Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use this free website?
This website was designed for people interested in the trades who are taking part in a training program funded through the Canada-B.C. Labour Market Agreement. However, anyone interested in the trades who wants to improve their Essential Skills can use it.

Why was this website created?
This website was created to help people prepare for and do well in the first two levels of technical training. Studies show that if you have the Essential Skills you need for your trade, you are eight times more likely to pass your technical exams.

Why focus on the first two levels of technical training?
Drop-out rates are highest in the first two levels of technical training. It can be difficult if you do not have the Essential Skills you need.

What are Essential Skills?
Essential Skills are foundation skills like reading, math and document use (e.g. reading graphs and schematics). You need them to learn the technical skills of your trade. For example, you need math skills to calculate building supplies for a job.

I have a high school education. Do I still need to improve my Essential Skills?
The trades are challenging. Most people need to improve their Essential Skills, even if they have their high school diploma or some post-secondary education. And if you haven't been in school for awhile, there's good chance you need to knock the rust off your skills.

How can I tell if I need to improve my Essential Skills?
Take the online assessment. It takes approximately one hour and measures three Essential Skills - reading, math and document use - using multiple choice questions. There's a different assessment for each trade. You get your results instantly, along with a learning plan.

Is it really worth my time to do this?
It's a pretty good idea. You are eight times more likely to pass your technical exams if you have the Essential Skills you need. And people with good Essential Skills generally make more money, enjoy their job more and are less likely to injure themselves or others on the job.

How long will it take to improve my Essential Skills?
It depends. The more skills you need to improve, the more time you may need. The good news is that it doesn't take long to build Essential Skills if you know which ones to target. The assessment will help you focus your time and energy.

Can I take the Essential Skills assessment more than once?
You can take the assessment as often as you like. It's a good idea to complete some of the activities from your Essential Skills Learning Plan before you take the assessment again.

Can anyone else see my assessment results or learning plan?
No. You are the only one who can see your assessment results and learning plan.

Should I do this before or after I start my apprenticeship?
It's a good idea to build your Essential Skills before you begin technical training, but you can benefit at any time.

What is an account number and project code?
On the Get Started registration page, there is a space to enter an account number and project code. You do not need them to register. Some training organizations give their trainees these codes to access extra learning resources or to register for a special project.