Collection: Learning Materials
This video is one of a number recorded during an Essential Skills in the Workplace learning event, funded by the Government of New Brunswick and held in Moncton in April 2012. It focuses on a presentation by two members of the Saint John Workplace Essential Skills (WES) team, which is part of the Community Adult Learning Services Branch of New Brunswick’s Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.
They had been called in to help a group of six pipefitters who had all repeatedly failed the Red Seal exam, which is a national certification program that allows qualified tradespeople to practise in any province or territory. Each had 10 or more years experience in the trade and all were highly respected by employers and colleagues, but, if they didn’t pass the exam, they would lose their trade certification.
At first, the WES team focused on the skills of reading text, numeracy, and document use. However, they soon discovered that the pipefitters were already highly proficient in those skills.
The team realized that their most pressing task was to teach these men how to learn and, in the process, help them understand the importance of continuous learning. The team trainer spent a week talking with them about how memory works; learning strategies; test anxiety; and test-taking strategies. Then the men moved on to five weeks of upgrading.
At the end of the five weeks, all six passed the Red Seal exam with marks of at least 80 percent and, in one case, more than 90 percent.