Key points


Graph 1: Compared to England

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Definitions and data sources

The graph shows the proportion of adults aged 16 to 64 with below Level 1 literacy and numeracy skills.

The standard for Level 1 is equivalent to that demanded for Level 1 (or a D-G grade GCSE) in the National Qualifications Framework.  If someone is below Level 1, it suggests that they lack the necessary literacy or numeracy to achieve a formal qualification.  The National Assembly for Wales describes those without Level 1 in either literacy or numeracy as lacking 'basic skills', which in turn is defined as the ability to read, write and speak in English or Welsh, and to use mathematics at a necessary level to function and progress at work and in society.

The data source is the National Survey for Adult Basic Skills in Wales 2004 (the data not publicly available) and the Skills For Life Survey for England in 2002/03.  The Welsh survey was designed to be comparable with the Skills for Life Survey.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  There is some question over the extent to which the assessment ('real world' tasks) used to ascertain literacy level correctly identifies a deficit in literacy skills rather than other skills required to solve the tasks.