Skills Canada Launches Essential Skills Mobile App for Students and Teachers

May 21, 2015, 07:00 ET from Skills/Compétences Canada

First of its kind App brings Essential Skills to the forefront of Trades and Technology Careers

OTTAWA, May 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Skills/Competences Canada (SCC) today introduced a new Mobile App to help students and teachers evaluate proficiency in the nine essential skills as they relate to today's trades and technology careers. The App has been developed by Skills Canada as part of its mission to help bridge the skills gap between the classroom and the workplace. The App is designed for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod Touch® and android devices. It is available free for download from the App Store and Google Play.

The Essential Skills Mobile App was developed by Skills Canada as part of its Essential Skills Program and funded by the Government of Canada's Office of Literacy and Essential Skills. Skills Canada's Essential Skills Program is a strategic initiative developed in conjunction with government, industry and education partners. The program seeks to promote the importance of the nine essential skills that are critical to careers in the trades and technologies. The nine essential skills have been identified by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). These are the skills which provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable workers to evolve and adapt to change:  numeracy, oral communications, working with others, continuous learning, reading text, writing, thinking, document use and digital skills.

"This new mobile app highlights the essential skills that are the foundation for learning all the other skills needed in today's workplace. Skills ranging from the ability to communicate clearly, think strategically and work in teams all help in bridging the skills mismatch that often occurs between the classroom and the workplace," said the Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development. "I'm sure the app will help lead these young tradespeople to full and satisfying careers."

According to Brian Linn, Career Consultant for Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division and Moderator for the Educator's Forum at the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC):  "The App is quite intuitive and very easy to use. It will be simple for students to link the essential skills directly to trade and technology programs and careers. Also, linking to real world situations will be helpful for career guidance counsellors as well as core curriculum teachers who are trying to explain how students will use essential skills in real world jobs. The App can be easily started in the classroom and continued on the bus ride home. The test is fun, like a trivia game – and who doesn't like games!"

Features of the Essential Skills Mobile App
The Essential Skills Mobile App incorporates profiles of over 40 different trade and technology careers and correlates the levels of complexity required in the essential skills to specific skilled trade careers. The App helps students and teachers evaluate strength across all nine essential skills and determine which careers they are best suited for, as well as where there may be a need for additional training. Following is a summary of the key features of the Essential Skills Mobile App:

  • Profiles of over 40 different trade and technology careers.
  • Summary of the nine Essential Skills.
  • A comprehensive set of questions to help rate proficiency in the nine essential skills. Results are provided as a star rating along with information on careers in trade and technology that are best suited to strengths.
  • Social Media tools for sharing and comparing results with friends, classmates, teachers and counsellors. Students can repeat the test to track their progress and monitor how their essential skill rating improves. Teachers can use the App in classroom applications to highlight the importance of the essential skills to trade and technology careers.
  • A link to ESDC Office of Literacy and Essential skills with access to all the National Occupational Profiles.
  • A library of trade and technology training facilities in Canada


Click the link for more information on the Essential Skills Mobile App, including a new video.

Essential Skills Mobile App to be highlighted at the 2015 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC)
Skills Canada offers experiential learning opportunities through events and skilled trades and technology competitions for youth, such as the annual Skills Canada National Competition. The Essential Skills Mobile App will be highlighted as part of the Essential Skills Zone at this year's Competition which takes place May 28th to 29th at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Students and guests will engage in hands-on skills challenges, career sessions, presentations, and interactive activities intended to increase awareness of essential skills as they relate to careers in trades and technology. Click the following link for more information on the activities planned in the Essential Skills Zone at the 2015 Skills Canada National Competition.

Essential Skills:  Fast Facts
Literacy and essential skills are the foundation for all learning, and involve, not only reading, but also interpreting information in all forms. Today's careers increasingly require employees to have strong literacy, numeracy as well as other essential skills, but almost half of Canadians are ill equipped to be their best at their jobs:

  • A survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of ABC Life Literacy Canada, reveals that three in four (74%) of Canadian employers consider essential skills as "strategically relevant to their business".
  • A 2013 survey by the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) revealed that 2 out of every 5 employed Canadians fall below a high school level for literacy and numeracy skills.
  • According to the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, without dramatic changes in skills development policies, almost 550,000 Canadian workers will not have the skills needed to fill available jobs in 2016, growing to 1.1 million in 2021.


About Skills Canada
Skills Canada was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding careers. Skills Canada offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Skills Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills. For more information, visit or call 877-754-5226.

Note to Editors:  There is an image and video associated with this press release.


SOURCE Skills/Compétences Canada