Other Essential Skills Frameworks


Generic Skills - Keys to Job Performance  summarizes the federal government's early research into this area.  This groundbreaking work, done in the early 1970's, was led by Arthur deWitt Smith of Employment & Immigration Canada's Advanced Development Division, Occupational and Career Analysis and Development Branch.

More recently, Canada’s Ministry of Human Resources and Skills Development has defined nine Essential Skills:


  • Reading Text – reading and understanding notes, letters, memos, manuals, specifications, regulations, books, reports or journals.
  • Document Use – getting information from documents such as graphs, lists, tables, blueprints, schematics, drawings, signs and labels
  • Numeracy – measuring, estimating, calculating and thinking quantitatively
  • Writing – writing texts, writing in documents (for example, filling in forms) and non-paper-based writing (for example, typing on a computer)
  • Oral Communication – speaking and listening to give and exchange ideas and information
  • Working with Others – working co-operatively, and also having the self-discipline to work alone
  • Continuous Learning – knowing how to gain access to a variety of materials, resources and learning opportunities, and to undertake training to obtain and update credentials and learn about new equipment, procedures, products and services
  • Thinking Skills – problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, job task planning and organizing, use of memory, and finding information
  • Computer Use – using the computer to find and/or report information and to communicate with others