Skills for Success and Literacy

Do your employees have the skills they need to help your business succeed? Can they figure out a problem, communicate with each other and with your customers, and work effectively together?

Literacy and other essential skills make your employees productive and prepare your business for a changing economy. 

Topics on this page
Topics on this page

Skills for Success

To grow a business, employers hire team members with strong foundational skills. These skills help people work productively, learn on the job, solve problems and adapt to workplace changes.

The Skills for Success framework (formerly known as Essential Skills) was launched in 2021 to meet the demands of a shifting labour market. Skills for Success are for those who need to improve their foundational and transferable skills. The framework supports business owners hiring staff and job seekers looking for new career opportunities. 

Watch a short introduction video below:

Skills for Success are:
  • Everyday skills needed for work, learning and life.
  • Foundational for building other skills and knowledge.
  • Important for effective social interaction. 
  • Inclusive and can be adapted to different contexts or abilities.
Skills for Success includes:  
  • Adaptability – To achieve or adjust goals and behaviours when change occurs, by planning, staying focused, persisting and overcoming setbacks.
  • Collaboration – To contribute and support others to achieve a common goal.
  • Communication – To receive, understand, consider, and share information and ideas through speaking, listening and interacting with others.
  • Creativity & Innovation – To imagine, develop, express, encourage and apply ideas in ways that are new, unexpected or challenge existing methods.
  • Digital – To use digital technology and tools to find, manage, apply, create and share information and content.
  • Numeracy – To find, understand, use and report mathematical information presented through words, numbers, symbols and graphics.
  • Problem Solving – To identify, analyze, propose solutions and make decisions. Problem solving helps employers and employees address issues, monitor success and learn from the experience.
  • Reading – To find, understand and use information presented through words, symbols and images.
  • Writing – To share information using written words, symbols and images.
Skills for Success help employees and employers prepare for changing labour market demands. Skills for the Future Workforce provide additional information on the skills, competencies and characteristics employers will be looking for in the future. Likewise, the B.C. Labour Market Outlook provides a 10-year forecast of the job market (2021 to 2031), which can help individuals make informed decisions on their career, education or business ventures. 

Additional Resources and Links

Discover how supporting your workers’ skills is an investment in your business’s success.
  • Tools, Assessments and Training Support – Learn about the benefits, read case studies or download various assessment tools for integrating skills training in the workplace.
  • SkillPlan – Access resources for employers and instructors from the BC Construction Industry Skills Improvement Council.
  • ASPECT – Find out how organizations that offer job and career skills training can benefit your business.
  • The B.C. ITA Essential Skills website can help workers interested in the trades improve their skills.


Strong reading and writing skills are essential so that your employees can work safely, read instructions, record their activities and report to customers.

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training lists adult literacy programs throughout the province.

Decoda Literacy Solutions provides information and stories about literacy in B.C.

English Language Skills

Employees who are new to B.C. may need to improve their English language skills. You can help them become more productive by supporting them in learning English.

To learn more about the various English language programs and services available to newcomers in B.C., visit WelcomeBC.

Adult Upgrading

Employees may need to upgrade or complete high school level courses to expand their options for work opportunities or further education. Learn about adult upgrading, including graduation, free assessments or tutoring and other possibilities. Find your nearest post-secondary institution or school that offers adult upgrading courses.