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The Employability Skills Assessment Tool (ESAT) provides a framework and quantitative assessment methodology for the development of nine employability skills: motivation, attitude, accountability, time management, stress management, presentation, teamwork, adaptability and confidence.
Through the collection of behavioural observations, learner self assessments, and staff assessments, training programs that use the ESAT methodology can gain insights in a learner’s behavioural barriers to employment then work with them to develop different behavioural strategies that are more aligned to the needs and expectations of the workplace. The ESAT provides web based access to case management, self assessment and staff assessment functions all based on a consistent set of definitions and exemplars to ensure a common understanding of employability requirements exists between learners and all staff. Through the provision of honest, consistent, timely, and respectful feedback, behaviour change is possible.
The ESAT can be used in programs as short as three weeks where the aim is to create awareness of employability expectations, to longer programs of six months or more where real behavioural change can be achieved. It can be applied in any training or educational setting where the development of these nine key employability skills is relevant to the long term success of the learner.
What is ESAT?
Why are employability skills important?
Getting and keeping a good job requires multiple skill sets. Employability skills are the foundation upon which essential and job skills rest. If a client’s employability skills require development, they can impact negatively on employment no matter how good their other skills sets are.
Under-developed employability skills can lead to a cycle of ineffective training in which clients repeat training that doesn’t directly address their employability needs. The result can be decreased labour market participation and mobility.
How does ESAT work?
ESAT takes an appreciative approach to employability skill development by:
- Establishing a clear assessment framework of definitions and exemplars
- Fostering client self awareness of strengths and skill gaps
- Contrasting how clients see themselves versus how they are seen by others
- Providing clear and motivating progress reports
- Facilitating the celebration of success
ESAT also allows managers to:
- Monitor client management
- Quantitatively assess program effectiveness
- Demonstrate the value of training delivery or intervention to funders
Applications of ESAT
ESAT was designed to complement training programs for people facing obstacles to employment, by maximizing their potential in the workforce. The tool is adaptable and can be easily adjusted to consider different attributes and target different outcomes.
This link is from Soft Skills assessment: theory development and the research agenda, Gibb, S., International Journal of Lifelong Education, Vol.33, No. 4, 2014. It lists best practices for soft skill assessment practice based on Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick, 2006.