Greece’s participation in a survey of adult skills organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the support of the European Commission was launched on 31 March at the Mapping skills shortages, planning the future, conference in Athens.

The survey, known as ‘survey of adult skills’ (PIAAC), will assess the level of proficiency in key foundation skills among approximately 5 000 adults and the extent to which these skills are used in the workplace. Greece, along with eight other countries including Chile, Turkey and New Zealand is taking part in the second round of the survey. The first round covered 24 countries, including France, Germany and the USA.

The initial results from all the countries in the first round were published in October 2013. Finland came first in terms of literacy and numeracy, whereas close to a third of the working population in Italy and Spain was found to have low literacy and numeracy skills. Skill development and lifelong learning also fall markedly with age. This is worrying for Greece and some other European countries, including Germany, which have an ageing workforce that needs to keep up with technological and organisational developments.

Cedefop is working closely with the EU Commission and the OECD on analysing and interpreting the data’s implications for training in European countries.

Konstantinos Pouliakas, representing Cedefop at the event, said: ‘The survey will give us a clearer idea of how skilled the Greek workforce is in relation to other OECD economies. It will provide forensic evidence of the quality of the country’s education and training system and reveal the extent to which there is a mismatch between the skills of Greek workers and the skills they need in their job.’ Results for Greece should be available in 2016.

Notes to editors

• PIAAC – Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies ( and
• Countries included in the survey: Australia, Austria, Belgium (Flanders), Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Northern Ireland), United States and two partner countries – Cyprus and Russia. Data was collected between August 2011 and March 2012 in most participating countries.
• A second round of the survey started in 2012 involving nine additional countries: Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey. Data will be collected in 2014 and results released in 2016.


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