Careers / Work Force Development

What is Workforce Development?

Workforce development” is an essential component of community economic development in any economic climate, and certainly even more critical during the financial crises we’re experiencing today. Generally speaking, the term has come to describe a relatively wide range of activities, policies and programs employed by geographies to create, sustain and retain a viable workforce that can support current and future business and industry. Beyond this general understanding, it is difficult to gain a consensus as to the definition of workforce development, perhaps because each user of the term approaches it from a different perspective.

Educational institutions and public and private social service providers, for example, approach workforce development and develop programs from the perspective of the sustainable economic security of the individual. Communities and economic developers, on the other hand, approach workforce development from a different view—that which benefits the sustainable economic growth of a community or region. Still another group—employers—approach workforce development from anorganizational perspective, focusing on the skills their business or industry needs to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

“Workforce development is the coordination of public and private-sector policies and programs that provides individuals with the opportunity for a sustainable livelihood and helps themselves and organizations achieve exemplary goals, consistent with the societal context.

Following are sample descriptions and activities of workforce development programs from each of the above perspectives, as well as a brief discussion of what perspective the Fed generally takes on workforce development and how the Eighth District community development team approaches the challenge.

An individual-focused model centers on training and education

The premise behind “individual centric” workforce development programs is that individuals will not be able to make substantive contributions to their respective societies without access to training and education. Organizations serving individuals recognize that in most instances meeting the basic needs of an individual through social safety nets is a necessary component to sustainable economic security. Therefore, workforce development from this perspective is defined as a combination of social services, community supports, job training and education that positions an individual for success in the workforce.

The goal of the societal perspective is future economic stability and growth

Workforce development from the societal centric perspective is defined as initiatives that educate and train individuals to meet the needs of current and future business and industry in order to maintain a sustainable competitive economic environment. Whereas the previous example was driven by the needs of individuals, the initiatives in the societal perspective are driven by the economic development plan for an entire region or state.

Researchers for the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems argued that policymakers need to pay greater attention to the role of education—especially postsecondary education—in meeting the country workforce and economic development goals. Using an array of data, the report highlighted the ways in which the country's stock of human capital is depleted and replenished through education, migration and the aging of the workforce.

Postsecondary education is indeed an important part of the formula; however, all regions and communities are realizing that postsecondary education does not just come with a set of letters attached, but encompasses a wide range of job training and educational offerings in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths education as both an economic development strategy and an effort to raise median household income.

From the organizational perspective, skills training is key to staying globally competitive

Workforce development from the organizational centric perspective is defined as training programs that provide existing and potential workers with the skills to complete tasks needed by employers to let the organizations stay competitive in a global marketplace. Interestingly, while these initiatives in the past have focused on the needs of individual organizations, today sector strategies target a specific industry or cluster of occupations, working to develop a deep understanding of economic dynamics and the specific competitive situation and workforce needs of the industry’s employers within the region. 


Understanding the value of a comprehensive approach

While the perspectives of participants in workforce development initiatives might vary, it’s important to note that the core objective—economic growth—remains ultimately quite compatible. First prompted by the federal Workforce Investment Act in the  regions and local governments have now come to the understanding that no one perspective is right or wrong. They understand that an ideal comprehensive strategy removes silos and creates synergies across the varied workforce development initiatives while still meeting individual, organizational and societal needs.

A comprehensive approach to workforce development means substantial employer engagement, deep community connections, career advancement, human service supports, industry-driven education and training, and the connective tissue of networks. Building on the lessons learned from past efforts, the new workforce paradigm contains an array of job strategies, including sector and place-based employment strategies, adult education, and short- and long-term training programs that are customized to different employer and jobseeker groups.

Reconciling different sets of goals across many perspectives, including individual, organizational and societal, will become the defining feature of an integrated workforce development strategy.Some 

Some important everyday skills that are in demand now are stated below.

  1. Tiling
  2. Kitchen Fitting
  3. Carpentry
  4. Plumbing
  5. Bricklaying
  6. Plastering
  7. Electrical Installation
  8. Painting & Decorating

Many of these professional skills takes very short time to complete the training and get a certificate of completion in the following areas that will enable the individuals to get into the workforce and an immeiate impact in the society. These Professional workforce development skills or subjects can be covered in 5 day training periods (Mon-Fri) or over 2 weekends with any training center and graduate with a certificate of completion of traing that will enable the individuals to work.

