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Tips & Training

Essential skills frameworks to support client success

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Essential life skills such as problem solving, communicating effectively and collaborating well with others help people succeed and continuously grow in a rapidly changing world. Here are several skills frameworks that career development professionals can use to support clients in assessing their skills and finding ways to improve.

National frameworks
Skills for Success Framework

The new Skills for Success Framework (SFS), launched in May 2021, is an update to Canada’s Essential Skills Framework (ESF) and features nine skills. It incorporates the impact of automation on the labour market as well as the social-emotional skills identified as vital by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The new SFS framework is particularly useful in helping clients or students understand, evaluate and categorize their previous experience. SFS assessment and training tools include resources for writing, reading, numeracy, trades, digital skills, adaptability, and knowledge-sharing for individuals and organizations working in literacy and essential skills for Indigenous Peoples.

Employability Skills Assessment Tool (Futureworx)

This tool offers a framework and assessment methodology that focuses on social-emotional skills including collaboration, motivation, creativity, attitude, accountability, time management, stress management, presentation, adaptability, communication and confidence.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skills and Competencies Taxonomy

This resource aims to streamline terminology across competency domains and concepts, such as establishing definitions for competencies, skills, and personal abilities and attributes. It can be used complimentary to the Skills for Success model. It will also be used as a framework for the Occupational and Skills Information System (OaSIS), which will provide a framework of occupations and skills in the Canadian context and is currently under development.

University of Waterloo’s Future Ready Talent Framework

This framework provides a structure that students, educators and employers can use to understand and improve on key competencies expected to be in demand in the global workplace. The FRTF’s 12 competencies were developed through research into existing frameworks, studies, reports and findings from employers, students and educators.

Frameworks outside Canada
Career Readiness Competencies (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

This American framework provides a straightforward structure that students and educators can use to categorize or evaluate curricular and extracurricular activities while addressing career-related goals. It outlines eight career-readiness competencies.

SCANS Competencies and Foundation Skills (CASAS)

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) in the United States created a resource that covers a range of transferable skills from social-emotional, to critical thinking, to communication.

UNESCO Transversal Competencies

This framework offers six categories: critical and innovative thinking, interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, global citizenship, media and information literacy and others (i.e. problem solving, communication teamwork and leadership).

Big Five Model (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)

This model offers a balanced consideration of social and emotional skills. It covers related social and emotional skills under task performance, emotional regulation, collaboration, open-mindedness and engaging with others.

Additional reading

Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
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