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Ontario to test skills micro-certification with pilot program

DCN-JOC News Services
Ontario to test skills micro-certification with pilot program

TORONTO — The government of Ontario has announced that its agency eCampusOntario is launching a pilot project to test a micro-certification strategy that would speed up skills training.

Micro-certification is a new model that uses short, focused credentials to verify mastery of a skill or competency, explained a Feb. 4 release. Micro-certification is designed to target high-demand skills, leading to faster hiring.

The process offers a digital credential, which is the official certification of the acquisition of an individual’s skills or capabilities. It is awarded in a digital form, which is verified, secure and shareable with peers, employers and educational providers, explained the eCampus website.

The agency is running 14 pilot projects in such work sectors as warehousing and logistics; data fluency for freight and parcel delivery workers; Internet of Things and modern web design; safe patient transfer and injury prevention for health care workers; forest practitioners in the understanding of Indigenous rights; workplace inclusion; and hospital information systems.

Progressive Contractors Association Ontario vice-president Karen Renkema said in a recent interview with the Daily Commercial News that micro-credentialling could also work in the construction sector to address labourforce shortages, with workers trained in specific skills and acquiring micro-credentials as part of a “building block” approach to building needed skills sets in the sector.

“Micro-credentials are an important part of preparing our students and workers to be successful in their careers,” said Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano in the release. “Whether developing new or building on existing skills and competencies, these certifications support life-long learning and allow our workforce to remain up to date and responsive to the needs of local labour markets.”

eCampusOntario will host a 2020 Micro-Certification Forum on Feb. 21, with 200 employers and academic leaders from across North America invited to discuss micro-certification success stories.

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