This is what you will learn in your certification workforce development skills.


  • Setting out your tiling work
  • Explaining all the different adhesives used for different surfaces
  • Demonstrating all the tools required
  • Cutting tiles using wet tile cutters, dry tile cutters, tile scribes, tile snips and tile saws
  • Explaining tiling involving Borders, Diamonds and Patterns
  • How to cut around windows and reveals
  • How to cope with tiling difficult areas such as uneven walls
  • How to tile angled ceilings and socket areas
  • How to tile splash-backs
  • How to tile around boxed in pipes

Kitchen Fitting

  • Selecting the right units for a kitchen, reading manufacturers scale drawing and the planning of a basic kitchen layout
  • Marking, Setting out and levelling of units to a datum line
  • Assembling and Fixing base and wall units
  • Practice scribing then cutting of a 45 90 degree masons mitres using a work top jig and router
  • Cutting inserts for sink and hobs in worktops
  • Hanging doors and templates for fitting of door furniture
  • Marking, cutting and fixing of cornice pelmet and plinth
  • You will also cover health and safety along with the requirement for Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE), and the building regulations applicable to kitchen fitting in respect of electrics and water.


  • Use hand tools such as chisels, planes etc.
  • Cut basic joints
  • Cut and fit dado rails, architraves, skirtings and doorstops
  • Erect a stud-wall
  • Fit a door lining/frame
  • Hang a door
  • Fit a Lock


  • Practical health and safety
  • Plumbing systems and fittings
  • Soldering techniques
  • Jointing, bending and pressure testing copper tube
  • Plumbing pipe work
  • Copper pipe work skills
  • Valves, taps, cisterns, and cylinders
  • Plastic Tube installation
  • Plumbing systems
  • Domestic plumbing systems
  • Bathroom installation
  • Soil and waste pipes
  • Installing Radiators
  • Fault Finding


  • Set out building lines
  • Brick and block work
  • Ensure your walls are square and vertical
  • Build a corner, a pillar, a pier and a  cavity wall.
  • Bricklaying bonds eg: English Bond, Flemish Bond and Stretcher Bond
  • Pointing for face work
  • Put in a damp course
  • Put in lintels and windows


  • To cut and fix plaster board to walls and ceilings
  • To tape standard and internal joints
  • To cut and fix angle beads around windows and reveals
  • To prepare surfaces before plastering using bonding plaster and finishing plaster, ensuring a flat finished surface ready for decorating
  • To mix plastering materials
  • To skim walls
  • To skim ceilings
  • To apply PVA adhesive Unibond to existing surfaces

Electrical Installation

  • Applicable Building Regulations
  • Electrical Safety legislation, regulations standards and terminology
  • Safe isolation procedures
  • Identification of unsafe electrical situations
  • Earthing and bonding requirements
  • Electrical test procedures
  • Cable and component selection
  • Installation and replacement of electrical components
  • Checking the correct and safe operation of installed electrical components
  • Recording of electrical test results and completion of certification
  • Installing and/or rerouting cables
  • Special Locations
  • New circuit requirements
  • Lighting installations
  • Maintenance
  • Supplies

Painting & Decorating

  • Health and Safety, PPE and safe working practices
  • Correct use of tools and equipment used in this trade
  • Preparation of new and old surfaces ready for painting
  • Repairing imperfections in walls and wood ready for painting
  • Application of water based products such as primers, undercoats, emulsion and eggshell using  brushes and rollers
  • Application of oil based products
  • Cutting around obstructions, openings, fittings such as radiators, windows, sockets and switches
  • How to use a roller effectively
  • Cutting, pasting and hanging wallpaper

Carpentry course you will learn how to:

  • Use hand tools such as chisels, planes etc.
  • Cut basic joints
  • Cut and fit dado rails, architraves, skirtings and doorstops
  • Fit a door lining/frame
  • Hang a door
  • Fit a Lock
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