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New call for proposals:

Unique data on adult competencies

The Research Council of Norway has issued a call for proposals on adult learning, and researchers will soon have access to data from a comprehensive study on adult competencies.

The study The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken which looks at adult competencies. Data will be available from October this year.

Illustration photo: Shutterstock Adult competencies and learning are connected to participation in working life, productivity and participation in society in general. (Illustrative photo: Shutterstock) The study is a collaboration between national authorities, an international union of different organizations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Norway is part of the PIAAC study, and the project will give researchers access to an extensive amount of data from many countries.

PIAAC was initiated because a number of countries wanted increased understanding about how competencies and learning among adults are tied to working life, productivity and participation in society in general.

Data from the PIAAC study can be connected to national data registries, which in turn presents many different possibilities for analysis, including comparative analyses.

Use of the PIAAC data for research
The Norwegian Ministry of Knowledge has commissioned the Research Council of Norway to grant funds to research projects that can develop new knowledge on the importance of adult learning on productivity and participation in working and social life.

The programme UTDANNING2020 has now issued a call for proposals with funds of up to 28 million NOK for research projects on adult learning in a lifelong learning perspective.

-We’re hoping that many of the applicants plan to make use of the PIAAC data, but applications that do not use the data are of course also welcome, says Kirsti Klette, chair of the programme board for UTDANNING2020.

A nation-wide study
Statistics Norway (SSB) has carried out the data collection on commission from the Ministry of Knowledge and the Ministry of Labour.

Illustrasjonsfoto: Shutterstock The PIAAC study has information about how adults get to use their competencies in working life, at home or in their local communities. (Illustrative photo: Shutterstock) 160 media researchers from SSB have interviewed 5000 adults in Norway between the ages of 16 and 65. They have asked about reading and numerical comprehension as well as the ability to perform tasks on the computer. The study has gathered a wide range of information about the participants, including how they get to make use of their competencies in working life, at home or in their local communities.

Internationally comparable data
The study gives internationally comparable data that can be used to analyse correlations between a person’s education and working life experiences and his/her affiliations in the labour market and actual competencies.

26 countries take part in the study. When the results of the study are available, Norwegian results can be compared with among others Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Poland, USA, Japan and Australia.

The PIAAC study builds on previous international studies on adult competencies in such a way that the levels in Norway and other countries are comparable over a period of 15 years.

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden collaborate on a Nordic PIAAC project that is working on establishing a joint database connected to registry data.

Written by:
Siv Haugan/Cathrine Skjolden (translation)
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