PIAAC in Ontario - A Spatial Index of Skills in Ontario

Since the release of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey results last year, researchers at Essential Skills Ontario have been using the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) public database to determine how both Ontario and Canada fared in comparison to other participating countries. And although this data has provided insight on skills distribution in the country, there still remains a significant need to understand the distribution of skills across communities in Ontario, as well as how PIAAC scores may affect labour market outcomes. 
 
Essential Skills Ontario is pleased to announce that we are working on a new project funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) that will extract and analyze micro data from the PIAAC survey results at both the regional and community level in Ontario to help shed light on skills challenges on a regional basis, as well as highlight the challenges faced by vulnerable and low-wage populations across various parts of the province. 
 
Through an online mapping application, users will be able to easily identify regions with the high and low levels of competency in three of PIAAC’s domains: literacy, numeracy and problem-solving in technology-rich environments (PS-TRE). We will also examine skill levels among different groups in each community (where possible) and various socio-economic statistics from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS). This information will be of value to researchers, policy makers, regional planners, Regional Literacy Networks, and LBS Programs in targeting resources and services to those most in need. The hope is that this map will help users explore information related to skills development in Ontario and use that data to inform labour market, employment, and education planning decisions.
 
ESO looks forward to developing this resource and sharing it widely in 2015.