The Essential Skills Inventories were developed during a three-year Trade Essentials project whose mandate was to develop Essential Skills assessments and curricula for 13 trades.
These materials provide an opportunity for tradespeople to identify and update the Essential Skills required for their respective trades as an important step towards successful trade certification.
The Essential Skills Inventory is a tool used to identify both strengths and weaknesses in trade-specific Essential Skills profiles.
Adult learners have different needs than “traditional” students so strategies must be developed to engage, motivate and build their confidence.
The Essential Skills Inventories use an innovative, interactive (dynamic) approach to assessment that is both clients centered, and asset based. An asset-based approach compares the apprentices’ present Essential Skills to the skills needed for their trade, connecting what they already know with what they need to learn.
The Inventory is a process more than a product and requires skilled and experienced assessors to establish an atmosphere where apprentices are comfortable enough to think about and explore their learning in an Essential Skills context. Assessors need the “inner technology” to be sensitive to the needs of the apprentice and to know when to stop an Essential Skills Inventory if the apprentice is struggling.
The interactive assessment explores not only what the apprentice knows and can do, but also, gives an awareness of how the apprentice learns.
This type of assessment can be used in a pre- and post-format but cannot be referred to normative tables for interpretation.
It is designed as a starting point for instruction in Essential Skills for the trades.