Employability Skills Framework will help develop workfore
28 February 2017
The new Employability Skills Framework will help develop the workforce adapt with work-ready skills
“A new Employability Skills Framework has been launched by government today, and presents a real opportunity to solve the growing skill gap,“ says Education and Skills Trust, COMET Auckland.
Job adverts have been growing at the strongest rate in five years and employers have a growing need for employees with the right skills to start work immediately.
Auckland has 23,300 (9.3%) young people aged 15-24 not currently in employment, education or training (NEETs), which represents a significant problem for our economy.
Young people are becoming our most valuable economic asset. Building competencies and soft skills with a cross-sector approach is the best way to evaluate their work experiences.
Employability skills will help build networks as well as enhancing the capabilities that are needed not only to get started in employment but will be used throughout a person’s life. The Pathways Advisory Group(PAG) has accepted the seven required competencies used in the Youth Employability Programme(YEP) as an employability skills tool in the framework. YEP has been developed to help all students from all walks of life to learn employability skills such as attitude and resilience, enabling them to be ready for work.
The Youth Employability Programme is a cross sector, business-led initiative, designed to respond to business and industry concerns that young people may not be developing the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace. The programme provides an explicit sequence of learning activities to build the competencies business leaders have said they want to see young people display, and a process to assess and record them.
Across six regions 1,000 students are trialling the Youth Employability Programme (YEP) which is aligned to the framework. This includes fourteen secondary schools in Auckland, and has spread to regions such as Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Porirua /Kāpiti Coast, Taranaki and Taupō, to practice the skills they’re learning in a real world environment they complete:
• 14 hours of workshops with facilitated interactive employability sessions
• 20 hours of community work
• 80 hours of work experience
COMET Auckland’s Skills Manager, Shirley Johnson, is delighted with the endorsement of the framework. It is a much needed strategy that will enable everyone to have a part to play and recognises that soft skills help young people adapt in a rapidly changing workforce.
The Youth Employability Programme was developed by COMET Auckland and its partner organisations, including Cognition Education, for use in Auckland schools and youth service organisations. It is governed by a steering group comprising of partners from different sectors: business partners – Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Northern, Greater East Tamaki Business Association (GETBA), Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited (ATEED), SkyCity Auckland Ltd; government – Ministry of Education (MOE), Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK), CareersNZ, New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Ministry of Social Development (MSD); careers organisations – Career Development Association of NZ (CDNAZ); and recruitment companies. COMET Auckland chairs the group.
Shirley Johnson, COMET Auckland Skills
“Early stints of joblessness can lead to long-term unemployment and benefit dependency. It is essential that we support all our young people into employment early with
practical, work-focused programmes within the employability framework.”
using this framework are being equipped with the
competencies that employers have identified as being critical to
securing and retaining employment,” Shirley Johnson says.
“The programme is a great opportunity for high school, university students and employers to use work-relate experiences as learning exercises using flexible and willing to invest time and effort in developing work skills. These are competencies that employers value and look for in potential employees,” Shirley Johnson says.
Shauna Eldridge, Deputy
Principal Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate
“In a very large number of areas and suburbs across New Zealand, [employability] skills are never taught explicitly at school, but through communities, church, parents, family members. It is unrealistic to imagine that students become work-ready by a process of osmosis. Even for our university bound students we found that they were not work ready.”
Principal Southern Cross Campus College
“For the last ten years we have been working to not only raise student achievement in the basics of numeracy and literacy, but also in their ability to engage with employers”
ABOUT COMET AUCKLAND
As a charitable trust and CCO of Auckland Council, COMET Auckland is uniquely placed to drive change in Auckland’s education and skills system. Taking a cross-sector, helicopter view of our education and skills system, we are able to focus long-term on the Auckland’s learning needs. COMET Auckland initiated the robust testing process that included feedback from over 60 employers and employer groups, over 30 educators and 120 students led to development of the YEP process.