The 9 Essential Skills

All nine Essential Skills are used in different combinations, in different applications, in every occupation. They are the foundational skills you use to carry out your work tasks and they’re the building blocks you use to learn new ones.  The importance of - and need for - employees to have appropriate levels of workplace Essential Skills is clear and strong.

What specifically are the Essential Skills needed in the workplace?

To help answer this question, the federal government, since 1994, has surveyed more than 3000 Canadians in workplaces in all sectors and of all types and sizes of organizations. All were asked what workplace Essential Skills they felt were needed in order for workers to be most effective, efficient and productive.

The result has been the identification of the following nine workplace Essential Skills:

  1. Reading
  2. Document Use
  3. Numeracy
  4. Writing
  5. Oral Communication
  6. Working With Others
  7. Thinking
  8. Digital Technology
  9. Continuous Learning
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