Program by Deaf Litercy Initiative
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Essential Skills Profile

During the 1990s the Government of Canada began to research what common skills are found in all jobs. The research showed there are 9 common basic skills needed in order succeed in the workplace, in school and everyday life. These skills are called “Essential Skills”.

The researchers knew that the same level of skill is not required for all jobs. For example, a person working as a janitor doesn’t need to be able to read a scientific report, but he must be able to read and understand labels on the products he uses. So the researchers interviewed over 3,000 people about their jobs. From those interviews the researchers were able to find out what level of skill a worker would need to be success at their job.

As a result of all of this research, Essential Skills Profiles for over 300 jobs were developed.

Essential Skills profiles

  • provide a brief description of the job
  • give examples of how each Essential Skill is used in that job
  • show what level of skill is needed for each Essential Skills – from Level 1 (basic) – Level 5 (advanced)
  • explains the physical demands of the job
  • describes the personality characterics of people working in that job
  • predicts future trends that may influence the level of skill needed for each Essential Skill.

You can use the Essential Skills Profiles to see what level of skill you would need if:

  • You want to work in a particular occupation
  • You want to advance at work
  • Create a learning plan to enhance your Essential Skills

Deaf Literacy Initiative sent out a survey to Deaf Canadians in 2010 asking them about their experiences looking for a job, and on the job. One question in that survey asked for people to report what job they had. From those answers, a database was created listing all the jobs reported. The database was sent to an Essential Skills Profiler, who then put the jobs into categories. The 10 categories with the most jobs reported were determined to be the 10 most common occupations held by Deaf Canadians.

The 10 most common occupations reported are:

  • Community and Social Service Workers
  • College and Other Vocational Instructors
  • Elementary and Secondary School Teacher Assistants
  • Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management
  • Retail Sales Associates
  • Instructors and Teachers of Persons with Disabilities
  • Cleaners
  • Administrative Clerks
  • Computer Programmers
  • Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications

To see the Essential Skills Profiles for any of the 10 most common jobs reported by Deaf Canadians, please click on a link from the right hand menu.