Tools, Assessments and Training Support


A series of tools have been developed to help individuals and organizations address workplace essential skills challenges.

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Packaging the tools

Empty essential skills kit folders are also available to help you package the tools and resources that you order. These are available in general (WP-032) and apprenticeship (WP-139) formats. To order online, enter the WP number in the "Departmental Catalogue Number" search field before you check out.

Tool User Guide

  • For additional support in selecting and using the tools below, please consult Making the Tools Work for You, a guide to the essential skills tools and resources available through ESDC.

Use these tools to:

  • learn about essential skills and how they contribute to getting and keeping a job and being successful at work;
  • communicate the importance of essential skills; and
  • understand how essential skills are used in the trades.

Use these tools to:

  • better understand essential skills needed for the workplace;
  • help identify essential skills strengths and areas to consider for improvement;
  • ensure workers have the essential skills to get the job done; and
  • inform training and career decisions.

Note: these tools are not formal essential skills assessments.

Use these tools to:

  • support essential skills upgrading;
  • integrate essential skills into the workplace; and
  • enhance existing training programs.
  • Developing Partnerships to support Literacy and Essential Skills (online only)

    An online resource containing tips and activities to help employers develop effective partnerships to support essential skills in the workplace.

  • Training Activities

    A reference sheet that outlines a series of suggested activities to help employers incorporate essential skills upgrading into workplace training.

  • Portfolio

    A collection of binder inserts to keep a record of knowledge gained and skills developed through essential skills training and learning activities. Use it to build a collection of learning materials (e.g. tips sheets, practice exercises) and samples from on-the-job experiences (e.g. email, time sheet, a safety information sheet).

  • Passport

    A tracking resource that lets learners record their skill strengths and identify areas that may need improvement. It is intended to be updated and reviewed regularly.

  • Taking Action: A Guide

    A guide that introduces a 7-step process for developing and integrating essential skills training in the workplace.

  • Taking Action: An Introduction
    Description A condensed version of Taking Action: A Guide.
  • Problem Solved! A Guide for Employers and Practitioners

    A guide that includes various techniques, activities and worksheets to help learners practice and improve their thinking skills. This version for employers and practitioners provides instructions for how to integrate this tool into training and development programs.

  • Problem Solved! A Guide for Employees and Learners

    A guide that includes various techniques, activities and worksheets to help learners practice and improve their thinking skills.

  • Tip Sheets and Practice and Learning Exercises:

    A booklet that provides learners with practical tips and activities to improve their essential skills. This tool is available for the following essential skills:

  • Job Enhancement and Essential Skills

    A guide to help managers and supervisors support workers in improving their essential skills by giving them new responsibilities and opportunities for development.

  • Mentoring and Essential Skills

    A guide with tips and activities to support essential skills development in the workplace through mentoring relationships.

  • Vocabulary Building Workbook

    A workbook with various exercises to help learners improve their vocabulary and learn words commonly used in the Canadian workplace.

  • Communications Essentials - A Modular Workshop

    A collection of resources to help intermediaries effectively deliver a customized workshop. It includes information and exercises to help individuals practice and strengthen their oral communication skills.

  • Essential Skills for Your Apprenticeship Training

    A booklet that includes tips and tricks to help apprentices prepare for in-class training, take effective notes and understand and remember lessons.

  • Using Essential Skills: Preparing for Your Interprovincial Red Seal Exam

    This guide provides learners with tips and tricks to study and prepare for the Interprovincial Red Seal Exam.

  • Before Training: Resources to Improve Your Essential Skills

    This booklet includes tips and activities that help apprentices identify ways to improve their essential skills and be better prepared for training.

  • Trades Math Workbook

    A workbook with practical exercises to help learners practice their numeracy skills and increase their success in an apprenticeship program.

  • Oral Communication: An Essential Skill in the Canadian Workplace

    A video that explores typical Canadian work situations and what makes oral communication effective in each setting. Newcomers to Canada may find the information and tips offered in this video particularly useful. Includes two segments: The Job Interview and Workplace Conflict.

    Note: Oral Communication: An Essential Skill in the Canadian Workplace is only available online or by order of the Literacy and Essential Skills Tools DVD (WP-122-08-09). Please contact us for more information.