Everyone Needs a Verifiable Way of Tracking Their Skills: Enter the Skills Playbook©

What's needed is a systematic way to verify, record and track the skills people need to succeed throughout their lives

Greg Twemlow, Founder, Skills Playbook

Greg Twemlow, CEO of Keystone Management Group, is creating a Skills Playbook based on Ethereum to help employees (full-time and freelance) and all employers to match their needs based on verifiable skills.

In a world where technology is constantly shifting the employment landscape, it will be more important than ever to develop relevant skills and prove you have the right skills for the career you wish to pursue. How successful someone is in life largely depends on how well they master key skills and how much expertise they accumulate throughout their school and working lives.

There is currently no systematic and transparent way to verify a person's skills and enormous amounts of time and cost are expended on due diligence to validate that what people claim on their resumes and job applications is in fact true.

Greg Twemlow, CEO, Skills Playbook

One would think by now that there would be a systematic way to verify, record and track the skills people need to succeed throughout their lives. Yet, there is currently no way to do this and enormous amounts of time and cost are expended on due diligence to validate that what people claim on their resumes and job applications is in fact true.

The Problem

Organizations require their employees and contractors to have specific skills, yet there is no reliable and transparent way to ascertain whether a person actually has the skills listed on their resume or if those skills are developed to the required standard. Organizations have to take an applicant’s skills profile at face value or spend time and dollars performing due diligence. Businesses can spend the time and effort calling their references and talking to former employers, but they frankly can’t trust those sources any more than they can trust a potential new hire to honestly state their skills.

Every year, high schools and universities around the world pump out graduates with minimal or perhaps no business-ready skills that can be applied immediately. The United Nations, as part of its Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, says the organization wants to “substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.” Even if these new graduates do learn usable skills, there is no way to track and verify that the skills are present and are actually applied.

In addition to new graduates, millions of people will have to start upgrading their skills and looking for new jobs as technological advances render their current positions redundant. In its report Toward a Reskilling Revolution: A future of jobs for all, the World Economic Forum says that the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States predicts that “over the period up to 2026, the U.S. labor market will see a structural employment decline of 1.4 million redundant jobs, against structural employment growth of 12.4 million new jobs.”

This means millions of people in the U.S. alone will need to learn new skills so they can successfully transfer into new positions. The World Economic Forum has developed what it calls a data-driven approach to helping employees transition into new roles. It uses data to identify the positions employees in a given industry would be able to transition to easily. (For example, assembly line workers have skills that would make for an easier transition to construction laborers.) While no doubt helpful, as with new graduates, there is no way to track or verify when new skills are learned by these transitioning employees.

It’s not only skills for future jobs that employees need to learn, it’s actually skills to do their current jobs that are also in high demand.

“In a recent survey of OECD countries,” the World Economic Forum’s report says, “more than one in four adults reported a mismatch between their current skill sets and the qualifications required to do their jobs.”

It’s astounding to think that over a quarter of employees in an economy as large as the U.S. feel that they aren’t adequately skilled for their jobs. Countless articles espouse the benefits of learning new skills on the job, such as the recent Forbes article: “If Your Employees Aren’t Learning, You’re Not Leading,” which talks about the positive relationship between developing new competencies and job satisfaction.

Once again, while we see in this article that developing new skills is essential for employee engagement and career advancement, the one thing that’s missing is the tracking and verification process of these newly acquired skills.

Whether they’re coming out of school or switching to a new job or learning at their current job, there simply isn’t a way to guarantee a person has learned a given skill.

Enter the Skills Playbook.

A Technology Solution - The Skills Playbook based on Ethereum

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference. These apps run on a custom-built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property.

The Ethereum project was bootstrapped via an Ether (ETH) presale in August 2014 by fans all around the world. It is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit, with contributions from great minds across the globe.

Ethereum is basically a secure, transparent, digital ledger. The most important aspects of Ethereum are that no one can change a past event in the ledger, making it impossible to cheat, and the fact that there is no one centralized regulatory body to oversee Ethereum, meaning it operates free of interference or corruption from vested interests.

With Ethereum being able to provide a secure and open ledger, it’s the perfect solution to the problem of skills tracking and verification for literally everyone.

In the near future, the Skills Playbook will describe an open standard that uses Ethereum to record the various skills a person develops throughout their entire life so that any current or future employer can check the digital ledger and know if the person they are thinking of hiring has the verified skills required for the position and if not then what the skills gap is.

The Skills Playbook built on Ethereum is also the perfect model to provide a cryptocurrency token that rewards all the contributors and incentivizes participants to maintain the data to a very high level of quality. 

How the Skills Playbook Works

Individual Skills Playbooks (which is to say, individual digital ledgers for each person) are part of a network where schools and organizations register for Skills Playbook certification, similar to an ISO9001 process. Individual registrants will receive a Skills Playbook profile and an Ethereum ledger is created and assigned for that profile.

Whenever a student or employee develops a skill and demonstrates the core competency with that skill, they have a new block added to their Skills Playbook records by a certified school or employer. Any future employer who wants to be sure that person has the requisite skills for a specific position can check the applicant’s Skills Playbook to verify they’ve been certified for that skill by a certified skills assessor.


The Skills Playbook will help recent graduates to show employers they have skills that could immediately benefit companies. What we all need is a set of basic work skills that form the core competencies of all jobs and the Skills Playbook. These could be either taught in schools or in entry-level positions in companies.

These core competencies are those identified as being the hallmarks of high performers and include:

●      Self-Management

●      Effective Communication

●      Problem Solving

●      Computing & Usage of Internet Resources

●      Business Report Preparation

●      Basic Workplace Safety

●      Presentation Skills

●      Basic Customer Service

●      Adhering to Deadlines

●      Basic Sales

From there, the Skills Playbook branches off into different industries, which will have the necessary skills for each job within an industry. The skills registered on Skills Playbook will encompass different levels, ranging from beginner to expert. As people move from school to the workforce or from one job to a new job, their Skills Playbook can follow them, acting as a record of what they’ve learned and gained experience in, as certified by their school or employer.

Coupled with their LinkedIn profile or their resume, a person’s Skills Playbook will give employers an accurate, trustworthy account of a person’s education and, more importantly, the skills they have developed and therefore their suitability for the vacancy or project.

It’s high time the world of recruiting moved to a transparent model so employers can fill vacancies with confidence, students can get a head start in the tough job market and employees who are transitioning to a new career can have an easier time of sliding into their new positions. The Skills Playbook is a perpetual and immutable record that ensures total transparency and instant validation to match skills to jobs.

The Skills Playbook© is a copyright of Greg Twemlow. Connect with Greg on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregtwemlow/.

Source: Skills Playbook