In August 2013, the Australian Government released the Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (CSfW). It provides a mechanism for training package developers, curriculum writers and those who develop standards and learning and assessment resources to more clearly articulate the employability skills needed for work. It can also be used by trainers, educators and those who work with job seekers to more explicitly address the development of these skills.
The Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (CSfW) describes a set of non-technical skills, knowledge and understandings that underpin successful participation in work . Participation in work could be as an employee, as someone who is self-employed, or as a volunteer.
This set of non-technical skills, often referred to as generic or employability skills, contribute to work performance in combination with technical or discipline specific skills and core language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills . Work performance is also influenced by a range of factors relating to the context in which the skills are being applied.
The CSfW describes performance in ten Skill Areas, grouped under three Skill Clusters:
Cluster 1 – Navigate the world of work
- Manage career and work life
- Work with roles, rights and protocols
Cluster 2 – Interact with others
- Communicate for work
- Connect and work with others
- Recognise and utilise diverse perspectives
Cluster 3 – Get the work done
- Plan and organise
- Make decisions
- Identify and solve problems
- Create and innovate
- Work in a digital world
Each Skill Area describes a combination of knowledge, skills and understandings and their application to work.
The CSfW recognises that these Skill Areas are relevant to all those undertaking work, not just those entering the workforce for the first time, and that they can continue to be developed across the span of an individual’s working life. The CSfW describes performance in each of the Skill Areas across five stages (see page 9). It also recognises that:
- the particular skills and stages of performance required by individuals will vary according to the context in which they are operating
- there is no expectation that individuals will necessarily need all of these skills, or will need to develop them to the expert stage of performance
- an individual is likely to be operating at different stages of performance across different Skill Areas
- an individual’s ability to demonstrate and develop these skills will be influenced by the context in which they are operating.
Purpose of the CSFW and its potential impact in VET
The CSfW is not a set of standards, nor an assessment tool. It is a framework for conceptualising and articulating skills, knowledge and understandings that underpin work performance over time, and for guiding further development.
The CSfW presents the underpinning skills, knowledge and understandings in terms that make them describable, teachable and/or learnable, and able to be demonstrated. These features could benefit instructional designers, trainers, and VET practitioners in general, as a common reference point and language that better describe employability/foundation skills.
ISC’s have started to use the CSFW on training packages, and a new table has been incorporated in units of competency including information about foundation skills (LLN plus Work Core Skills) mapped against the performance criteria.