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DO YOU HAVE A “PLAN B”? Transferable Skills Panel Marc Anderberg President & Chief Innovation Officer Skills. Net ® Foundation 1
PLAN A! • The most efficient way for One-Stop case managers to help dislocated and trade affected workers find reemployment quickly is to match their qualifications to those required for current job openings in the same or closely related occupations. • As the boundaries between discrete occupations grow fuzzier, this is best done by matching job-seekers’ Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) to job requirements at the Detailed Work Assignment (DWAs) level. • The O*NET framework and automation tools branded with “O*NET Inside” (such as SWAPS from TWC & ETA’s Career Ladder toolkit) are ideally suited for efficiently using the transferable skills approach to expedite rapid reemployment
Advantages of Plan A from a performance measurement perspective • improved entered employment rate • shortens duration of unemployment • conserves scarce resources • reduces UI benefit payments • low-cost, easy-to-administer self-help solution
Plan B? Problem of Skill Obsolescence But what if. . . • well-matched occupations with high current demand are on a steep downward trajectory? • there is little employment demand in the occupations with a high “skill tradability quotient”?
Plan B? Problem of imperfect matching But what if: “transferability quotient” is low, moderate, or unknown (i. e. , the DWAs and KSA requirements of demand occupations with good prospects for long-term employment resilience are in flux? • emerging occupations • significantly evolving occupations • employers demand more than formal educational credentials and self-asserted KSAs as credible evidence of job-seekers’ qualifications for demand occupations with good prospects for long-term employment resilience?
Taking transferable skills as a point of departure From Pam’s Last Slide Other factors need to be considered • Regional or local labor market information — to identify transferable occupations with good employment prospects • Education and other credentials • Actual skill assessments, rather than self-report • Many state and private customized tools that make use of O*NET information and link it with additional relevant information 6
Good Employment Prospects Impact of skill obsolescence • Worst case scenario: despite high transferable skills quotient, no demand in related occupations • If occupations with high quotients and current demand are on a downward trajectory, then expect • Lower wage at entered employment (relative to replacement wage) • Reduced long-term employment resilience resulting in revolving door scenario (and, possible discouraged worker)
Hi Codified Formalized Offloaded Outsourced Off-shored Tacit $0 <-> Opportunity Costs Commercialization Automated Cognitive dissonance Commoditization KSA Life Cycle Phases Obsolescence Low Acquisition “Possessor” of KSA Returns to Individual Decreasing returns to KSAs over time
Transfer into a revolving door of decaying returns Succession of industries or occupation’s product or service object by timing of life cycle maturation At what point do you consider human capital investment option to break the downward spiral of decaying returns? Discouraged Industry or Occupation of Initial Employment (basket weaving) Worker? 1 st Placement Based on Transferable Skills (buggywhip manufacturing) Nth Placement Based on Transferable Skills (textile manfct. )
Significantly evolving occupations at higher wage B’s Residual KSA A’s Residual KSAs Downgraded “B” at lower wage UNBUNDLE D Offshored Lo Criticality Offshored Automated UNBUNDLED High Value-Added Problem Solving Automated High Value-Added Critical Thinking REBUNDLED BUT RETAINS TITLE “A” Very Low Lo Criticality Transferability Score Low Traditional Occupation Title “B” Lo Criticality Traditional Occupation Title “A” High
Emerging Occupation Transferability Unknown DWAs Unsettled • No Standard Operating Procedures • Trail and Error Process Innovation • Disruptive Innovation • Novel Product or Service • Unprecedented Processes KSAs Unsettled • Tacit Knowledge Taking Shape • Multi-Disciplinary Spillovers • Direction of Technology Convergence? ?
Problems with formal educational credentials • If not recent, are the KSAs out of date? • Even if recent, was the curriculum built around employer-identified KSA requirements as expected learning outcomes? (i. e. , relevance) • Were grades (KSA assessments) norm-referenced (i. e. , to peers) instead of criterion-referenced (i. e. , to employer-specified proficiency requirements)? • Was assessment “authentic” (i. e. , valid and reliable – based on performance demonstration in real or simulated work context)?
Problem with self-reported KSAs • Self-ratings notoriously high • How recently and how frequently were they used? (i. e. , are they rusty? ) • If highly proficient and accurately reported, then are there hidden negatives which undermine the jobseeker’s employability?
Solutions 1) Invest more in O*NET • Continuous, systematic expansion of O*NET coverage of Emerging Occupations (and purging of dead ones) • Continuous re-evaluation of KSA ratings at the DWA level for evolving occupations (e. g. , frequency and criticality) • Continuous refinement of O*NET content model (e. g. , adding new elements such as “greenness”).
2) Skill Assessment & Certification: “Proactive” UI Profiling • Valid, reliable and objective • Benchmarked to employer-defined proficiency requirements • Workplace Basics & Work Readiness Certification • in the absence of formal credentials at entry-level • supplement to formal credentials as proxy indicator of ability to acquire additional KSAs efficiently and use them productively • after long absence from labor force • where transferability quotient to evolving occupation is low • where specific KSA requirements and DWAs of emerging occupations are still in flux
3) End-user configurable utilities • Ad hoc, skills-based firm-specific/vacancy-specific job profiling • not constrained by static occupational titles • clearing the labor market more effectively • clarification and standardization of KSA requirements for jobs posted on the electronic labor exchange • in conjunction with One Stop skill assessment and certification, facilitates employer services – job development and evidence-based referrals to enhance credibility as First Source provider • skills gap analysis expedites • case management of ITAs and training referrals • investments in contract training and curriculum development partnetrships
4) System development • Rational division of labor • No need to reinvent the wheel • O*NET framework and O*NET Inside branding • Value-added utilities • as links from existing automation tools • imbedded within existing automation tools
Contact Information Marc Anderberg President & Chief Innovation Officer Skills. Net® Foundation marc. anderberg @ skillsnet. org (512) 538 -5579