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Building Employment Readiness: Addressing the Soft Skills Gap

  • 16 Oct 2014
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (MST)
  • Red Deer College, RM 2901B, Red Deer, AB
  • 31


Registration is closed

Building Employment Readiness: Addressing the Soft Skills Gap

Valerie Ward - President & CEO at Valerie G. Ward Consulting Ltd., Co-developer & Owner of Employment Readiness Scale


Topic & Session Description:

The employment readiness needs and outcomes of over 130,000 Canadians reveal important gaps in the critical soft skills required for work life success. Valerie Ward, Co-Developer and owner of the Employment Readiness Scale, is coming to Alberta to share the ERS tool and importance of weaving soft skills development into employment services and career development planning. Increasing the likelihood that clients will get help with soft skills can improve their job acquisition rate, as well as their job performance and retention once hired. Soft skills are an integral part of today's competitive workforce and evolving labour needs. Join us in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary in October and take part in this professional development and networking opportunity!

Valerie Ward Bio

Valerie G. Ward, M.A., is a career development specialist with over 30 years’ experience in developing programs, learning resources, partnerships, and strategies to meet the career development and labour market adjustment needs of service providers and their clients.  She has designed curricula and trained trainers across Canada, as well as hundreds of employment counselors, supervisors and other staff involved in facilitating employment transitions.  She served as a member of the Canadian Steering Committee developing standards and guidelines for career development practitioners and co-developed the Code of Ethics.  She previously worked as a senior consultant for both the federal government and the Canadian Career Development Foundation.  She is the co-developer and owner of the Employment Readiness Scale™ (ERS) ( and heads Valerie G. Ward Consulting Ltd. near Vancouver, BC.


 8:00 - 9:00 Registration and coffee
 9:00 - 10:15
  •  Introductions
  • Presentation of the employment readiness model & demonstration of the Employment Readiness Scale (ERS)
  • ERS findings; employment readiness needs and outcomes of over 130,000 Canadian clients
 10:15 - 10:30
 10:30 - 12:00
  •  Emerging Labour market trends and needs; how soft skills relate to changing work requirements
  • The soft skills gap and why it's important for practitioners to strengthen these to effectively prepare clients for employment
12:00 - 1:00
 1:00 - 3:00
  •  Ways of building soft skills: (1) as components of formal programs (e.g., career exploration, skill training and/or job search programs) as well as (2) informally weaving these skills into every day sessions with clients through one-on-one and/or group interventions
  • Brainstorm and practice strategies using client examples
  • Moving forward - Q & A
 3:00 - 4:00
 Networking and Social


Room 2901B

Red Deer College

100 College Blvd.


EARLY, Early Bird - CDAA Members ONLY $50.00 - Ends September 7th

Early Bird - Member $75.00 - Ends September 15th

Early Bird - Non-Member $100.00 - Ends September 15th

Member $115.00 - Ends October 10th

Non-Member $145.00 - Ends October 10th

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Career Development Association of Alberta | Box 35019 Midtown PO | 10818 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton AB T5J 0B7 |
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