The shifting economy requires highly-skilled workers in areas of job growth, such as manufacturing, energy, information technology, and health care. But while job vacancies exist, employers continue to report that applicants’ skills do not match those needed to fill the empty positions. ACT, Inc., an education and workplace assessment company, recently released a framework that provides a first step to tackling this mismatch.
ACT’s report proposes the creation of a national credentialing system for workforce skills.
The report suggests reorganizing the credentialing system so that workers’ skills and credentials better align with the needs of industry. This would streamline the current approach by creating a nationally-recognized, stackable credentialing system. ACT suggests that workers begin by earning a “foundational skills credential,” and subsequently layer on more focused, job-specific credentials.
Ideally, implementation of the national workforce skills credentialing system would result in:
- Workers who are matched with jobs based on their validated skills and abilities
- Well-qualified workers hired through an evidence-based hiring process
- Clear presentation of competencies required for specific fields, so that future workers know which credentials and training to pursue
- Implementation of pipelines that align skills taught with those needed in particular industries
- Students and workers earning stackable credentials and certificates that align with career pathways
Click here to view the full report, Breaking New Ground: Building a National Workforce Skills Credentialing System.