Key Distinguisher #8: Competencies for Family-Sustaining Careers 

Work-based learning should focus on skill development for careers that employers and labor market data show to be in high demand. Opportunities geared toward younger students may prioritize the transferable skills that are required across occupations and industries and can serve as the foundation for future, more occupation-specific skill development. 

Features of Competencies for In-Demand Careers

  • Stakeholders ensure that work-based learning experiences allow young people to acquire skills valued in the workplace, and that opportunities are meaningful to the young person, employer, and/or community. 
  • Work-based learning experiences are designed to ensure that young people gain competencies that lay the foundation for future roles—including skills that are transferable across industries and/or those specific to a given occupation—and are connected to a young person’s interests and career exploration.
  • Young people and adults collaborate to set clear expectations and achievable goals for youth participating in the work-based learning experience.
  • Work-based learning opportunities contribute to young peoples’ personal, academic and professional development and offer youth opportunities to explore their passions, strengths, interests and deeper sense of self.