Janet Lane who many of you will remember from her time as Executive Director of Literacy Alberta, has co-authored a report advocating for a competency based approach to skills shortages. The report contends that the skills mis-match experienced across the country is due to:
“01 Formal education and apprenticeships do not teach all, or even the right, skills and competencies to the right levels needed by employers.
02 Unrecognized skills: Many people have skills and competencies that their official credentials do not address. They also may not be able to articulate the skills that go beyond official credentials that they possess, or their value. Therefore, unsurprisingly, employers may not be aware of the varied and specific skills that people have.
03 Employers are not sure what skills and competencies they need, or are unable to articulate what they are.
04 Foreign credentials, which are otherwise adequate in terms of skills and competencies, are not recognized.
One ambitious solution – a competency-based, pan-Canadian qualifications framework – would help to eliminate the mismatch problem by addressing all of these issues.”
You can read the Executive Summary here: Matchup: A case for pan-Canadian competency frameworks | Canada West Foundation
I’ve also uploaded the full report: canada-west-matchup-a-case-for-pan-canadian-competency-based-frameworks-feb-2017
I’ve always liked the idea of hiring based on what people can do rather than on a credential earned years ago. Such an approach would definitely improve outcomes for those whose skills have been developed over time through a combination of education, training and on-the-job experience. How one moves to such a system without it becoming very bureaucratic, i.e. requiring testing or other proxies to determine skill competencies, is one consideration.
Let me know what you think…