Basic Competence Screening Tool, BaCST

BaCST is the Norwegian National Coordinator’s Agenda project for 2016-17.

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Rationale

Although Norway does have a system for the provision of basic skills training for adults, the target groups remain to a large extent unaware of their training possibilities. Although Norway as a whole scores higher than average in PIAAC, significant percentages of the population score too low. PIAAC shows that the number of people with poor literacy and numeracy skills is completely out of proportion with the number of people accessing the existing offers in municipal AL centers or through the national work-based program, SkillsPlus (formerly known as Basic Competence in Working Life, BCWL).

In their Official Political Platform, the Sundvolden Declaration, the current Norwegian government expressed its intention to establish a national commitment towards adults with poor basic skills. Two specific priorities were identified: 1) to ensure that people who receive unemployment benefits, should automatically be offered an assessment of basic skills, and 2) to establish a general right to assessment of basic skills for adults.

Studies by Vox (Skills Norway since Jan 1st 2017) show also that the country lacks adequate assessment tools, especially a simple, user friendly, and accessible screening test which can be used both for self-testing and to help professionals in employment agencies or career centers determine if individuals are in need of basic skills training.

Objectives

The project aims at creating a userfriendly online screening tool which can be used both by individuals and counsellors to determine the need for basic skills training. It will also design and implement an efficient marketing and dissemination plan for the tool, which will also aim at increasing the general awareness of the issue of functional basic skills for adults in the whole population and in particular within the target group (PIAAC low-scorers) and the authorities in charge of their assistance.

The end result of the project will be a) a new tool for basic skills screening, b) increased outreach towards adults in need of further AL, c) increased awareness of existing LLL possibilities.

The tool development process will aim at facilitating the translation of the products for further dissemination throughout Europe.

The project runs from November 1st 2015 to October 31st 2017.

Project coordinator: Ingrid Radtke, ingrid.radtke@kompetansenorge.no