Essential Skills Day

Essential Skills Day is an annual initiative taking place each September to raise awareness about the importance of workplace literacy and essential skills training. The nine essential skills, identified by the Government of Canada (reading, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communications, working with others, thinking, computer use, continuous learning), are the foundation for all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change. These skills are used in every job to varying degrees and at different levels of complexity. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

Essential Skills Day Resources

Workplace Literacy in Canada

  • Canadian employers spent, on average, $889 per employee on learning and development in 2016–17, an increase of $89 per employee since 2014-15. The average number of hours of learning per employee per year is also on the rise, increasing from 25 hours in 2010 to 32 hours in 2016–17 Learning Cultures Lead the Way: Learning and Development Outlook—14th Edition, Conference Board of Canada, 2018).
  • Investment in workplace literacy also leads to cost savings from reduced errors and waste (UPSKILL Health – Technical Report on worker and business outcomes: Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, 2016).
  • Workers who participated in essential skills training were nearly 25% more likely to report a reduction in their work-related stress levels than those who had not received this type of training (UPSKILL Health – Technical Report on worker and business outcomes: Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, 2016).

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