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UK's youth 'lack basic skills'

Young people in Britain are falling far behind those in countries like Japan, Finland and the Netherlands in basic literacy and numeracy skills, according to a major international study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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OECD: Almost one in four can only manage simple sums

An OECD survey of 9,000 people in 24 countries, has showed that England and Northern Ireland have some of the highest proportions of adults scoring no higher than Level 1 in literacy and numeracy.

  • 24.1% or around 8.5 million people scored at or below Level 1 in numeracy (basic sums), compared with an OECD average of 19%.
  • 16.4% or around 5.8 million people scored the lowest level in literacy (simple texts), compared with an OECE average of 15.5%.

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