Basic Skills Training

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Basic Skills Training

Basic Skills Training

Question 1

The dairy is undergoing changes. The acquisition of new technology like the Investment in new machinery has enabled the dairy to expand into organic ice cream. Although it is still undergoing trials, there is confidence that this new product will significantly enhance the company's portfolio and allow for further expansion. Furthermore, the merger with a bigger business is opening a new market for the dairy. The quality Audit has already highlighted the lack of basic skills. The quality audit highlighted a number of areas in which further training was required for the dairy staff-for example, in understanding the quality standards and in becoming familiar with the computer-based systems. Basic skills include fundamental skill levels of reading, writing, math and English. Basic skills also include the ability to interpret instructions and make decisions. Communicating effectively, solving problems, resolving conflicts, working with people from different cultures, using a computer, and adapting to change are also basic skills.

Workforce development has evolved to describe any one of a relatively wide range of national and international policies and programs related to learning for work. For example, many professionals involved in administering U.S. secondary vocational education programs, welfare-to-work and other public assistance programs, and regional economic development initiatives now use workforce development to describe their services(Felder 1997).

There seems no single reason to explain why workforce development should be used to describe such a range of activities, or used in different ways by professional associations and government. The belief is that individuals from differing perspectives have realized a similar basic conclusion: the success of any one program or initiative depends on the connections to other programs that otherwise would have considered in isolation from each other (Silberman, Auerbach 2006). For example, vocational educators have increasingly found that secondary-education programs for youth depend more and more on organization-based training programs. Adult retraining programs depend more and more on the delivery of communitybased social services. Adult educators have concluded that helping individuals acquire new sets of basic skills requires substantial investment in integrated skills rather than literacy programs alone (Stolovitch, Erica, 2002). Finally, an increasing number of human resource development scholars use the term national human resource development to describe the articulation between government and private-sector programs (Felder 1997). If workforce development represents a greater awareness about the connectedness of systems, why should this notion arise at this point? We believe that the drivers for workforce development come from the contemporary intersection of five interrelated streams: 1) globalization, 2) technology, 3) new economy, 4) political change, and 5) demographic shifts. 

These five factors are inter-related and each provide challenges for adult education specifically, and workforce development more broadly. The following sections outline the five drivers and provide illustrations from the literature of the implications for adult education. Implications of Workforce Development The emergence of workforce development has brought about at least five implications for policy makers, researchers, and practitioners: 1) the need to develop collaborations, 2) the need to consider broader sets of program goals, 3) the opportunity to enrich current theory, 4) the opportunity to consider wider sets of research problems and dependent variables, and ...
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