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Literacy Council of Niagara West

Essential Skills

Essential Skills are the skills needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to grow with their jobs and change as the workplace changes. Nine Essential Skills have been identified. These essential skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways and at different levels of difficulty.

Oral Communication - Using speech to give and exchange thoughts and information.

Writing - Writing texts and writing in documents as well as non-paper based writing.

Reading - Reading material that is in the form of sentences or paragraphs and generally involves reading notes, letters, memos, manuals, regulations, books, reports or journals.

Document Use - Tasks that involve a variety of information in which words, numbers, icons, and other visual characteristics (i.e. line, colour, shape) are given meaning by their arrangement. For example, graphs, lists, tables, blueprints, drawings, signs and labels are documents used in workplaces.

Computer Use - Computers skills used within a job.

Numeracy - Use of numbers and being required to think in numerical terms.

Continuous Learning - The ongoing process of acquiring skills and knowledge. All workers must continue learning in order to keep or to grow with their jobs.

Working with Others - Working co-operatively with others and having the self-discipline to meet work targets while working alone.

Thinking - Problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, job task planning and organizing, significant use of memory and finding information.