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Workplace Digital Essential Skills for Rural Small and Medium Size Businesses Pilot Project

Workplace Digital Essential Skills for Rural Small and Medium Size Businesses Pilot Project. Advisory Committee Meeting No. 3 Campbellton , NB, June 6, 2013. Outline. Basic Definitions Pre-ONA Pre-ONA Results. Basic Definitions. Eligible participants (employees) Targeted sectors

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Workplace Digital Essential Skills for Rural Small and Medium Size Businesses Pilot Project

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  1. Workplace Digital Essential Skills for Rural Small and Medium Size Businesses Pilot Project

    Advisory Committee Meeting No. 3Campbellton, NB, June 6, 2013
  2. Outline Basic Definitions Pre-ONA Pre-ONA Results
  3. Basic Definitions Eligible participants (employees) Targeted sectors Targeted occupations Digital tasks
  4. Eligible participants Eligible participants are employees who have: less than a high school diploma OR who have an education credential acquired before 2004 (out of school since 2003 or pior) Eligible employees are also those who require basic digital skills to perform in the workplace use/need basic and generic digital tools (e.g., searching on the Web and sending emails) to perform job-related tasks
  5. Targeted Sectors Participating organizations should be in broad sectors that we would expect to see in rural areas and where there are concentrations of lower-skilled workers This widens the applicability of the training and assessment products developed in this pilot project Chosen sectors: Manufacturing Services
  6. Targeted Occupations Goal: to identify a small number of occupational groups and detailed occupations with lower levels of skills Selected occupational groups: Administrative (all sectors): general office, administrative, accounting, purchasing, and production clerks Production (manufacturing sector): machine operators, assemblers, inspectors, material handlers, labourers, cleaners Operations (service sector): cleaners, housekeepers, cooks, material handlers, labourers, patient service associates Client service (all sectors): customer service clerks, receptionists, client service assistance, sales associates
  7. Pre-ONA Objectives Administration Content
  8. Objectives of Pre-ONA Organizational Needs Assessment (ONA) is the first step in the identification of a business’s training needs Captures: contextual information, recent organizational performanceand role of skills gap, specific skill needs Decision: develop and implement an online pre-ONA survey with a subset of the firms recruited for this project Purposes: Capture basic contextual information and ICT use of the business that could contribute to the training Pre-test the ONA instrument that would form part of the online digital training product when fully implemented Confirm eligibility of organizations and applicability of occupations and digital tasks for rural small businesses
  9. Design and Administration of the Pre-ONA Survey Developed a survey questionnaire to capture information to meet the stated objectives Drafted in English in Word, translated, and programmed for the FluidSurvey platform Developed and translated survey invitation Six recruited businesses invited to participate in the pre-ONA, signed consent agreement Period in field: May 16-24, 2013 Average length: 40minutes
  10. Content: Information Collected in the Pre-ONA Sector Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) used in workplace and level of ICT use Degree of negative impact of lack of digital essential skills on organizational performance Presence of targeted occupations in workplace and number of participants who would attend basic digital skills training in each occupational group Presence of targeted digital tasks in each occupational group in the workplace and need for digital skills training in each Profile of eligibletraining participants Whether or not there would be additional (ineligible) employees who would participate (profit from basic digital skills training)
  11. Pre-ONA Results: Sector Services and other: 4 Retail (hardware store) Social services (eldercare provider) Wholesale (building supplies supplier) Utilities (gas co-operative) Manufacturing: 2 Food manufacturing Plastic products
  12. Pre-ONA Results:Information and Communications Technologies
  13. Information & Communications Technologies (ICT) Used in Workplace Purpose: to determine what ICTs that participating organizations use in the workplace Pervasive use of most ICTs, of note is the low use of tablets (n+2) the preferred method for taking the training Results (n=6) Hardware: desktop computers (6), laptops/notebooks (5), smart phones (4), tablets (2), inventory scanner (1) Software: E-mail (5), wordprocessing (4), spreadsheet (4), Web browser (3), digital agenda (2), text messaging (3), database (1), point of sale (1) Networks: Ethernet LAN (4), WiFi LAN (4), Internet (3), owncompany Intranet (2), cloud network (1) Integrated management software: zero
  14. Level of ICT Use in Workplace All businesses are at the low to medium level of ICT use in the workplace Results: Low: used very little or not at all: 3 Medium: used in some operations: 3 High: used in all applications and operations: 0
  15. Pre-ONA Results:Organizational Performance
  16. Organizational Performance Over Last Year Purpose: for context, to determine if/where a lack of digital skills is having a negative impact (a need for digital training) Businesses doing fairly well in most areas over the last 12 months Exceptions: performance tended to be lower (>= 60% reported < 4 on 10-point scale) in the following areas: Staff development/training Employee turnover Job satisfaction/morale Errors on the job
