Dear Reader

Learning a living is the commonly used shorter version of “Learning a Living and Earning Skills”. It is the name of the first report in a forthcoming series of reports on the results of ALL (Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey), an extensive survey carried out by the OECD.
The ALL survey is based on results from seven countries all over the world, among them Norway. The study examines the extent and nature of the inequalities created by differences in basic skills, and how these have changed during the past ten years. Data from a similar study completed in 1994 is used as comparison material.

The report points to large deviations from the average level both between and inside the countries surveyed. It also shows that some countries are better than others at supporting adult learning after the basic education phase. The differences in promoting development among the adult population are of great significance because basic skills have an important impact on the individual’s quality of life and ability to earn a living.

This issue of DialogWeb draws inspiration from the report Learning a Living. By interviewing PW we wanted to give the reader more facts and an insight into the survey. Then, we ask ourselves how we in the Nordic and Baltic countries have succeeded in creating preconditions for “Learning a Living”. We use concrete examples to show how these issues are dealt with in our respective countries. The ALL survey includes a chapter on the situation of immigrants, and we have chosen to reflect this by including an article about the great Nordic Literacy Conference held in Kungälv in late September.

Erica Sahlin, NVR reporter, Sweden (English translation: Saara Kurkela)