Essential employability skills

Essential employability skills (EES) are skills that, regardless of a student’s program or discipline, are critical for success in the workplace, in day-to-day living and for lifelong learning.

The teaching and attainment of these EES for students in, and graduates from, Ontario’s colleges of applied arts and technology are anchored in a set of three fundamental assumptions:

  1. These skills are important for every adult to function successfully in society today
  2. Our colleges are well equipped and well positioned to prepare graduates with these skills
  3. These skills are equally valuable for all graduates, regardless of the level of their credential, whether they pursue a career path or they pursue further education

To capture these skills, the following six categories define the essential areas where graduates must demonstrate skills and knowledge.

  1. Communication
  2. Numeracy
  3. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  4. Information Management
  5. Interpersonal
  6. Personal

Application and implementation

EES may be embedded in General Education or vocational courses, or developed through discrete courses. However these skills are developed, all graduates with Ontario college credentials must be able to reliably demonstrate the essential skills required in each of the six categories.


Ontario, G. O. (n.d.). Essential Employability Skills. Retrieved from