20 years of experience Developing Workforce Skills
Essential Skills Services for Aboriginals


aboriginal services

Program Development
Job & Training Profiling
Assessment Design
Technical Training Support

Program Development

SkillPlan’s team of Essential Skills Workplace Educators is highly qualified in profiling, program design, curriculum development, assessment, evaluation and instructor mentoring on Essential Skills pedagogy. We design programs that are customized to fit the needs, interests and circumstances of the Aboriginal community, technical training, industry and workplace. By working with key partners, we develop sustainable programs to improve the skills of Aboriginal people, resulting in greater success both in technical training and on-the-job.

  • Benchmark Aboriginal Essential Skills and identify gaps relative to technical training and on-the-job requirements.
  • Design and deliver Essential Skills programs that address skill gaps and meet business outcomes and technical training.
  • Identify workplace Essential Skills issues through an employer-employee needs analysis.
  • Engage employers and employees by connecting Essential Skills (ES) to the needs of the workplace.
  • Delivery and evaluate Essential Skills training.

Current and Past Projects

  • Essential Skills Program for Aboriginals in Mining Occupations, including drilling & blasting, mineral processing, ore extraction, heavy equipment operator, heavy equipment mechanic.
  • Preparing Aboriginals for Trades Training, including welder, carpenter, plumber, crane operator.
  • Preparing Aboriginals for entry into Fibre Optics and in Eco Restoration occupations.
  • Essential Skills Aboriginal Community Program.
  • Work Readiness Program for Aboriginals.

Job & Training Profiling

Job and technical training profiling identifies the skills apprentices/workers need in order to be successful in completing their technical training and be safe and productive workers. Profiling is important for identifying skills of workers and measuring how those skills compare to a national standard. This helps shape the type of workforce development intervention required.

We’ve profiled hundreds of occupations throughout Canada, for example, at Goldcorp, an international mining company, a project which resulted in a total of 85 hours of Essential Skills workplace training for specific jobs at the mine that supported Aboriginals with their onboarding and succession planning.

Assessment Design

At SkillPlan we assess selected workers at your company for Reading, Document Use, Numeracy, and/or Oral Communication skills and compare to the Essential Skills job and technical training profiles to provide workforce development recommendations. Examples of projects include:

  • Cree Essential Skills Assessment to prepare for mining and construction occupations
  • Technical Training Assessment including boilermaker, ironworker, heavy equipment occupations.
  • Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) item writing.
  • Measure Up Essential Skills development practice. Available online for free at www.skillplan.ca/measure-up. Sort by occupation, skill level, or domain.

Technical Training Support

We provide individual tutoring and small group instruction to assist pre-apprentices and apprentices in technical training. We review and teach math, study skills, and test taking strategies. This support also includes help with preparing for the next level of training or for exams such as the Red Seal.  In 2015, SkillPlan successfully tutored over 1000 apprentices.

For a list of trades that have used our support services, click below.

Cement Masons
Heat and Frost Insulators
Operating Engineers (HEO, Road Building, Crane Operators)
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics
Sheet Metal Workers


Mentorship has long been recognized as an effective means of knowledge transfer. Mentors not only pass on their knowledge and experience; they’re responsible for planning and guiding the learning process for apprentices. This places pressure on employers, unions, current supervisors and journeypersons who are largely responsible for skills development in apprentices.

SkillPlan has created a mentorship program called Mentorship Matters. This innovative on-the-job mentoring program helps build a stronger, safer industry by maximizing the effectiveness of communication and skills transfer between mentor and apprentice. This unique workplace initiative is based on a proven model and comes complete with curriculum, communication resources, and mentorship training sessions for both apprentices and journeypersons. The program can be customized and has trained close to a thousand apprentices and journeypersons, and various contractors across Canada.

  • Increased Productivity
  • Better Hiring Retention
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Faster Acquisition of Skills
  • Intergenerational Communication