Technology/Skills Learning hub rebrands as Set7

·2 min read

NORTH PERTH – The Technology and Skills Learning hub has a new, shorter name.

At the July 19 community involvement meeting, the Municipality of North Perth officially announced that the burgeoning learning hub will be called Set7 going forward, in reference to the seven ‘21st century’ skills.

North Perth Mayor Todd Kasenberg introduced the meeting, saying these skills may be disputed from person to person, industry to industry; but regardless they are skills that are necessary to be successful in Canada. The seven skills he listed are:

Critical thinking/ problem solving;

Innovation, creativity, and adaptability;

Growth mindset/ resilience;

Learning to learn/ self awareness and self-directed learning;

Collaboration;

Communication;

And global citizenship.

Catherine Oosterbaan of Oosterbaan Strategy is consulting the municipality. She led the discussion, which invited employers, employees, and perspective employees to weigh in on the needs they’ve noticed in the community.

Oosterbaan posed questions to the group, asking about their experiences with the labour market, what ways they think a learning hub could benefit recruitment and retention, the most important skills needed, what shortfalls are associated with those skills, and what are some solutions.

A key skill that was discussed by the group, which was mainly employers, was work ethic – something that is hard to teach, they pointed out. One of the possible solutions suggested was a mentorship program.

After the meeting, Kasenberg said he was pleased with the community involvement. He was also pleased to hear a mentorship program would be well received by the community.

A lot of what was discussed and suggested “validated working assumptions.”

He also noted that transportation in and around the municipality was an issue that concerned him. Set7 is meant to benefit the community in a 50km radius, stretching into multiple counties and municipalities.

While it could be remote, accessibility is a key issue. He said the hardest message was hearing that work ethic was one of the biggest issues employers have with their employees.

Some of the suggestions dipped into secondary and even elementary school, something which gets tricky given the jurisdictional boundaries – Kasenberg said that if they really wanted to make a big difference they should be speaking and teaching children about trades in grades five or six – but that responsibility lies with the province.

Set7 has a number of preliminary classes including: forklift, blueprint-reading, working at heights, lockout tag-out, working in confined spaces, home childcare, PSW, communications, mental health in the workplace, mental health on the farm, supervisor life (one day), supervisor (three day), farm safety, problem solving, conflict resolution, self-confidence building, leadership building, accounting/bookkeeping, computer software, and workplace soft skills.

The skills mainly focused on during the presentation were soft skill deficits and these were skills that Set7 would think to address. Questions, concerns, or interest can be directed to set7@northperth.ca.

Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner

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