Job Specific Skills


When employees improve their basic skills they do better in job-specific training:

  • More Employees Participating in Job-Specific Training

  • Improved Results in Job-Specific Training

  • Quicker Results in Job-Specific Training

For employees, the gain in basic skills also means unexpected benefits. Basic skills not only improve the targeted skills but also improve the likelihood of receiving further job-specific training. This point is significant since numerous studies emphasize the links between training and higher income and job opportunities. WEPs improve the capacity of employees to learn new skills and new ways of doing things. They improve the confidence employees have in their ability to enhance their job-specific skills and deepen their understanding of how that can help them to be more successful in the workplace.

Percentage of Employees Citing Benefits Relating to
Improved Job-Specific Skills
(n=37)
Percentage of Employees Citing Benefits Relating to Improved Job-Specific Skills

Some 70 per cent of employees interviewed felt that participating in WEPs led to improved and quicker results in job-specific training. Nearly 60 per cent said that WEPs caused more people to take part in job-specific training.

Basic skills improve the likelihood of receiving further job-specific training. In fact, one employee noted that her company has made it mandatory to be concurrently taking ESL or high-school equivalency classes while taking any job-specific training. Another employee stated that it is important to take job-specific training if you want to advance in her organization and that managers and supervisors are required to take a minimum of forty hours of training each year.

Improved basic skills give employees the opportunity and confidence to participate in further training and education courses. One employee who spoke no English when he began his WEP started with the goal of just learning some English. But that initial program led to his participation in many other types of training such as quality control, report writing, and people skills. He now works in the same manufacturing company as an educational trainer and instructs new employees on company policies, rules, regulations and safety, and how to operate machinery and equipment. The increased awareness that he and other employees expressed of their improved ability to handle on-the-job training is immediate.

"After doing the algebra classes, when I went on to do an electronics course at the community college I had to learn scientific notation. But having the basic math skills, I felt comfortable in taking on the challenge of learning this. With the skills I have learned I am more confident and able to think faster."

- Support Associate,
Large Eastern Hospital

In addition, because many organizations are making a push towards cross-training, employees observe that people who have taken part in WEPs are more easily trainable and thought to be more open to change.

"The training definitely helps with other training. It improves overall listening and speaking skills, so that I am able to learn faster and better. For example, there was hazardous chemical training that was not part of the grant. But the skills I learned in the grant training helped me to understand the hazardous chemical training. It also gives me a better image—that I am willing to do new things and learn new things."

- Technician,
Large Midwestern Hi-Tech Company

WEPs improve the capacity of employees to learn new skills and new ways of doing things. Employees speak of being able to "dive in" to other training because they are less afraid to try new things. One employee explained that she was able to participate in a three-day leadership training course that had a lot of team problem solving exercises requiring good communication and English skills-skills that she did not have before here WEP course. Other employees note that on-the-job training results are quicker—"People are learning in three months what used to take them six months!"

"The key thing about learning is that it gives you a comfort level that improves your ability to keep learning new things."

- Grinder Inspector,
Medium-sized Southern Foundry Casting Company

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Last updated: February 23, 2001 .