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Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living

Pre-ETS Notice

This part of the website has been updated to reflect the Notice of Interpretation in the Federal Register.

Workplace Readiness Training1

Workplace readiness traits describe a number of commonly expected, skills that employers seek from most employees. Work readiness skills are a set of skills and behaviors that are necessary for any job. Work readiness skills are sometimes called soft skills, employability skills, or job readiness skills.

These abilities help employees learn how to interact with supervisors and co-workers. They help reinforce the importance of timeliness and build an understanding of how we are perceived by others. Employers value employees who can communicate effectively and act professionally. No matter what technical skills a job may require, every job requires good social skills/interpersonal skills.

Specific Social/Interpersonal Skills

Examples Include:

  • communication
  • positive attitude
  • teamwork
  • problem solving
  • talking/writing
  • cooperation
  • active listening
  • decision making
  • conflict resolution
  • body Language
  • empathy
  • professionalism
  • good manners
  • supporting others
  • respectful

Independent Livings Skills

Examples Include:

  • good hygiene
  • time management
  • healthy lifestyle
  • using a cell phone
  • using transportation
  • money management
  • nutrition/meal preparation
  • accessing community
  • services & supports
  • community participation
  • civic responsibility
  • community safety
  • developing friendships
  • appropriate dress
  • appropriate behavior

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Other Training Areas

Examples Include:

  • Financial literacy,
  • Orientation and mobility skills,
  • Job-seeking skills,
  • Understanding employer expectations for punctuality and performance,
  • Other "soft" skills necessary for employment.

These types of services may be provided through instruction, or other activities where the student can learn and apply knowledge.

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The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)2

In 1990, the Secretary of Labor appointed a commission to determine the skills our young people need to succeed in the world of work. The commission's fundamental purpose was to encourage a high-performance economy characterized by high-skill, high-wage employment. The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) was asked to examine the demands of the workplace and whether today's young people are capable of meeting those demands. Specifically, the Commission was directed to advise the Secretary on the level of skills required to enter employment. In carrying out this charge, the Commission was asked to:

  • Define the skills needed for employment;
  • Propose acceptable levels of proficiency;
  • Suggest effective ways to assess proficiency; and
  • Develop a dissemination strategy for the nation's schools, businesses, and homes.

This report results from the Commission's discussions and meetings with business owners, public employers, unions, and workers and supervisors in shops, plants, and stores. It builds on the work of six special panels established by the Commission to examine all manner of jobs from manufacturing to government employment. Researchers were also commissioned to conduct lengthy interviews with workers in a wide range of jobs. Although the commission completed its work in 1992, its findings and recommendations continue to be a valuable source of information for individuals and organizations involved in education and workforce development.  

For some specific resources for this required activity click here.

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