From education to employment

Why Digital Credentials Will Revolutionise Workforce Readiness 

The global workforce is on a transformative journey towards a skills-based economy, representing a monumental shift in navigating pathways from learning to work. As traditional employment models become less relevant, the focus shifts towards individual skills, continuous learning, adaptability, and technological proficiency.

Digital, verifiable credentials are emerging as the key in this workforce megatrend, validating individual skills and serving as a machine-readable, portable currency in the talent marketplace. As the workforce evolves, these credentials will be pivotal in powering a dynamic, skills-based economy.

Digital credentials are tamperproof assets containing machine-readable metadata to validate a person’s educational qualifications and proficiencies. If built to global W3C and Open Badges 3.0 standards they are fully interoperable, meaning they can seamlessly integrate into any existing system such as LMS or SMS systems, Apple & Google wallets, and uploaded to digital recruitment environments.

Learning Vault’s co-founder and CEO, Nicholas Robert Alderdice, explains the evolution from paper certificates to digital credentials, citing the practical limitations, environmental impact, and security issues of former methods.

Alderdice says:

“Historically, certification has been achieved through the issuance of paper certificates, and more recently via PDF/email. Both methods have proven to be cost prohibitive, environmentally unfriendly, insecure, unverifiable, and not fit for purpose in a digital and skills-based global economy,”

“We are big advocates for a more learner/worker-centred approach, empowering them with full agency and control over their skills data. Educating our future workforce with the skills to meet the demands of the job market is one thing. But we need to provide those learners with a more dynamic and secure method of skills verification to use and trade those skills in the job market”, continues Alderdice.

Traditional hiring practices often exclude qualified candidates who do not meet current criteria models, underscoring the need for a more accurate and inclusive approach. Digital credentials provide the solution, allowing individuals to control their skills data and provide detailed machine-readable information to match their qualifications to job criteria.

Lifelong learning has become essential as rapid technological advances and growing skills gaps drive the need for dynamic reskilling and upskilling. Educational institutions, corporations, and governments are exploring ways to create career pathways and mobility for their workforce, ensuring readiness for future roles.

Micro-credentials, which are targeted short courses, play a crucial role in this new landscape. When combined with digital credentials, rapid upskilling can be quickly implemented, accredited and deployed in the workforce. 

Recently NCFE, partnered with Learning Vault to issue verifiable digital credentials to its Endorsed Programmes students.

Michelle Storey, Accreditation Manager at NCFE, emphasised the need for a skills system to keep pace with industry changes.

“We need a more agile skills system that’s better suited to the pace of change in our economy, such as filling regional skills gaps and aligning to local skills improvement plans.”

“That’s why our Endorsed Programmes were the perfect place to start with digital credentials, as they allow colleges, training providers and employers to quickly adapt their curriculum and professional development offering to meet the demands of the regions and sectors they work within.” 

Alderdice concludes,

“With digital credentials as the core interoperable technology solution, the new skills economy will unlock a new era of seamless learning and employment, ensuring a thriving and adaptable workforce ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

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