  17. Impact of Lack of Digital Skills on Performance Need for digital skills training established: lack of digital skills negatively affecting performance in several areas in several organizations More than ½ the organizations reported large negative impact (8 or higher on 10-point scale) on the following areas (n=6) : Capacity for change (6) Productivity (5) Internal communications (5) Staff development/training (5) Customer/supplier relations (4) Workplace safety (4)
  18. Percentage of organizations reporting lack of basic digital skills is having a significantly (8 or higher on 10-point scale) negative effect on performance (n=6)
  19. Pre-ONA Results:Occupations
  20. Presence of Occupational Groups As noted, 4 occupational groups were identified to cover the occupations of eligible employees in rural small/medium-sized organizations Results confirm choices of occupational groups for the most part: most or all organizations have employees in the groupsNo. of organizations with employees in the group (out of the number that were asked the question): Administrative: 6 of 6 organizations Production: 2 of 2 organizations Operations: 3 of 4 organizations Client service: 3 of 6 organizations
  21. Training Participants by Occupational Groups 104 eligible employees would participate in basic digital skills from the 6 organizations participating in the pre-ONA Participation is higher in production and operations occupations than in administrative and client service No. of eligible participants (in named + “other” (un-named) occupations): Administrative: 16 + 3 employees (3 of 6 orgs) Production: 32 + 1 employees (2 of 2 orgs) Operations: 39 + 1 employees (3 of 3 orgs) Client service: 12 employees (1 of 3 orgs)
  22. No. of eligible employees who would participate in basic digital skills training
  23. No. of organizations and participating employees by occupational group
  24. Training Participation in Detailed Occupations Detailed occupations within each occupational group identified with low-skill requirements Results confirm detailed occupations, for the most part Exceptions: low expected participation (2 or less employees) in basic digital skills training in following occupations: Administrative: production clerks Production: material handlers Operations: cleaners/janitors, labourers Client service: customer service clerks, receptionists, client service assistants
  25. Pre-ONA Results:Digital Tasks in Workplace
  26. Presence of Digital Tasks As noted, 8 common digital tasks were identified and contextualized to each of the occupational groups to cover employees in rural small/medium-size organizations and targeted by the training in this project Pre-ONA results confirm presence of digital tasks in organizations participating in the pre-ONA Most digital tasks are performed fairly frequently (weekly or daily) in most occupational groups Only one exception: low (25%) incidence in performing online transactions in operations occupations
  27. Need for Basic Training to Perform Digital Tasks A need for basic digital skills training was reported by a majority of employers to address the challenge of ICT and perform most tasks in most occupational areas Low incidence of need for basic digital training (< ½ of organizations report need) in the following tasks and occupations: Administrative (3 orgs): using digital calendars Operations (3 orgs): completing online forms, performing online transactions, using calendar Client service (1 org): completing online forms, performing online commercial transactions, seeking and selecting online information, using an electronic calendar
  28. Percentage reporting employees would participate in basic digital skills training, by task & occupation (<50% in red)
  29. Pre-ONA Results:Profile of Eligible Participants Education: 1/3 have no high school diploma, 2/3 have a high school diploma acquired before 2004 Tenure: about 40% have been in the occupation and/or organization for 3 years or less Potential risk of losing participants before completing training or before having enough time to observe effects post-training Gender: mainly male: about ¼ are female Age: mainly middle-age to older: less than 10% are 25 years or younger and over half are 45 years or older
  30. Pre-ONA Results: Ineligible Potential Participants Employers asked if any ineligible employees would need basic digital skills training Ineligible if employee has a high school diploma or higher received since 2003 Employers reported an additional 61 ineligible employees who need the training 10 in administrative occupations 1 in production occupations 42 in operations occupations 8 in client service occupations
  31. Next Steps - SRDC Receipt of detailed training/production plan from SOFAD: July 10 Development of employee skills assessment content: July-August Provision of skills assessment material to SOFAD: September 6
  32. Contact Information Norm Leckie: 613-789-9656, nleckie@SRDC.org Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC): http://www.srdc.org/ Over 20 years of experience gathering and analyzing evidence on social policy and other areas in Canada Mission: to help policy-makers and practitioners identify policies and programs that improve the well-being of Canadians, with a special concern for the effects on the disadvantaged, and to raise the standards of evidence that are used in assessing policies.
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