Essential skills needed by everyone

A new partnership has formed to promote essential skills in the Comox Valley.

Essential skills are needed by everyone to succeed at work, participate in the community and raise a family. According to government research, many Canadians have essential skills below recommended levels to succeed in the workplace.

Essential skills are the foundation skills that provide the base for learning all other skills.

The Government of Canada has identified nine essential skills: reading text, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking skills, computer use, and continuous learning. While the majority of Canadians have most of these skills, many would benefit from some form of skill development.

In the workplace, employers often do not see their employees’ lack of essential skills as an immediate problem. Instead, they notice the effects of low essential skills: low productivity, poor safety ratings, and high error rates.

Therefore, the benefits of increasing essential skills are numerous for both employers and workers. Employees who increase their essential skills find greater job satisfaction, have increased job stability, and have more opportunities, including promotions.

The Comox Valley Essential Skills Partnership aims to support essential skills in the community.  Literacy tutors will be trained to assess and support essential skills development. Local educators will collaborate and work towards integrating essential skills training into existing curriculum.

Our entire community will be informed of the benefits of improving literacy and the need for increasing essential skills for employment, learning and life.

This initiative is a partnership of Comox Valley Adult Learning Centre, Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, Comox Valley Literacy Now, Creative Employment Access Society, North Island College, School District 71, Vancouver Island Regional Library and Wachiay Friendship Centre.

Learn more about this partnership at the Chamber Showcase Tradeshow hosted by Crown Isle Resort on Feb. 24. Further information can be found at or, by contacting the Project Coordinator at

Funding for this project has been provided by Comox Valley Literacy Now.

— Comox Valley Essential Skills Partnership