What does Job Ready Mean?
July 29, 2013 5 Comments
I read a really interesting Blog post today from HRNinja entitled:
It got me thinking again about a range of issues around new staff starting a role in an organisation, be they entry or executive level or anywhere in between, but in particular what is it we mean by job ready. Now of course the content of what we mean by job ready for a senior executive, is going to be different from a long term unemployed person looking to gain an entry level position in an organisation, but to me it comes down to the idea that the person is ready and able to step into the role they are taking on and that the organisation is able to provide them with the information, technology and support that they need to do the role.
There is a lot of noise made by training organisations both public and private (at the entry level) that their programs produce staff who are Job Ready, unfortunately in most cases that is not the case in a significant amount of cases. I suppose that I should add for clarity sake here that I am primary talking about those programs that are not connected to organisations, where members f the general public sign up to undertake a course in say Aged Care, because for what ever reason they want a job in Aged Care and the provider has told them this course will provide them with the skills that they need.
Whereas in reality, in some circumstances, the training provider is more interested in getting the person through the course as quickly as possible in order to make sure they get their relevant funding payments, than in actually ensuring that the person has the skills. Even when it is the case that the program focuses on the skills of the participant, they still often come out of the program thinking that they are ready for employment only to find that they are under prepared for the workplace they are entering. Employers also I think fall into the same trap in a number of ways, they hire people of the strength of their qualifications only to find that they need to do a substantial amount of work in order to ensure that the person is able to do the role they have been hired for, or they send people to training in the hope that when they come back they will have the skills and knowledge they need for their new role. The problem is again that this in a lot of cases simply doesn’t happen for a range of reasons.
So why is this such an issue, well because of the costs involved, if a new hire is not, for various reasons, able to do the role that they have been hired for, for a period of time, then this costs the organisation money. If individuals ‘spend’ their training funding on courses which they expect, mainly due to advertising, will get them a vocation and then find out that they can’t get a job, this costs the government or the individual money and disadvantages the person who has undertaken the course.
Now I understand that training providers are preparing participants against a generic set of industry standard performance criteria, but I think that they can do better, particularly if they build strong links with organisations and industry, create opportunities for participants to undertake real work-placements rather than competency assessment in simulated environments and just work a bit harder to make sure that they are producing what industry needs.
Of course if it is difficult to ensure that people being training to undertake specific rolls, even entry level ones, are job ready, then what do we mean by job ready in the more workforce participation sense, where the skills and knowledge that are being providing to participants are those preparatory style skills. This is not to say that we shouldn’t be running these types of programs, we need to do things that assist people to be able to participate in the workplace, but we need to be doing the right things and again we need to ensure that the skills that are being taught to these participants are actually worthwhile and will produce someone who in at least some sense of the word could be called ‘Job Ready’.