Employability skills, such as critical thinking, technology use, and communication, are critical for success in the labor market. Many of these skills have been integrated into the Common Core State Standards and the Common Career Technical Core. Realizing the importance of developing employability skills across all sectors and levels of employment, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education launched an initiative, Support for States Employability Standards in CTE and Adult Education, aimed at providing information on employability skills to assist with the instruction and assessment of these skills.
As part of this initiative, a website was created to compile and disseminate information on employability skills. Features of this website include:
- An Employability Skills Framework that defines the skills necessary in the workplace. The purpose of this framework is to establish a common understanding of these skills that can be used across the education and workforce development sectors. These skills fall into three broad categories: applied knowledge, effective relationships, and workplace skills.
- An online tool to assist administrators, policy makers, and practitioners with selecting an employability skills assessment. The tool includes an overview of assessments, planning considerations for assessment selection, assessment selection criteria, a customizable assessment comparison worksheet, and additional resources on assessing employability skills.
- Profiles of state, local, and employer-led initiatives that teach and assess the employability skills described in the Employability Skills Framework. The profiles include examples of both career and technical education and adult education initiatives.
- Descriptions of related federal initiatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, and the National Science Foundation.
- Resources that provide background information on employability skills.
Kiana Abram is a research assistant with the College and Career Readiness and Success Center.