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Newsletter from the Nordic Labour Journal 4/2015

Theme: PIAAC Nordic - many adults poor at problem solving using computers

Editorial: Basic skills - use them or loose them

The result from the first ever Nordic PIAAC report are both exiting and frightening. It shows a surprising number of people have such poor basic skills that it impacts their chances in working and public life, and it does not improve with age either.

Nordics: Surprisingly many struggle with literacy and numeracy

The challenge facing politicians is helping two million adults who lack the necessary skills for working and social life to secure a chance to develop, says Anders Rosdahl. He is a senior research fellow at the Danish National Centre for Social Research, and the Danish representative in the network which has just presented the Nordic PIAAC report.

New comparative Nordic research measures adult competencies

For the first time ever there is a Nordic version of the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, PIAAC. PIAAC was first published in 2013. The survey comprises comparative data from 24 countries.

Workplace learning depends on what we learned in school

Our capacity to learn at work is to a large degree dependent on what we have learned in school, and working life cannot fully compensate for differences in formal schooling. That is according to a new Nordic survey which builds on the OECD’s large skills survey PIAAC. Many women in a gender segregated labour market are even loosing their numeracy skills.

Numeracy, not literacy, most important in working life

Numeracy is more important for participating in working life than previously thought. An OECD assessment of adult competencies shows that being bad at maths increases the risk of unemployment and influences wage levels.

PIAAC researchers in Finland and Estonia: Continuity is key

There are no shortcuts for creating a foundation for the skills needed in working life. It is a time consuming process. Finland’s good results in international surveys stem from a 1970s school reform. The results are now at risk due to cuts and readjustments. Estonia, meanwhile, is catching up with the Nordic countries.

Norway’s female boardroom quotas: what has been the effect?

Eight years after Norway introduced the law on gender equality in boardrooms, there are zero female CEOs in the country’s 60 largest companies. Mari Teigen and other researchers have written a book about why the boardroom quota system has had such a small “contagious” effect.

Greenland — worth the journey

The fisheries producing the Greenland prawns and halibut still represent Greenland’s most important industry, and the grant from Denmark is still the country’s largest source of money. The dream is for mining and perhaps oil to make up a larger part of the revenue. Our short trip to Ilulissat, Greenland’s third city, gave us a good insight into the nature, culture and a changing society where tourists are offered four star experiences.

New portal for Nordic jobs

Today jobseekers in the Nordic countries must apply to the individual countries’ employment services which advertise jobs in their own individual languages . Now a new service aims to make it easier to find jobs.

Poul Nielson to map Nordic labour cooperation

The entire Nordic labour sector will be analysed by Poul Nielson, a former Danish government minister and EU Commissioner, on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Nielson will present recommendations for how to strengthen Nordic labour market cooperation.


June general strike looms in Iceland

Iceland is already dealing with several strikes and more trade unions are threatening industrial action. There will be a general strike in June if the parties fail to reach a collective agreement. The strikes have already become the largest labour market conflict in Iceland in 25 years.

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