About Essential Skills Manitoba

Essential Skills MParticipants of Essential Skills traininganitoba (ESM) was created in 2012 to provide Essential Skills services that specialize in the needs of individual Manitobans keeping in mind specific priority demographics and multi-barriered clients. Essential Skills assessment and training responses are identified and delivered in partnership with Labour Management Services Division branches as part of an integrated system which responds to a continuum of learner needs.  The integrated system is structured to take a learner successfully from low Essential Skills levels to successful employment.  The need for the service was based in part on the following assumptions:

  • 48% of the population struggles with Essential Skills – 23% significantly
  • Multi-barriered clients:
    • need more training and more time training
    • have confounding issues
    • have demographic predictions – lower skill levels on average and as high as 80% deficient given the region (e.g., The North)
    • require counselling/mentoring supports
  • Assessment and learning plans are key requirements
  • Success builds on excellent labour market information directly obtained from employers

Essential Skills Manitoba provides in-depth Essential Skills assessment and training against client goals as a result of referrals from partners such as Training and Employment Services and/or Employment Income Assistance. ESM does this by providing constructive, asset-based feedback to learners, instructors, counsellors, and other partners. Targeted Essential Skills training is then designed and delivered based on the identified Essential Skills gaps of the learners. Essential Skills Manitoba services will be available regionally throughout Manitoba.

Guiding Principles

ESM practices are grounded on the following guiding principles for adult assessment:

Partnership and Empowerment

The culture of assessment (attitudes, approaches, understandings) is based on a mindset that promotes an active and contributing role for the individual that results in increased ownership of the assessment process and confidence in decision-making for moving forward.

Equality and Fairness

Assessment practices are as free as possible of bias and are designed to provide opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities and the extent of their learning. Information related to assessment practices, processes and tools is transparent and accessible.

Validity

Assessment methods effectively measure what they are intended to measure and produce current, authentic and sufficient evidence of competency related to the outcome or expectation.

Consistency and Reliability

Methods for assessment consistently produce similar results when given under similar conditions.

Fit for Purpose

The method for assessment is appropriate for what is to be assessed / measured.

Professionally Supported

Assessment practices are supported by practitioners who have the required level of subject matter expertise related to assessment (i.e., level of knowledge, skills, and experience). Practitioner roles include assessment developers, assessors, instructors, facilitators and support to quality assurance.

*Assessment of Learning – or summative assessment – is the process for gathering evidence provided at a given point in time of achievement against a specific outcome or expectation. The focus for analysis is the confirmation an outcome or expectation has been met.

*Assessment for Learning – or formative assessment – is an ‘investigative’ tool or process for finding out as much as possible about what an individual knows and can do. Individuals provide valuable feedback on their own learning and progress. The focus for analysis is the development of a plan for moving forward (i.e., learning plan, training plan, etc.)

*Assessment as Learning involves the use of a task or activity that supports opportunities for individuals to reflect upon and build an understanding of themselves and their strengths and needs.

Key Considerations

Outcome

These assessment and training programs prepare participants with the Life, Employability and Essential Skills they need to work successfully with Training and Employment Services Career Development Consultants and move successfully toward their career goal.

Essential Skills Manitoba’s Assessment Service Functions:

  • Define and coordinate assessment systems and processes
  • Manage the archiving and access of assessment tools
  • Develop assessment tools
  • Determine assessment needs
  • Coordinate assessment events and reporting
  • Provide assessment feedback
  • Manage assessment records and privacy
  • Report assessment event data
  • Support existing assessment practices
  • Evaluate assessment strategies
  • Advocate for Essential Skills assessment solutions
  • Determine training needs
  • Define and coordinate training
  • Design and develop curriculum
  • Coordinate training events
  • Provide feedback related to training initiatives
  • Manage the archiving and access of curriculum
  • Manage training records and privacy
  • Report training event data
  • Support instructional planning
  • Evaluate training initiatives
  • Advocate for Essential Skills training solutions

Essential Skills Manitoba’s Training Service Functions:

  • Determine training needs
  • Define and coordinate training
  • Design and develop curriculum
  • Coordinate training events
  • Provide feedback related to training initiatives
  • Manage the archiving and access of curriculum
  • Manage training records and privacy
  • Report training event data
  • Support instructional planning
  • Evaluate training initiatives
  • Advocate for Essential Skills training solutions