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Adult skills 'below par'

EMPLOYERS group IBEC said it was worried by the latest OECD Adult Skills survey showing Irish adults perform below average on a range of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving measures.

The report compares the performance of Irish adults with 24 countries. Ireland is significantly below average in terms of literacy (17th), numeracy (16th) and problem solving (18th). Even more alarmingly, the performance of young Irish adults (16-24 years) was no better.

IBEC Head of Education Policy Tony Donohoe said: "The report is a serious wake-up call for the Irish education system and demands an urgent response.

"Basic skills determine an individual's participation in employment, education and training, and have implications for their health and civic engagement.

"They also affect the competitiveness of the economy by affecting its responsiveness to change and new technologies."