Dofasco Inc.'s Trade Assist Program: Multiskilling in the Modern Workplace (1998)

Steel company Dofasco, based in Hamilton, Ontario, created the Trade Assist Program to help employees learn the skills they need to maintain ever more technically sophisticated equipment.

By establishing the program, Dofasco acknowledged the importance of both upgrading employees’ technical skills, and investing in the employability skills of employees, who must constantly adapt to a rapidly changing workplace. Employees with strong generic skills find it easier to work with new technologies and are better equipped to accept new responsibilities.

The Trade Assist Program serves all trade employees, as well as some operations employees. It helps employees qualified in one trade to acquire the skills they need to perform routine tasks normally performed by employees qualified in another trade.

To develop the program, Dofasco deployed a task force of experienced tradespeople, technical training advisers, senior supervisors, and human resource professionals to identify the skill levels and describe the performance standards of tradespeople across a four-level scale. The task force produced more than 80 general and specific job profiles, defined in terms of performance standards for groups of tasks routinely performed in a given job.

To work toward a higher skill rating, tradespeople and their supervisors agree on the core and optional skills that would enhance their versatility on the job and lead to a pay increase. The supervisor then arranges for the employee to practise skills under the guidance of a mentor.

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2013-10-17
APA citation
Michael R. Bloom, Kurtis Kitagawa and Penny Brady. Dofasco Inc.'s Trade Assist Program: Multiskilling in the Modern Workplace 1998. Web. 11 Aug. 2022 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/cboc/employability_skills/dofasco_incs_trade/dofasco_incs_trade.pdf>
Michael R. Bloom, Kurtis Kitagawa & Penny Brady (1998). Dofasco Inc.'s Trade Assist Program: Multiskilling in the Modern Workplace. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/cboc/employability_skills/dofasco_incs_trade/dofasco_incs_trade.pdf
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