and Northern Ireland participated in the 2013 study. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned NFER to conduct some additional analysis following publication of the main report in September 2013.

This report provides further analysis of the performance of young adults in England. It complements key messages already published in the national and international report, and focuses on the literacy and numeracy skills of young adults in England. In particular, it investigates how and why the literacy skills of young adults in England continue to improve after completing formal education.

  • Young people in England show an increase in skills after leaving compulsory education.
  • In most other OECD countries compulsory education seems to provide the skills assessed by the International Survey of Adult Skills 2012.

Other analyses from the 2013 survey: