Skills for SuccessJuly 7, 2021
The advancements in automation, artificial intelligence, and other technological advancements have significantly impacted workplaces, the labour market, and economies resulting in decline in the need for physical and manual skills and increased need for social-emotional skills that are not easily replaced by computers. As evidenced by COVID-19, workers need resilience, adaptability, stress management, and openness to learning to successfully navigate and advance in the life and labour market. Furthermore, employers are challenged in finding workers with the combination of social-emotional, digital, and literacy skills. Jobseekers and workers are struggling to keep up with the changing skill demands.
In light of these challenges, the Government of Canada launched the new Skills for Success model defining nine key skills needed by Canadians to be successful in the evolving labour market. Skills for Success modernizes the old essential skills framework by adding two new skills and changes to the existing skills mode, Adaptability and Creativity and Innovation, as well as expanding Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Digital, and updating Reading, Writing, and Numeracy. Skills for Success provides detailed definitions and components of each skill and an assessment tool for each skill.
The existing Document Use was integrated in reading, writing and numeracy, while the computer use has expanded to cover digital, which includes the use of different digital devices and platforms. Oral communication is now communication and includes broader concepts, such as non-verbal communication and working with others is now collaboration to reflect a broader scope, which contains inclusivity and respect for diversity. Thinking skills, which includes critical thinking and decision-making, is now problem solving. Furthermore, two new skills were added, the first is adaptability which integrates continuous learning from the previous model and a new skill addition is creativity and innovation.
The goal is for practitioners using the model to develop learning materials for those with diverse needs, assessment developers constructing measurement tools for a variety of learning contexts, and employers thinking about how skills translate to job performance in ways that drive business outcomes.
These “Skills for Success” are essential to fully participate in the evolving workforce. These skills overlap and interact with each other, and with other technical and life skills. They are inclusive and can be adapted to different contexts including employers, workers, training providers, governments, and communities.
COVID-19 has shown us the need for adaptability, defined as the ability to achieve or adjust goals and behaviours when expected or unexpected change occurs, by planning, staying focused, persisting, and overcoming setbacks. For example, we use this skill to change work plans to meet new deadlines, learn how to work with new tools and improve our skills through feedback. This is critical as we experienced the constant adaptation to societal changes in how we work, live, and learn over the past year. Strong adaptability skills help to deal effectively with change and to learn new skills and behaviours when needed, stay focused on your responsibilities and goals, and not give up when situations are difficult. They help us stay positive and manage stress that can come from change in the workplace, community, and home. Developing the skills from the Skills for Success Framework will improve jobseekers and employees marketability and promotion opportunities in the workplace.