The Inspiration and Need For An Employability Measure
A critical issue in our society today is the need to connect business and industry to education in a practical and effective way. This is the cornerstone for the creation of E3evaluation.com. With over 30 years of educational experience as teachers and Career and Technical Education Directors, the founders have seen and experienced the need for a way to measure the key employment skills. If attained, these skills would help insure students’ future success in work and life while supporting the workforce needs of business and industry.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in our schools maintain Advisory Groups. These groups are made-up of industry leaders from the local community. The goal of Advisory Groups is to align the needs of the industry with the curriculum taught within the CTE program. It was after one of these advisory meetings that the idea for E3 was conceived.
A local manager was expressing how a particular program was providing superior technical skills and certification for graduates. However, while the technical skills are important when seeking new employees, soft skills, or employability skills, are considered a better measure to determine the best candidate.
How can we know with certainty that the candidate we hire has the employability skills needed to make them successful?
This initial discussion prompted many additional meetings and conversations with prominent business owners, educators, and state officials. While addressing how to make changes, the realization that creating and delivering curriculum was not enough. Students need a clear understanding of the importance business and industry place on employability skills. They also need to see the discrepancy between their perception of their ability to perform these skills compared to a standardized tool measuring their ability over time and across disciplines. This will provide a clear understanding of both strong and weak skills, allowing students to develop weak areas. When transitioning to the workforce, students will have a uniform document able to show the employability skill level they have attained.
E3 is a tool to meet this need and, most importantly, its measurement criteria is tightly linked to the basic employable skills expected and needed in industry. E3 will allow industry to have a clear picture of students entering the workforce.
E3 is not intended as a one-time measure but we believe measurements over time and in different disciplines will have the most significant impact on student skill attainment while providing valid results. Lastly, the E3 tool was created with the same measurements and processes used in hiring decisions to select applicants with the highest employability skills. This provides relevancy and legitimizes the need for measuring and growing employability skills.
We believe that employability skills are at the heart of success not only in the workplace but also in all aspects of life. We need to be reinforcing these important skills at an early age and we believe that E3 is the tool that helps do this!
Each time an E3 evaluation is required for a job position, it promotes the need in education to emphasize the importance of employability skills and holds students to a higher standard while they are still in school. Implemented with fidelity, E3 can effectively improve school climate, behavior and citizenship in education to mirror the expected conduct in the workplace.