Conestoga news

October 26, 2012 10:42 AM

Free "Essential Skills" Assessment Tools

With the growing understanding that all jobs have certain core skills in common and that these skills are vital for life, learning and technical training and for job functions to be executed successfully, quite apart from particular levels of formal credentials, the defined and recognized “Essential Skills - ES” are now deeply integrated into the academic curriculum of preparatory programs and courses. And just like we assess the academic skills of incoming students, there are now a number of ES assessment tools that can be used to assess someone’s level of ES.

Two of these tools were developed through the College Sector Committee for Adult Upgrading, the umbrella organization of all college academic upgrading programs in Ontario. And both of them can be accessed for free by anyone who is interested in measuring their Essential Skills levels in Reading, Numeracy and Document Use against the ES levels required in particular occupations, as described by the Job Profiles found on the website of the federal Human Resource and Skills Development Canada.

Anyone interested in apprenticeships or jobs related to trades will find the assessment tool of “ESOT - Essential Skill for Ontario Tradespeople” a valuable resource in determining which of their Essential Skills is at par with the requirements of the trade they are interested in and which need upskilling.

The parallel tool of the “ACE Essential Skills Assessment” can be used by anyone interested in upgrading and upskilling to find out their present Essential Skills levels. In addition to assessment results, outlining the strengths and gaps in “Essential Skills” of users, both tools have excellent upskilling sections, where a student/client can do individually tailored exercises and practice skills in order to increase their skill level. These two tools can be accessed individually, but in order to get the most out of them and combine the results with advice and further upskilling and upgrading, participants are encouraged to connect with the nearest Conestoga’s Career Centre. Career Centre staff will be able to assist clients with these tools, interpret the ES assessment results and advise clients about the best pathway to achieve a client’s education, training and employment goal.

Dieter Klaus - Chair, Preparatory Programs