By WGU Team
The nature of employment is changing rapidly. Employers, educators, and technology leaders are turning to skills-based learning and hiring to improve transparency, reduce bias, and increase equity in the talent marketplace. The recent Open Skills Network (OSN) Skills Summit examined the policy work needed to support a skill-based hiring and learning landscape.
Policy development and experimentation—with input from members of the economic ecosystem it affects—is necessary to coordinate efforts across the local, regional, state, and federal levels. OSN seeks to lay the data-based digital foundation needed to facilitate the shift to a skills-based future. But it’s necessary for industry, corporate organizations, educational institutions, and government come together and communicate effectively in order to meet the needs of learner-workers as well as their employers and communities.
Policy work is currently underway on both the federal and state levels.
- Last year, an Executive Order was issued that sought to reassess the educational requirements and hiring practices for federal jobs.
- The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology is examining how to build a more equitable economy by recognizing skills-based practices that are worthy of investment.
- Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, the newly elected Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), is focusing on state-based skill development and training, with emphasis on moving towards skill-based hiring. To that end the NGA announced an expansion of the Workforce Innovation Network, of which Western Governors University is a member.
- The U.S. Congress has seen movement on two bills addressing skills, the Skills Renewal Act and the Skills Investment Act, both of which could lessen the financial burden of upskilling and re-skilling.
As policy work continues, the OSN seeks to create a space where different parties can dialog and collaborate to create a shared skill language; to design portable, interoperable records of skills, learning, and work; and to develop different approaches and best practices as we move toward a skills-based future.