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Can the Skills Crisis be Solved by Digital Credentials?


Recently, President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the National Council of the American Worker that will develop a national strategy for training and retraining workers for high-demand industries. The goal of the program is to commit businesses to focus on training so that students and workers can thrive in an automated workforce. The Pledge to the American Worker is putting the onus on the employer to increase on-the-job training and development, by allowing workers to focus on gaining critical skills and competencies necessary to excel.

The initiative’s focus is to “reshape our education and job training landscape so that it better meets the needs of American students, workers, and businesses.” Its goals are to foster lifelong learning, skills-based training, and a demand-driven approach to workplace development--the same goals that have driven the mission of Credly from the beginning.

We often talk about how digital credentials can help the skilled worker shortage, namely in construction, and other labor-intensive jobs, but recovery is slow, and demand is high. The overwhelming need for on-the-job training, vocational schools, and re-skilling opportunities are relevant now more than ever, and the opportunity for business, both small and corporate, to reshape learning and development programs, are ripe.

Job openings have hit a record high, with the number of jobs going unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers. Putting the emphasis on training, upskilling, reskilling, and widening the talent pool will aid in helping companies fill roles that have otherwise been difficult to fill.

The use of digital credentials--and the extensive and specific metadata that they’re backed by--can help human resources departments cut through resume buzzwords by identifying skills that align with the job opening. By focusing on the relationship between higher education institutions and the communities in which they serve, digital badging programs can address the talent gaps and needs of local businesses.

A great example of how a community college worked with local companies to create workforce-relevant digital credentials is the Colorado Community College System. CCCS worked with employers to identify the skills required for success within the region’s advanced manufacturing industry. Less than 72 hours after a Denver-based architecture firm identified an initial list of badge-earners through the college system, the company filled all open positions.

Digital credentials are part of the strategy to help education providers--whether higher education institutions, corporations or professional associations--upskill workers and communicate the skills and competencies needed for the 21st century. Credly helps organizations create successful digital credentialing programs--contact us using the form below to discuss strategies for your organization.