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Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Lifelong learning for
a fairer Australia

Older Australians have lower levels of literacy and numeracy

MSc eLearning: Essay WordleOlder Australians have lower levels of literacy and numeracy than younger Australians, according to preliminary figures released by the ABS.

The recent PIAAC survey assesses people’s literacy and numeracy skills and their ability to solve problems in technology-rich environments. The survey measures participants on a scale of one to five, one being the lowest.

The survey found that 44 per cent of Australians aged 15 to 74 (7.3 million) had literacy skills at levels one or two, a further 39 per cent (6.4 million) at level three and 17 per cent (2.7 million) at levels four or five. For numeracy skills, 55 per cent of Australians (8.9 million) were assessed at level one or two, 32 per cent (5.3 million) at level three and 13 per cent (2.1 million) at levels four or five.

By comparison, among people aged 60 to 74 years, 65 per cent were assessed as having
literacy at levels one or two, and 71 per cent were in the lower levels of numeracy.

Little gender difference identified; however, more males (17 per cent) than females (nine per cent) attained the highest numeracy levels. People out of the labour force were more likely than the employed or unemployed to be assessed at the lower levels of literacy (60 per cent) and numeracy (70 per cent).

Final results for PIAAC are due October 2013. For more details, go to the ABS website.

Image: Tess Watson via Compfight


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