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A general definition of workplace readiness is the set of common traits possessed by competent and capable high school graduates as they continue education or enter the workforce. More technically, workplace readiness assessments are specific profile tests used to assess specific individuals and groups to determine how they score on expected workplace traits.
Workplace Readiness Traits
In general, workplace readiness traits describes a number of commonly expected, transferable skills that employers seek from most employees. In its research brief "A Developmental Perspective on Workplace Readiness: Preparing High School Students for Success," the Child Trends Organization includes resolving conflicts, cooperation, teamwork, acceptance of others and diversity awareness, articulate verbal communication and listening, written communications and second-language fluency among core social skills expected for workplace readiness. "SkillsUSA" adds leadership, ethics and workplace safety in its skills assessment.
Workplace readiness assessments offer two basic benefits to high-school students preparing for the next step in their lives. One benefit is awareness of how prepared they are. Another benefit is that a successful score on a test earns them a certificate, which is useful in finding employment. "SkillsUSA" offers the NOCTI Workplace Readiness Assessment. Students who successfully earn the "Workplace Readiness Certificate" are described as prepared for high-skill, high-wage jobs.
Workplace Readiness Preparation
Organizations like Child Trends and SkillsUSA are also involved in encouraging high schools to incorporate curriculum and programs that enable students to more effectively develop workplace readiness skills. These organizations point out that academic performance does not always guarantee students are successful in workplace readiness assessments. Child Trends notes that employers often use their own hiring tests and the employers generally prefer positive social and communication skills over grade achievements in school.
Schools can contribute to improved workplace readiness scores for their students by introducing more technical and vocational opportunities to coincide with educational content. Child Trends suggests more technical curriculum and opportunities for work experience with area businesses are the two basic ways schools can help; these approaches potentially benefit the student, the school and the business. Businesses are helping train future employees to perform better in the community marketplace upon graduation.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.