Starting Somewhere, Sharing Everywhere.

Essential Skill 1:  Reading Text  

Reading sentences or paragraphs. For example: notes, letters, emails, magazines, manuals, regulations, books, reports, product labels, legal agreements. Includes words on paper and words on a screen.

Essential Skill 2:  Document Use

Understanding visual images such as graphs, lists, tables, drawings, symbols, signs, maps, labels, forms, x-rays. The visual display or arrangement gives meaning to the content.

Essential Skill 3:  Numeracy  

Using numbers and being able to think in terms of “amounts”. For example: Money math, Scheduling or budgeting/accounting, Measurement/calculation, Data analysis, and Estimation may require solving problems by using numbers.

Essential Skill 4:  Writing   

Writing words to share ideas. For example: Writing notes, emails, letters, reports, orders, logbook entries, text messages. Includes “pen and paper” writing and keyboarding.

Essential Skill 5:  Oral Communication

Speaking and listening to share thoughts or information. For example: greeting, telling stories, giving advice, sharing ideas, facilitating, coordinating tasks, explaining, discussing. Can be face-to-face, or using technology.

Essential Skill 6:  Working With Others

Interacting with family, friends, community members, students and co-workers to accomplish tasks together.

Essential Skill 7:  Thinking Skills

Using your brain to: Solve problems, Make decisions, Think critically, Plan and organize tasks, Remember and Find information


Essential Skill 8:  Digital Technology

Using technology. For example: computers, cell phones, GPs, digital cameras, iPods, and MP3s, gaming devices, computerized cash registers, Blackberries, iPhones. Includes using the Internet and email.

Essential Skill 9:  Continuous Learning

Gaining skills and knowledge throughout life. Includes: Learning how to learn, Understanding your learning style, Knowing how to find resources and learning opportunities.

The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills Summer 2014 Bulletin

The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) is a centre of expertise with a workplace focus, building awareness and capacity in “what works” in order to improve the literacy and essential skills of adult Canadians.

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, hosted a one-day skills summit with experts to explore approaches to better link skills training and education with current and future labour market demand. The summit gathered over 200 prominent leaders from varying sectors, covered key issues on Canada’s skills challenges, and identified best practices and priorities for action. To learn more, check out Twitter using the hashtag #SKILLSsummit14.
Literacy and Essential Skills for the Building Trades.

Frontier College’s Literacy and Essential Skills for the Building Trades project, which started in June 2014, will integrate literacy and essential skills into apprenticeship programs. Working closely with the Canadian Building Trades, Frontier College will help apprentices complete their training and trade certification and will help ensure Canadians have the skills employers are looking for in the construction sector.   UPSKILL: Essentials to Excel  UPSKILL,was a project sponsored by OLES (2010-2014) with the Social Research Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) to evaluate the effectiveness of workplace LES, working with over 100 firms and 1,500 workers in the Tourism industry in eight provinces. Findings indicate that workplace LES training does have large positive impacts on workers’ skills, job performance, and a range of economic and social outcomes for workers and firms. For more information, please visit SRDC Publications for the project summary report.  Read Here