Foundation skills – your questions answered

Foundation skills – your questions answered

September 2018 was another good month for conferences – I attended (and presented at) Velg Training‘s National VET Conference (#2018NVC).   This year I was lucky enough to work with not one, but three experts in the area of foundation skills.  I have come to realise that the key to getting better at doing something is to spend time with people are really good at it.  And that’s what I did!

I worked with:

  • Ann Leske – foundation skill support specialist
  • David Tout – numeracy specialist with a first-hand global perspective on how Australia fares with foundation skills and member of the Education Industry Reference Committee
  • Ruth Walker – educator, researcher and expert in auditing and compliance.

Together we held a foundation skill panel discussion on day 2 of #2018NVC.  In our panel session we answered attendees’ questions about foundation skills.

Missed our #2018NVC session?

Read this LinkedIn article to learn the key ideas and insights each of us shared.

Unsure what foundation skills are?

Foundation skills are most easily described as, the skills people need to ‘do the job’.  For example, an aged care worker must be able to administer routine medication.  This is one aspect of their job.  To ‘do this job’ they must have:

  • Numeracy skills to measure accurate amounts of medication and identify the right time to administer it
  • The ability to connect and work with the patient so the patient is relaxed and feels at ease when the medication is administered.

Foundation skills fall into two broad categories:

  1. Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)-related foundation skills.
    In Australia, LLN skills are organised into five core skills – learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy.  The Australian Core Skills Framework describes the five core skills that relate to LLN.
  2. Other core skills needed for work
    In Australia, the Core Skills for Work Framework identifies 10 such core skills, organised into three categories:  1) Navigate the world of work, 2) Interact with others, and 3) Get the work done.

The graphic below shows all 15 foundation skills: