Essential Skills

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Connecting Literacy and Employment through Essential Skills

This series of workbooks are for people who want to look for work and improve their essential skills. There are seven workbooks you can use that focus on looking for work and essential skills.

Each workbook includes a checklist of skills, information on essential skills, and activities to improve your skills. The workbooks can be accessed online and downloaded to print.  

This resource is appropriate for those with an elementary school reading level and above.


Resource Links

Workbook Website

Workbook 1 – Identifying the job seeker

Workbook 2 – Essential skills to identify the job

Workbook 3 – Essential skills to research your occupation

Workbook 4 – Essential skills to search for a job

Workbook 5 – Essential skills to market yourself with a resume and cover letter

Workbook 6 – Essential skills to market yourself at the interview

Workbook 7 – Essential skills to maintain employability


Literacy Link South Central

, , , , , , career-planning employability employment essential-skills job-search looking-for-work workforce-preparation
Education and Skills Online Assessment

Education & Skills Online Assessment is a tool designed to provide results that are linked to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills. It measures literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

The results will help you find out where you have skills gaps and where you have strengths. After using this assessment, you can then focus on the areas you could improve.

It is appropriate for those with an elementary level reading level and above. The assessment is available in several languages including French, English, Czech, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.


Resource Links

Library – main page


OECD

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Essential Skills Companion Kit for the Culinary Arts

The Essential Skills Companion Kit to Culinary Arts Trades Training was developed to complement technical Culinary Arts Trades Training. The various activity sets are designed to reinforce academic information that students are required to know during their training. The curriculum was created to practice Essential Skills, such as; Reading Text, Document Use, and Communication.

This resource is appropriate for those with a high school reading level and above.

The files are large Word documents and will automatically download when you click on the Word Part 1 and Word Part 2 hyperlinks.


Resource Links

Companion Kit


Marlin Ratch, Francesca de Bastiani, Shelby Desjarlais, Chef Andrew George, Chef Nathan Hyam, Chef Chris Monkman, Jason Forseth

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Essential Skills Self-Assessment for Trades

Use this self-assessment to see which skills you have and which skills you need for a career in the trades. The assessment includes statements that describe common trades-related tasks and abilities for each of the nine essential skills so you can see how essential skills are used on the job. At the end of the assessment, there is a skills summary section where you can make a list of your strongest skills and the ones you would like to improve.

This resource is appropriate for those with an elementary reading level and above.


Resource Links

Online Essential Skills Self-Assessment


Government of Canada

, , , , , , apprenticeship document-use essential-skills numeracy reading trades writing
Essential Skills Self-Assessments

These Essential Skills self-assessments will help you develop a better understanding of your essential skills levels. Each skill has an assessment where you will answer statements about how well you can complete tasks that require the essential skill. At the end of every assessment, there is a section where you can list the tasks you are most confident completing and which ones you would like to improve. This will help you see your skill strengths and the areas you need to work on. This information can help guide your future training decisions and career planning.

This resource is written at a high school reading level.

Please note: The digital technology self-assessment is no longer available on the Government of Canada website. A PDF version from the Government of Canada’s publications catalogue is used instead. All other self-assessments are on web pages.


Resource Links

Reading Self-Assessment

Writing Self-Assessment

Numeracy Self-Assessment

Document Use Self-Assessment

Oral Communication Self-Assessment

Working with Others Self-Assessment

Continuous Learning Self-Assessment

Thinking Self-Assessment

Digital Technology & Computer Use Self-Assessment (PDF) Catalogue Record


Government of Canada

, , , , assessment document-use essential-skills numeracy reading
Oral Communication Tip Sheet

The oral communication tip sheet provides practical tips to help you improve your communication skills. Review each of the tips and practice the ones that are the most relevant to you and your learning needs. The resource also includes exercises for communication and a learning plan so you can chart your progress and track your improvement.

This resource is written at a high school reading level.


Resource Links

Tip sheet (PDF)

Catalogue record


Government of Canada

, communication essential-skills
Trades Math Workbook

This webpage contains an online workbook that includes questions and learning material to help you learn more about the numeracy skills required to work in the trades. You will discover how journeypersons use numeracy on the job, practice your numeracy skills, and find out which numeracy skills you may need to improve.

The workbook reviews the math foundation skills required for trades occupations and provides workplace examples. The learning material is divided into four sections: Measurement and Calculation, Money Math, Scheduling, Budgeting, Accounting, and Data Analysis.

After every question, there is a button that will display the correct answer to help you review your answers as you complete the workbook and see which areas of numeracy you may need to improve.

This resource is appropriate for those with an elementary reading level and above.


Resource Links

Trades Math Workbook


Government of Canada

, , , , , essential-skills industry math numeracy trades vocabulary
Vocabulary Building Workbook

This webpage has an online workbook designed to help you improve your vocabulary. There are six units and 24 lessons on topics such as parts of speech, with a variety of exercises to help you learn new words commonly used in the Canadian workplace. It includes crosswords and wordlists with definitions to help you learn and retain vocabulary, and has an answer key at the end so you can review your answers.

This resource is appropriate for people with a high school reading level and above.


Resource Links

Vocabulary Building Workbook


Government of Canada

, essential-skills vocabulary
Workforce Participation Books 1 and 2

These workbooks were created to help people improve their language and essential skills. The books focus on welding and heavy machinery fields, but the activities and skills can be used in any job.

You will read case studies and complete activities to help you understand and improve your essential skills.

You can also watch a series of videos that explore common workplace situations and issues.

Although these workbooks and videos were designed for newcomers, the skills, learning, and activities are applicable to everyone. For English language learners, these workbooks are Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 3-5 and CLB 6-8.


Resource Link

Workbook 1 – CLB 3-5

Workbook 2 – CLB 6-8

Newcomers and the Workplace – videos on YouTube


Alberta Workforce Essential Skills

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Working Faster, Working Safer

This workbook develops workplace language, essential skills, and intercultural communication. It follows three hotel employees through their tasks and responsibilities on the job. You can read stories and complete activities to improve your reading, writing, and communication. These workbooks focus on three specific jobs in hospitality; cook, housekeeper, and dishwasher, but the skills are applicable to any occupation.

There is also a series of videos about issues related to the workplace. The videos cover topics such as being on time, workplace communication, hygiene, and harassment.

This is a workbook for job seekers who are Canadian Language Benchmark 1-2.


Resource Links

Working Faster Working Safer Workbook

Working Faster Working Safer YouTube Channel


Alberta Workforce Essential Skills

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