“Job demands are increasing,” says Lori Johnston, Executive Director of Workplace Learning PEI. “The question is, do staff have the foundational skills to keep up with these demands?“Essential skills such as reading, writing, math, and computer literacy are very important for apprentices on the job, during training, and when preparing for block release exams or certification exams.
“Just like a foundation of a house, other skills can be built on top of strong essential skills.”
Workplace Learning PEI helps people improve their essential skills. “People who are having difficulty writing their block release or Red Seal exams may be referred to us by the provincial Apprenticeship Training program.
“People may have all the technical trade skills but have trouble with the exams for various reasons.
“We help them work on those areas so they can succeed with the exams and carry forward to further success in their careers.
“We do an assessment with the tradesperson to look at their skills to see where they are having difficulty. We help to narrow down and pin-point what help is needed. They may need to learn how to deal with multiple choice exams. Or the difficulty may be specific to the trade.
“We also provide support. We have on-line system which the tradesperson can use to practice and be coached by a staff member.”
Resources for employers working with an apprentice
A number of essential skills tools are available for employers. “A tip sheet about using essential skills on the job is available for each trade,” says Lori.
“This is good information for the employer, employee, and the journeyperson working with the apprentice.”
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