Canadian Studies Essential
Skills Research Project
Human Resources Development Canada has done extensive work (involving 3,000 interviews) to identify the essential skills in a wide range of occupations. Essential skills are grouped within the following categories: reading text; using documents; writing; numeracy; oral communication; thinking skills (problem-solving, decision-making, job task planning and organizing, memory, and finding information); working with others; computer use; and continuous learning.
So far, Essential Skills Profiles have been developed for 150 occupations, with 30 more currently being added.(24) The profiles identify which skills are relevant and applicable for each occupation, and at what level of complexity. Examples are also provided.
For the profiles, the numeracy section includes:
The Essential Skills Profiles provide specific, practical information on the use of numeracy and other skills in different occupations. The profiles should be a valuable planning tool for many purposes. They have already been useful in program planning for numeracy (and literacy) education; and in discussions between employers and prospective employees, concerning which skills are needed and at what levels.
The Essential Skills Profiles have also been useful in developing the Test of Workplace Essential Skills.(25) From high school transcripts, it is difficult for employers to ascertain whether prospective employees have the particular skills needed for specific jobs - hence the need for "alternate credentialing". TOWES provides employers with assurances that their employees do indeed have the skills that they require, at the appropriate level of competence. This also helps in program planning and in choosing the appropriate courses, both at the entry level and for upgrading.(26)
24 The profiles are available
25 This is being co-developed by SkillPlan, in Vancouver, and Bow Valley College, in Alberta.
26 For more on TOWES, please see: www.towes.com
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