Investigating educational issues across Europe (ACROSS Base)
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Project NEWSKILLS - Education and Training, new job skill needs and the low-skilled
Overview The project started from a concern to bring academically rigorous research techniques to bear on the pressing problem of the low-skilled on the labour market and to put forward principles which could underpin a 'platform for learning'. 

The quantitative analysis carried out in this project used data drawn from national government surveys and international surveys such as the Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). The definition of 'low skills' was derived from the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), which served as the agreed basis for the assignment of each country's qualifications as recorded in the national surveys. 

Education specialists in the project gave advice concerning (a) the allocation of national data on qualifications and education levels to a common framework, and (b) the appropriate cut-of point which would define the low-skilled group. 

Investigations related to the 'minimum platform' were supported by case study material from visits to firms collected for the project. 

Findings from the research studies were put to the test in a forum with policy makers, the results of which were summarised in a report. (McIntosh et al., 1999, pp. 4-5, 11, 30)

Insight The methodology is described in detail as part of the overall presentation of the research process and outcome; a particular example being the procedure of working out a common definition of 'low skills' (McIntosh et al., 1999, pp. 5f.).
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