Essential Skills

What are Essential Skills?


Essential Skills are the skills that people need for work, learning and life.  They are used in the community and the workplace, in different forms and different levels of complexity.

The 9 essential skills that are addressed in literacy & essential skills upgrading are:

  • Reading - notes, letters, manuals, memos, books, reports, etc.
  • Writing - filling in forms, writing stories, using computers
  • Document Use - reading and understanding signs, labels, graphs and charts
  • Numeracy - make calculations, take and understand measurements, budgeting, balancing a check book, making estimations
  • Computer Use - using cash registers, word processing software, emails, internet, etc.
  • Thinking - problem solving, finding information, decision making, plan and organize tasks
  • Oral Communications - give and exchange thoughts and information
  • Working with Others - the way people interact with others
  • Continuous Learning - learning new skills, i.e. new credentials, job-related health and safety, etc.


For more information, please click on the ESDC Essential Skills website.