Upon the publication of the results of the PIAAC 2016 survey, Slovenia was faced with the highly concerning state of the skills of the active portion of the population. Namely, as much as a third of those aged 16 to 65 in Slovenia, i.e. nearly 400,000 adults, demonstrated such a low level of literacy and numeracy skills that this represents an obstacle in their work and engagement in society. Adult educators are aware that time and development-oriented policies are required in order to reduce such a great development gap of Slovenia in the area of human capital quality.
The SIAE, as the national research and development institution, has been systematically working for several years on the implementation of development and professional work, i.e. by developing new programmes, innovative learning and study materials as well as skill assessment instruments. As part of the Development of Adult Competences 2016–2022 multi-year development project, which is financed by the ESF and the MESS, thus, it has managed to provide adults with an option for individual assessment of own literacy and numeracy skills, and problem solving skills in technology rich environments. This is the E&S Online which was prepared under the auspices of the OECD in 2013 based on the PIAAC survey methodology. As part of the mentioned development project, we adapted the instrument and carried out a pilot test on a sample of 1,200 adults from across Slovenia in more than 40 different organizations. An individual’s results obtained using the online assessment are thus comparable to national and international PIAAC results. More than 17,000 adults will thus be able to assess their skills within the scope of the development project in the period from 2019 to 2022.
As part of our development project, we have set up the National Adult Skills Point and the Adult Skills Laboratory. The National Adult Skills Point ensures (among other things) technical and organisational support in the introduction of the E&S Online instrument, individual assessment of adults’ skills, promotion and accessibility of the assessment. It also provides for the training of experts who will be using the instrument in their work. Based on the acquired data, the National point will prepare analyses and reports for clients. The idea behind the Adult Skills Laboratory is to bring together development teams, researchers, stakeholders and employer representatives so that we learn about the state of skills, determine the need for the development of skills in individual sectors of the economy and segments of the population. We will thus be able to better understand the situation and needs in the area of adult skills and contribute to innovations in practice.
Estera Možina, MSc (firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE