Essential Skills enable people to interpret and to effectively respond to the world around them. They include the ability to learn, communicate, read and write, pass on knowledge and participate actively in the workplace, at home and in the community. Essential Skills provide the foundation for learning all other skills and are important throughout an individual’s career. There are nine Essential Skills: reading, writing, numeracy, oral communication, working with others, document use, computer use, thinking, and continuous learning.
Research has identified that weaknesses in core skills are a barrier to participation in apprenticeship training for many individuals interested in working in the skilled trades. In thinking about how to best support these individuals, improving Essential Skills is widely recognized as part of the solution. Access to tools and resources, upgrading and personal support improves the ability of individuals to fully participate and benefit from apprenticeship training.
To help practitioners, literacy workers, educators, and job coaches across the country improve the Essential Skills of their potential and current apprentices, please share information about current initiatives, programs, and tools and resources that you are aware of in your community.