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 applicantsâ€™ 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.
ACTâ€™s report proposes the creation of a national credentialing system for workforce skills.
The report suggests reorganizing the credentialing system so that workersâ€™ 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 â€œfoundational skills credential,â€ 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.