Common Employability Skills for the Energy Industry

Tools for Educators and Employers to Train and Assess Core Skills

The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) undertook a project to enable CEWD to understand how educators are preparing the pipeline of future energy workers with employability skills and how utility employers use employability skills in screening and hiring.

This project introduced a small team of employers to the Common Employability Skills (CES) concepts and analyzed the current and desired state for CES in the career pathway process. The review included the specific tools used by the employers to communicate employability skill requirements to potential applicants and to screen candidates during the recruiting and hiring process. Most frequently, the employers used the job postings to signal requirements and behavioral interviewing to assess a candidate’s competency in these areas, but there was general agreement that these methods were not providing the needed results.

During this project, CEWD explored how employability skills are taught and assessed by employers and educators, including some of the commonly used assessments, and analyzed which skills are cognitive vs. non-cognitive, where gaps exist, and how educators and employers can close these gaps. Using an educator advisory group to provide feedback on the applicability of the CES, CEWD analyzed how well these skills were incorporated into the education system. CEWD also determined ways in which educators, who partner with the energy industry, can imbed the CES into their existing curriculum and build awareness of the CES among students.

As part of the project, CEWD created an energy industry focused version of the Common Employability Skills that includes the National Network framework as well as six specific energy employability skills – Engineering, Ethics, Following Directions, Reputation, Ability to Learn, and Self-Development.