How to Integrate Essential Skills

As an instructor in the trades, it’s important to consider the essential skills your students will need to achieve excellence in their studies and ultimately their career. The UAPICBC wants to support you with useful tools to help you integrate the Essential Skills into your courses.

The following resources will give you the necessary background and assistance to develop innovative lessons.


Exploring Work-Based Foundation Skills

Exploring Work-based Foundation Skills is a guide that will show you how to integrate Essential Skills into your curriculum and enable learners to develop the work-based foundational skills and knowledge needed to be successful in their field.


Essential Skills and Success in Apprenticeship

Instructors vary in their ability to teach essential skills to their students and in how to support students who are lacking in the necessary proficiencies. This article, Essential Skills and Success in Apprenticeship, will explain why essential skills are important, provide some delivery models on how to integrate them into your curriculum, and how to effectively deal with student issues that arise which are roadblocks to learning.


Integrate Essential Skills into the Trades

The Government of Canada has created a series of information sheets that explain how to integrate Essential Skills into plumbing, steamfitting/pipefitting, and welding courses. These forms are specific to each trade and will help you understand and build the skills that your students need in their trade.


The Industry Training Authority Essential Skills Test

Students are encouraged to review the ITA Essential Skills online tool. This assessment gives the apprentice a realistic look at the skills needed for particular trades. It even uses examples and forms that are likely to be found on the job. There is a different assessment for each trade which automatically adjusts to the student's skill level. If correct answers are consistently given, the assessment will automatically provide more challenging questions. The opposite is also true. If incorrect answers are given, the assessment presents easier questions. Reviewing this online tool will make you aware of what skill level the piping industry expects of apprentices. Click here to get started.


Best Practices for Essential Skills in Canada

To see how other provinces in Canada are integrating essential skills into their trades, read this report on Best Practices.


Foundation Skills Competency Checklists

Review your students’ levels of Essential Skills competency by having them complete these foundation skills competency checklists.


Foundation Skills Framework Chart

The chart in the Foundation Skills Framework resource identifies the essential skills required for a strong foundation on which students can base their learning. The skills are divided into Basic Employability Skills, Basic Workplace Knowledge, and Basic Workplace Skills. The chart is a useful tool for students to do a self-appraisal. See the chart here.


Essential Skills Self-Appraisal

This Essential Skills self-appraisal will help you to judge your student’s skills level. By distributing this appraisal, you can determine a baseline from which to start building on the students’ existing skills.


Instructional Skills Workshop Manual

This Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) manual describes how to teach students with specific learning styles. It provides detailed lesson plans in the format of successful delivery styles geared towards students who learn differently from the mass population. It also shows how to build the essential skills that are lacking and thus promote retention of learning among students.






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