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Research Initiative on Education + Skills

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ABOUT

The Research Initiative on Education and Skills is an innovative collaborative policy research initiative led by the Mowat Centre and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Its purpose is to access, analyze and mobilize data relating to the education, skills and labour market outcomes of Canadians, and to disseminate the findings to inform policy development.

The initiative will make use of the information available through Statistics Canada from the restricted files of the following interconnected sets of data:

  • The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a direct assessment of the competencies of adult Canadians between the ages of 16 and 65.
  • The Longitudinal and International Survey of Adults (LISA), a longitudinal survey that includes a subsample of PIAAC respondents and that collects information on employment, education, training, health and family.
  • PIAAC and LISA linkages to administrative data – linkages of PIAAC and LISA data to historical tax data from the T1 Family File (T1FF) and from employers’ files (T4), as well as to other administrative data such as pension and immigration data.

 

Deliverables

Develop a data access infrastructure

Make the data more accessible to policy analysts and researchers both inside and outside of the Mowat Centre and HEQCO.

A directed program of research

Use the data to produce a series of studies by both internal and external researchers on key policy issues relating to the education, skills and labour market outcomes of Canadians.

A dissemination strategy

Ensure the findings of the research papers are made accessible to the public policy community in Canada, increasing the long-term impact of this research initiative.

Goals

Inform policy development by producing policy-relevant and accessible research and information.

Ensure that priority policy questions relating to education and skills development are addressed in an evidence-based manner.

Increase the return on investments already made in data collection by making the data accessible to a wide range of researchers and policy analysts.

Build research infrastructure and capacity to ensure a lasting policy impact.

The project is supported through direct funding by Employment and Social Development Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, in addition to contributions from the Mowat Centre and HEQCO. Both the Mowat Centre and HEQCO are funded by the Government of Ontario.

 

Datasets

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)

An international programme of assessment of adult skills and competencies initiated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and administered between 2011 and 2016 in 34 countries. PIAAC assessed the skills and competencies of adults between the ages of 16 and 65 in three domains: literacy, numeracy and problem-solving in a technology-rich environment. It is the first large-scale international assessment of adults to be conducted on computer and to measure individuals’ proficiency in using information and computer technology. In addition to the direct assessment of skills, the PIAAC survey included an extensive background questionnaire that gathered information on respondents’ backgrounds, as well as their use of skills at work and in everyday life. Canada’s sample of PIAAC respondents (25,267) was the largest in the OECD, and included 5,165 respondents in Ontario, as well as oversamples of immigrants, youth, off-reserve Indigenous persons and official language minorities.

Longitudinal and International Survey of Adults (LISA)

A longitudinal survey conducted every two years since 2012 that collects information from 24,000 adult Canadians, including 8,500 PIAAC respondents, about their jobs, education, health and family, and how changes in these areas affect different aspects of their lives. Results from LISA can be linked to the direct measures of skills conducted through PIAAC for those respondents who are included in both surveys. The biennial LISA survey waves include content relating to: education history; employment and income; skills training; personality traits; health, mental health and disability; retirement; assets and debt; and family composition.

PIAAC and LISA linkages to administrative data

Statistics Canada has enhanced the PIAAC and LISA data by linking the surveys to historical tax data from the T1 Family File (T1FF) and from employers’ files (T4), as well as to other administrative data, such as pension and immigration data. This allows the information collected through the surveys and skills assessments to be connected with longitudinal information regarding, among other things, employment status and earnings. The linked tax data covers the period from 1982 to the present.

Taken together, these data sets provide information of an unparalleled depth and breadth relating to the pathways of Canadians into and through the labour market and the factors that determine labour market outcomes, notably factors relating to education, training and skills development.

RESOURCES

Adult Skills in Focus Series

Adult Skills in Focus is a series of policy-oriented notes designed to describe the results from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills in a concise, user-friendly way.

More

Skills Matter

Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills

More

  

OECD Skills Outlook 2015

Youth, Skills and Employability

More

OECD Skills Outlook 2013

First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills

More

  

Canada PIAAC reports

Reports of PIAAC are available here from the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.
More

Contact

For more information on this project please contact:

Brad Seward, PhD
Practice Lead, Education and Skills
b.seward@mowatcentre.ca

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